Implicit rules of engagement….

Ffolkes,

“Life is cruel? Compared to what?”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

first bloom of spring

First bloom of spring….

Hajime…. As spring approaches this part of the planet, the day’s are a bit warmer, & longer by a bit each time we revolve, & move around our sun. I find myself wanting to spend more time out of doors, as made clear by today’s image of a downtown tree coming into its seasonal growth. My recovery from last weekend’s difficult journey continues apace, albeit a slow one; any wisdom we may accrue as we grow older comes with a higher price than at any previous time, to be sure. Even though I never mind paying whatever price is required, it does bring a bit of frustration along, as the price takes longer to pay. Ah, well, such is life, with all its beauty and pain, each of which, if accepted as part of the overall balance in reality, brings its own sort of appreciation and joy…. beauty at its perception, & pain at its absence….

It’s probably a bit early for such deep philosophy; one cuppa coffee isn’t quite enough to achieve that sort of equanimity…. which reminds me, it’s time to refill. Be right back…. Okay, good to go. The only question remaining, then, is to figure out where to go. I have put together the basic elements of a pretty decent Pearl, rantless though it may be, so, it shouldn’t be too much effort to finish it off. Of course, that makes the, perhaps, erroneous assumption we know where to go & what to do in order to complete that task; assumptions, while necessary at times to continue to function, are tricky bastards, often ill-advised. Today, since we aren’t going to make any, it shouldn’t prolong our agony for longer than we can endure….

That being said, I suppose it would be best to go on, without further delay; this might ensure at least a modicum of dignity, which is often completely missing from these pages. It’s not as if we care, (we don’t) (and, neither do I, in the normal, non-royal persona….), but, according to the general rules of blogging, we are supposed to make an effort to LOOK as if we do. I’m not sure, at this point, just how to do that, so, I’m going to ignore that rule, & just get on with the rest of this mess. That, in and of itself, is easy enough. All we have to do to accomplish that, is this….

Shall we Pearl?

“Don’t take life so seriously… it’s only a temporary situation.”

~~ Humanity’s Ancient Sage, Anonymous ~~

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playing-for-change

I’m up quite late, so, naturally, we’re going with one of our default choices for music. This cut of Gimme Shelter is by the P4C Band, a live cut from one of their concerts…. It’s hot, as it should be…. Enjoy!….

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Playing For Change
Gimme Shelter

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Comedy_Tragedy

I came across these lines, from one of T. S. Eliot’s most famous poems, & decided to include the entire poem/song as today’s choice for this section. I’ve included a link, to a reproduction of the full poem on Bartleby.com, rather than taking up that space here. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, every time I read it…..

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

~~ T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ~~

http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

“The more I learn, the more I have to learn….”

*******

“Inquiry is fatal to certainty.”

~~ Will and Ariel Durant ~~

*******

“What is the hardest task in the world? To think.”

~~ Emerson ~~

*******

“He knows not his own strength that hath not met adversity.”

~~ Ben Jonson ~~

*******

“The belief that there is only one truth
and that oneself is in possession of it
seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.”

~~ Max Born, physicist ~~

*******

“I know but one freedom, and that is the freedom of the mind.”

~~ Antoine de Saint Exupery ~~

*******

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

~~ Robert Heinlein ~~

*******

“After all,
to the well-organized mind,
death is but the next great adventure.”

~~ Albus Dumbledore ~~

*******

********************************

Given the handicaps, (periodic outbursts of sanity, chronic pain, bozoid tendencies, cynicism, to name just a few….), under which I normally operate, I can’t consider this one as shabby. Fortunately for us all, I CAN consider it done, as it has a completed section in each space provided, it flows fairly well, and, most importantly, I can’t think of anything to add. To avoid any further embarrassment or build-up of unduly authorized angst among the participating denizens of this reality, I think I’ll just end it here, before it gets away from me. I’ll be back, tomorrow, hopefully, to try to get it right, one more time…. Please join me then, as we explore yet another dark corner of my mind, as it attempts to deal with Consensual Reality, as best we may…. See ya, ffolkes…. As yet, nobody has come up with a reliable way to prevent me from doing so….

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

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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All you can do is all you can do….

Ffolkes,

“… denn da ist keine Stelle, die dich nicht sieht. Du musst dein Leben andern.”

“… for there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life.”

~~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~~

~~ “Archaic Torso of Apollo” ~~

small congress

A Small Congress


A bit of housekeeping… Yesterday, when I wrote the lines wherein I wished all my Gentle Readers a happy season, I, apparently, was not completely mindful, as I described my words as a Winter Wish…. It SHOULD have been a Winter/Summer Wish; by forgetting the Nature of Reality’s Duality, I inadvertently withheld the wish for the many (read: several….) Gentle Readers who reside in the Southern Hemisphere, where it is NOT winter, but, summer….. (thanks to the 23.4º tilt of Earth’s axis, in relation to the plane of the ecliptic)…. (Trust me on this…. It’s true….)….

To all of those wonderful friends, in India, Australia, or, wherever you live south of the Equator, my bad…. Sorry ’bout that; everything I said yesterday was sent to you as well… Believe it….

A few days before Christmas, I went back in time, as suggested by a link below the day’s Pearl, at the bottom of the page, to July 26, 2013. I re-read the Pearl for that day, & I liked it well enough to use it today, in toto, but for the poem, which was used a short time ago here. Below this paragraph, written today, you’ll find the Pearl from that date, as it appeared, but, with a different poem, so as to refrain from repetition too often…. Pearls at that time didn’t have a video section, which evolved later, in 2014, so, no video today; sorry…. Not many quotations in the pearls, either; it’s all pretty serious/somber material…. Nevertheless, I hope y’all enjoy it as much as I did….

Plus, posting this gave me a whole extra day to work on the next Pearl(s) you’ll see…. Bonus, for me, and you, as I’ll have more time to make it right…. Here then, is my version of a re-blog, but, of my own work… Works for me…. See y’all at the bottom of the page….

From 7/26/2013:

Ffolkes,

As some of y’all may have noted, yesterday’s Pearl was disrupted by Reality, whereas today’s will be characterized by Fantasy, or a reasonable facsimile thereof….The most pertinent item I recall seems to be the unexpected increase in planetary gravity that hit about 2 PM yesterday…. Didn’t you notice? It seemed quite significant to me;  I had been struggling all day to keep upright, as the normally severe sucking power of our planet pulled at me constantly, no matter what I was doing…. sitting, standing, walking, typing, driving, all of it seemed harder, as if I were swimming through heavy syrup, or wearing extra bags of sand or something…. By eight o’clock at night, I was exhausted from the effort to remain a simian of the modern variety, standing upright like a true hominid….

And, then, I woke up…. t’was a new day dawning, turning the blues and grays of the morning sky to a pale pinkish blue, lifting spirits along with hopes, unbidden. All the bad, mad stuff that filled the last days was gone, banished to wherever such things go when pinned with the light of day, and I am once again filled with piss and vinegar, so to speak, ready for whatever the new day will bring. Of course, being an inveterate planner, I already know what will happen today, at least, according to my schedule, but, Murphy has a tendency to ignore my schedules in favor of his own, with mine usually ending up in the trash, while I adjust to his…. the asshole….

I’m up at my usual hour, and intend to write as usual…. Intentions aren’t always enough, though, so we’ll see how it goes today. It has to be better than it was the last two days, which, even sans the kind attentions of the Murph, I spent in the dumps, thanks to the gift that keeps on giving (PTSD). I’m all better now, having thrown off the unreasoning sense of anxiety that pervaded my conscious mind, and gone beyond whatever it was that triggered the episode…. Once more, I am completely in the dark as to what that might be; I do wish I could figure it out, as it is a pain in the ass, and if I knew how to block its ascent into my consciousness, I would do so in a heartbeat…. Until I do, I am at the mercy of whatever it is, destined to fall into despair in an instant, never knowing why….

Ah well, so what else is new? Life with PTSD goes on, as I said, yesterday, sort of, if we don’t hang on to it too tight, and I’m determined NOT to grip it tightly enough to hold it in its place…. If you see me doing so, please tickle me, or throw some water, or something to let me know, as I’m done with feeling bad for no good reason…. It’s a waste of time I could use to be doing something more constructive….. Of course, writing this blog may or may not fall precisely into that category, but, it’s what I do, so deal…. And, speaking of what I do….

Shall we Pearl?…..

_____________________________

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

With this statement, Mr. Mencken has put his finger on the pulse of America, that is for certain. It goes a long way toward explaining why so many people in this country are so willing to believe the outright, egregious lies that are told to them every single day by the officials they elect every year at the polls that characterize our republic…. They do lie, you know, with almost every statement that comes out of their mouths…. They begin with the most important lie they tell, from which all the others spring, and that is the lie they tell when they tell you that they want to be elected so they can work for YOU! Each and every politician learns early in their career, if they are at all to be successful, they MUST portray themselves as a public-spirited, honest, and tireless worker whose only purpose is to make life better for their constituents….

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth…. NONE of them are at all concerned with any of that nonsense; they are there to carry out their own agenda, which has very little to do with what is good for the general run of mankind…. No, they are there to serve the interests of the men and women who pay them, those lobbyists and special interest representatives who run the businesses of the corporate masters. The people on the street cannot provide them with the perks, or the cash, that the clandestine rulers are able to come up with, other than peripherally, by electing them in the first place…. Once elected, their true colors come out into the light of day, and it can be easily seen how their actions are never congruent with what they have promised to the people who elected them….

It’s all about power and money to these folks, not service. In my entire life of observing politics around the world, I have yet to see a single elected official who could be shown to be honest, not at the national level. The one who came the closest was Jimmy Carter, and his presidency was marked by how little got done, because he was so honest that the true politicians in Congress blocked every reform he tried to institute during his time in office. His actions during that time showed him to be the exception to the usual rule for politicians, which is why, I believe, he was so ineffective as a legislator….

“Invest in America — Buy Japan!”– Smart Bee


Other than Carter, I have seen concrete proof that EVERY President of this country has lied to the American people, not just once or twice, but continuously, about nearly everything. Time and time again, public outcries are heard or seen in the news about some new revelation regarding something some politician lied about, just like it is breaking news or something, when it is actually the normal state of affairs….

I don’t know why it is, but if a man on a TV set, wearing a suit and tie, makes a statement to the public, the general public will believe it, sometimes fanatically, without ever examining it for whether or not it is true… Then, when it turns out they were lied to, they get all upset and vocalize their displeasure, never once admitting it was their own cupidity that allowed the lie to occur in the first place…. It makes me wonder what happened to people in this country, to make them go soft in the head….

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov

Did you ever notice how many politicians were lawyers, first? Most of them, as it turns out, for the simple reason that learning to be a lawyer gives a politician two advantageous types of training… One advantage is that law school teaches the student how to lie in every imaginable way, in order to ascertain which kinds of lies are legal…. The other advantage is their primary motivation…. I

f asked, a very large percentage of lawyers will tell you their reason for becoming a barrister in the first place is that it is a good way to get rich, ( without mentioning, of course, that this is true only as long as one doesn’t give a shit about other people, and what that might do to them)…. In other words they make their money by taking advantage of people’s misery, holding them as hostages against their own destiny, in order to gain resources, i.e. money, and its sidekick, power…..

Then the lawyers realize that their training is perfect for politics…. The ability to lie with facility comes in very handy to anyone who wants to be in the public eye, as that is how one gets elected in the first place…. Tell people what they want to hear, and they will vote for you, every time, coming back to the same trough to eat, even though they get screwed, time after time…. Having the facility to ignore what happens to others, due to their own actions, is the other skill so important to the political set, and the training one receives as a lawyer fits right into that category….

“Watching the democratic party in a presidential contest is like watching a washing machine with a defective bearing:  It starts up smoothly enough, but soon, it begins to wobble and shake, jumping violently from place to place, until it tears itself to pieces, spewing dirty laundry all over the room.” –Smart Bee

Some people will say that there ARE some good lawyers out there, and I won’t argue that…. but, they’re still lawyers, not politicians, aren’t they? They’re doing what they can to help ffolkes find their way through the morass of our legal system to get what they need, even occasionally finding some justice….

But, they aren’t going further, and going into public service, are they? They’re still in place, where they can help, but, they are so few and far between, they are hard to find, and so are very busy, seldom having the time or resources to work against their less honest colleagues. Plus, they really are very few in number, as altruists seldom become lawyers in the first place….

I can see that this has evolved into a full scale rant, and we’ve just begun the day, so I’ll call a halt here. I often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir, anyway, when I go through this stuff again…. It’s all familiar material around here, so it isn’t as if I’m presenting new ideas for your examination…. No, this is all old stuff, and, sadly, doesn’t seem to ever create the outrage that I feel in very many other ffolkes… which is too bad…..  I forget who said that “if you keep on doing things the same ways as you always have, things will always be the way they’ve always been….”, but, they were absolutely correct…. We are on a path to our own destruction, clearly, but, nobody seems to care…

Nobody, that is, who seems able to DO anything about it, and they are the ones who will need to make the changes….. The people in authority over the rest of us are wearing blinders in this respect…. The idea that what they are doing is wrong, and will eventually kill us all, doesn’t fit into their world-view, so they won’t believe it, and will continue to refuse to make any of the changes needed to re-direct our steps onto a path less dangerous.

It is up to the rest of us to get it done, and that may entail overthrowing the current crop of rulers, either by the vote, or by the less agreeable option of using the necessary force, while making sure the new crop will act in OUR best interests, rather than their own…. If it does happen, it will be the first time in history, which is fine with me…. just as long as it is not the LAST time in history….

“… democracy is not something you believe in, or a place you hang your hat, but it’s something you do.  You participate.  If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart.” — Abby Hoffman
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Comedy_Tragedy

    Today’s poem was not originally used in this Pearl; that one, “A Dubiously Soft Morning”, was used just a few days ago…. I’ve replaced it with a poem from the same year, but, of a different tone altogether…. I hope you enjoy it; it’s actually one of my favorites of those I’ve written, because it speaks of my father…. Abondanza!

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~

4/6/2013


Last posted on WP 9/6/2014
_____________________________

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

I like this, mostly because of its clarity and brevity of expression…. It’s perfect no-frills wisdom, with no ups and no extras, all you need for enlightenment in one short, pithy phrase. It also exposes the basic untruth of the mindset against which Thomas Aquinas warned, when he cautioned us to “Beware the man of one book.” I often wonder how the Church scholars managed to rationalize that statement into their set of dogmatic rules, and still canonize Saint Thomas as one of the icons of their faith; this statement is so diametrically opposed to all they teach, how did it become his entry into sainthood, with all the perks that involves, like, I don’t know, what, a better seat at holy dinners?

Any who, all sarcastic smirking aside, it doesn’t make sense, but, then, most of what I have heard and read about the more popular Christian religious sects doesn’t make much sense, either…. People seem to find it compelling, though, and manage to invest a lot of time and energy fulfilling whatever agenda items having those beliefs will engender.

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Lazarus Long

These, to me, are the folks who find it easier to go through life allowing what other people believe determine their own thoughts and feelings, as it is less troublesome for them to have someone else do it for them, than making the effort to understand the world on their own…..

I suppose it’s okay, for them, to allow this, but, for me, it would drive me crazy in no time at all to try to believe some of what they would have me believe, because A) It doesn’t make any sense, and B) the assertions made, aside from the fantastic unbelievability of their nature, are offered without any evidence of their veracity, no proof of their actual truth. Given just those two requirements of mine for accepting something as true, none of what I heard in church makes the slightest bit of sense…

But, for well over two thousand years, this church, along with two or three competing churches, with slightly altered versions of the same set of beliefs on the same subject, has attempted to dominate human existence, saying it has the ONLY answers to the eternal questions, to wit: Is there a God? and, if so, What is He/She/It like?…. Simplistic, I know, but, an accurate paraphrased summarization, I think…. Honest, anyway, right? I mean, when one strips down the basic ideas to their bare bones, they sound ridiculous; then, when one sees there is also no real, incontrovertible proof of any of it, beyond logical constructions based on assumptions not proven, they become simply unbelievable, to my way of thinking….

Of course, one must actually THINK about this stuff, and not just assume it is true…. even what I’m saying should be examined for its own veracity…. I think all I need to do to offer proof of most of my assertions is point to either some part of reality, which generally proves without question what is real, or to something in the news that demonstrates the fallibility of what the churches offer as their dogma, which is legion. T

hen, once the information has been presented, it must be examined for it’s connections to what is real, in order to be able to determine for sure that it IS or IS NOT true…. Sadly, in my experience, most people skip that last step entirely, preferring to go along with what they’ve been told since they were little, because to examine it, one must first accept the possibility of being wrong in the first place…. and, that they are not willing to do….

That is the simple truth folks, no matter how much anyone tries to deny it. Reality determines what is true, not belief, or faith, and nothing anyone can say or do will ever change that simple fact of reality. There are no magic bullets, so, if we want to have magic in our lives, we have to make it ourselves, which leaves out the possibility of depending on anything in nature to do so for us, no matter how much we want it to be so, or how strongly we maintain our faith in what is unreal…. As some other philosopher has stated, “Just because a million people believe something is so, doesn’t make it so…. A lie is still a lie, even if a lot of people believe it…….. or, more colorfully…..

“If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

So, spare me, please, the sermons, and pitying looks, because, quite frankly, the concept of Heaven bores me to tears; it sounds as if the Angel Satan throws a better party, and doesn’t expect his acolytes to curry favor…. plus, they never expect him not to lie to them, as he is right up front about it….

“I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.” — Jack London, Jack London’s Tales of Adventure
_____________________________

Such an outburst! I can see that I am right to write every day…. This stuff tends to build up if I go too long without letting it out, and there’s no telling what kind of harm THAT may cause to the space-time continuum…. Let’s see if it reads half as well as it flowed out….. Hmph, well, I think that the Pulitzer committee may want to stand down, but, it’s better than most Pearls, all in all, and it’s all freshly made stuff, so, so be it….  WYSIWYG, today, anyway…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Which is Why….

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

~~ gigoid, the dubious ~~


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Fricasseed rutabaga with mulled acorn sauce….

Ffolkes,

“History has the relation to truth that theology has to religion — i.e., none to speak of.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

more Invergordon 005

    The picture today goes to show that, a) timing IS everything, and b) even amateurs get lucky sometimes…. I took this from the deck of a cruise ship while docked in Scotland, at Greenock, the port town closest to Glasgow. After some mild fixing of the picture’s features to bring out it’s best appearance, it became clear the sky to the right side is different from the sky on the opposite, left side, with the rainbow serving to mark the line between the two opposing filtered views…. One obviously is where the rain is still falling, producing the rainbow as the light is broken up passing through the raindrops, each of which acts as a small prism, breaking the white, transparent light into its component colors…

For me, knowing what is happening doesn’t reduce the beauty, or the wonder of a rainbow….. One does not have to subscribe to the myths that grow up around such natural displays in order to appreciate the beauty; for me, just seeing it is wonder enough. That I can comprehend the process makes it more precious to me, as an example of how the universe yields its treasures to us little by little, exposing us to its idiosyncrasies and oddities one at a time, to allow us to study, and reason, and apply the power of our imagination to satisfy that  monkey-curiosity, so much a part of us, which demands we know the WHY of all we see before us….

That, as you can see, is a fairly objective, yet accurate assessment of part of our nature, or, at least, that part of it I allow to affect my life…. We do, of course, have options, choices of what to believe, and how to act; as we learn, we know more how to make those acts the right actions, that will make life better for all of us, rather than choosing to behave in ways that cause trouble, for myself, or for others…. Sadly, mental discipline, and the power of reasoning, is all-too-often utilized by those who have chosen to assume the mantle of predator, a choice our entire culture seems to adopt at times, a choice which has turned our society into one marked by violence, and, in my view, insanity on a global scale….

Now, perhaps, you will see my own problem, at least in terms of writing this blog…. Starting out with the beauty and wonder of a rainbow, I end up ranting about human nature, with implications of impending global doom, in less than four paragraphs…. If it weren’t such a PITA, I might consider it a gift, of sorts….. But, my readership numbers seem to indicate it has become old, which, I am sure, it is…. Even I am getting tired of spouting off against the idiots who are making our world such a fucked up mess, threatening to kill us all by drowning us in our own shit (figuratively speaking, though, not by much….); my spouting doesn’t seem to have much effect….

Plus, if I rant here in the intro section, it diminishes the impact, if any, of whatever rant I’m planning for section two…. SIGH…. It’s a conundrum for which there may be no solution, given my own nature, and my need to write in order to maintain any semblance of sanity….. Oh, well, there isn’t anything to be done about it just now, so, I guess I’ll take advantage of the exit I see coming up, thus kick-starting the rest of today’s effort, such as it may be…. Hang on, ffolkes, that exit hole looks a little tight….

Shall we Pearl?

“A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.” — Buddha

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

Whether you realize it or not, you’ve heard this woman’s music…. In today’s world, it would be hard NOT to hear it, as she, and her band of string artistes, made the music for a movie that all of society has either seen, or heard of….. I speak of the Lord of The Rings, of course, in the movie version…. Angele and the band played the theme song written for the first movie, The Fellowship of The Ring,  entitled “Concerning Hobbits”, which you will hear in one of the first two or three pieces in this collection of their work; it will sound very familiar, as it has been all over the airwaves since the movie came out…. Enjoy, ffolkes, this is a great band….

Angèle Dubeau & La Pietà: 50 videos

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I am apparently burnt on ranting; I don’t seem able to work up the angst to begin…. Ah, well, I’ve done so much of it in the past, there’s always one that will work…. here, for example, is a good one from last year, just after I got back from Europe…..

From 5/30/2013:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” — Aristotle

For much of my life, since reaching what I like to call the age of reason, at about 10 or 11 years of age, I have been aware of this aphorism from Aristotle. If not the aphorism itself, the principle was clear to me from a young age, and I chose then to always strive to be excellent, in whatever I chose to do. You see, I also found out, it requires a deliberate choice to pursue excellence, because it a) doesn’t just happen by itself, and b) it annoys other people. It is the second factor that dictates the need to make a deliberate choice; most people make the opposite choice, to be average, to not stand out too much, unless it is to their advantage to do so, to control or impress others, not for the state of being excellent.

More explicitly, most people try to excel at tasks, or games, or whatever, in order to promote their own agenda, not for the sake of just wanting to do things right, or to scratch the itch of curiosity, or to be the best person one can be. And society at large is quick to show their disapproval if someone is too different in this respect; the normals are afraid of both of the other ends of the human spectrum, the incurably unintelligent AND those who perceive more, and when most people are afraid of something, they make life hard for it, if not downright unbearable, and/or dangerous. Pink monkeys don’t go over well in a brown monkey tree….. They tend to either leave the forest, live in misery, or dye their fur brown, in short order….

This is why the choice must be made, to pursue excellence; it’s not an easy decision, but critically important. It is also a decision that can’t be made half-way; once committed, it extends to EVERY area of one’s existence, requiring effort and dedication to achieve to any significant degree. I can only speak for myself, but it was the best decision of my early years, and I have never regretted making it, because the rewards are much greater than mere comfort, or any other I can think of that comes with giving in to peer pressure; to live with not seeking all there is to see, hear, and do in life, and do it with style, intelligence, and honor.

“By steadily disciplining the animal nature, until it becomes one pointed, it is possible to establish conscious awareness of The Eternal.” — Lao-Tzu

This is a bit metaphorical, but describes well the intensity and consistency of effort that is required to maintain an excellent attitude about life. It’s hard to keep it up all the time, and I have to admit I’m as human as anyone else, and get tired, not to say just plain frustrated, when I cannot easily, or even eventually, reach the goals I’ve set for myself. Fortunately, I also know that being human is okay, and just because I am not always at my best, does not mean it is not still within me, ever within my reach, whenever my perceptions are clear enough to show me the way. The path to Truth, fortunately, is always well lighted, though it may get confusing, and sometimes seem dark through the power of illusion; it never stops being the Truth, though, and that makes it always attainable….

Perhaps there will be some who will read this treatise, and think it arrogant, or condescending; I hope not, because it isn’t intended to be so. It is intended to be a sharing, of the understanding I have that can be of help to anyone in their life. This understanding is based on what I know to be true, and not on fear, or lack of understanding of what is real, in both Nature, and in people. There is great potential in people, much more than we, as a species, or as individuals, ever achieve…. partly because much of humanity is content to be normal, to sit back and let other people decide how the world should go, because it’s too much work to try to control their own world.

We can be so much more than a society of couch potatoes, sagely listening and nodding our heads in agreement with the talking heads we see on the Tube, or laughing ourselves mindless over the insane, or downright stupid acts of imaginary people meant to be metaphorical, but only seen as role models for a reality that doesn’t exist. Even the advent of computer technology, with all its nearly unlimited potential for what only twenty years ago would have been called “magic”, has not inspired people to strive to be excellent, in work, in play, or in ethics; certainly not in government. Instead, we are drowning ourselves in fashion apps, or photo apps, or social media apps, and losing even more connection with the real world in the process….

Ah well, I suppose all will turn out how it will, in spite of my objections, or anyone else’s indifference. C’est la vie, as the French would say…. such is life; I think it appropriate that we hear from the ancient sages about that, as we started, to close this series of thoughts and rambles perfectly… well, maybe only one ancient sage…..

Epictetus sez

    So be it…. gigoid has spoken.

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According to the above rant, this poem of mine goes well with the theme, so, here ’tis….

A Failure to Germinate

Marking the days in elements of sad disarray
only holds me thrall, as I laugh while I may.
With cold, hard hands so impatient and cruel
pulling me to this vale of tears, a pathetic old fool.

Feelings sit silent, cast in shadows and light
breaking forth to implicate such vengeful might.
Just below the surface they patiently hide
to sally forth bravely, colors bright as they ride.

Tears and pain transform valued assets in hand
while comfort and serenity retreat to a far land.
Bold, bright patterns of hope garnish my ruinous state
until reality enters, full of disdainful portions of hate.

I sort out the illustrious measures of vision gone mild
only to find them transformed, now vicious and wild.
In my deepest desires I find myself calloused and cold
with faithless advocates whose souls have been sold.

My search finds little to support any hope of relief
far too much time has passed to bolster such belief.
The sad becomes real, and real becomes unfounded
until flights of such fancy are all dead, and grounded.

Nature has informed me of the newly hatched crime
that reality has boasted of proudly, time after time.
The last answer we think of is always the best
as we come to terms with fate, our hope at rest.

~~ gigoid ~~


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Man, n.:  An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Day before yesterday, for some unknown reason, I took a moment during the day to sit down & just go through Smart Bee, to see if it had resolved whatever issue(s) that have been bothering it, preventing it from cooperating with any searches to any appreciable degree…. I don’t know yet if it has resolved those issues, but, this time, it regurgitated so many pearls, all on the subject indicated by the entry above, from the Dictionary I use most often, including, it seems, the concomitant subject of Life at Large, especially as it applies to Life in this country…. It was so prolific I had to create the first-ever 13 star pearl, just to include all the stuff it threw at me that fit…. plus an intro, and a closing pearl, to seal the deal with a flourish…

Enjoy, ffolkes, and don’t worry; this one explains itself as it goes along. You won’t have any trouble keeping up…..

“Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of the colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” — Robert F. Kennedy  Speech, South Africa, 1966

“I am an agnostic; I do not pretend to know what many ignorant men are sure of.” — Clarence Darrow

“He who dies for virtue, does not perish.” — Plautus (B.C. 254-184)

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war.  Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin.  But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.” — Ernest Hemingway (1898-1961)

“Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors and miss.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“If it is not seemly, do it not; if it is not true, speak it not.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, xii, 17

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” — The Constitution of the United States of America Amendment 4, 1791

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

“Aryse ye techno Serfs! Let us seek out the bloated aristocrats, and roast them in their own juice upon the fires of righteousness and justice!” — Dan, rabble rousing the contractors

“In this world there is always danger for those who are afraid of it.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right.” — Laurens Van der Post, The Lost World of the Kalahari (1958)

“The three branches of government: lobbyists, media, PAC’s.” — Smart Bee

“I love my country too much to be a nationalist.” — Albert Camus

See? Told ya…. However, my lawyer tells me I should provide a disclaimer with this one, so, here it is, in all its marginally (il)legal glory….

“I demand IMPUNITY!” — Zippy the Pinhead

YOW!    ‘Nuff said….

So be it….

gigoid has spoken, more’s the pity…..

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So much for planning…. Without going into the details, let me just say…. HONK! That’s all ffolkes, I can do no more damage, and may just cause actual trouble if I continue, so, I’m outta here…. See y’all tomorrow….

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….

 

Waffles, drenched in butter, syrup, and love….

Ffolkes,

Having failed, miserably, to wake up in a timely fashion, I sit now, pale and trembling, to make one last attempt to gain even a smidgen of rationality, or, if that isn’t possible, just a little portion of normalcy. If this attempt fails, we’re going to need to find some other way to make this happen; otherwise, it’s back to the choice between a re-blog, or hitting the archives, a recent habit of which I’m sure the Gentle Readers are getting tired….. Not me, though; it’s kind of fun to go through my older material; it’s been so long since I wrote some of it, it’s like reading something fresh and new….

Today’s instance of obstruction is brought to you by that iconic force of nature, Murphy, who asked me to also mention his myrmidons, who do most of the actual work involved in screwing with people…. In the last few years, Murphy got so busy trying to cover it all himself, he decided to hire on some apprentice assholes…. This gives him more time for planning his little strategies, and once they’ve learned most of the appropriate spells and methods of adjusting reality to suit Murphy’s plans, he is actually planning a vacation, his first in millennia…

I also have to report, with great reluctance, that the Wise Old Pine Cone blew me off for our photo session…. Oh, he called to cancel, but, I was counting on having those pix today, and now I won’t, so, it’s a bit bothersome. I know he couldn’t help it; it isn’t every day one’s favorite niece’s tree reaches their majority (however THAT gets figured; I’m not a pine tree, so, I’m not aware of how they decide that….). Plus, he promised to be back in time to re-do the shoot today; since it’s Sunday, I guess we’ll have time to get it done…..

As might be surmised, I’m wandering again, blathering and spewing nonsense and/or silliness, to fill up this space so we can get on with the rest of whatever this might turn out to be…. It’s certainly not going to be your normal Pearl; it’s already broken out of that mold. Hell, this intro, though resembling others from the past superficially, is far from normal, as is patently obvious, once one tries to look at it through normal eyes…. It is, no doubt, somewhat fuzzy-looking, confusing to read, and causing a vague uneasiness…. Well, that’s how it’s affecting ME, anyway….

I suppose I’ll have to use #4 again today; there doesn’t seem to be any other way to get this done, or even to bring some relevance to what otherwise would fall into the “totally useless” category. This, of course, could never be put directly into that box, as it DOES serve a purpose, even if that purpose is vague and generally undefinable. Everybody needs a hobby, right? So, I’m going to apply #4 now, so, stand back, or stand still….

Shall we Pearl?….

Listen to the MUSTN’TS child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVE’S
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

 — Shel Silverstein


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“Lust of power is the most flagrant of all the passions.” — Tacitus (55?-120?)

This particular pearl is an experiment…. I don’t know what else to do to try to save this, so, I’m picking out pearls, along with articles I’ve read in the last day or two that caught my eye, and either stimulated my ire, or gave me hope…. The part of that which annoys me the most is the fact that these articles are all about MY country, the USA, but, none of this stuff is being covered by any of the American papers or news outlets online that I look at…. and, I try to hit more than one, to get a spread of sources…. The UK Guardian, and the London Daily Telegraph, both publish far more articles than their American counterparts, about issues that concern Americans as well as British citizens.

I’ve noted this for some time now; the American media displays all the symptoms of being controlled by the government, because nothing in the news seems to ever really criticize the idiots who run things….. they merely parrot whatever the pundits say, and report their most ridiculous statements, which are demonstrably fabrications, as if they are gospel truth. I have to go to Europe, it seems, to find anyone willing to be critical of our government, at least to any REAL degree…. The stuff you see in the American press never actually condemns the actions they report; they don’t want to lose whatever sources within the halls of the bureaucrats that they have, so, they toe the party lines, just like good little reporters…

Here’s the experimental part…. I’m going to pick out some pearls, and put them around and between the articles, with the hope that the quotes will bring some clarity and/or open mindedness to the reader, thus enhancing the pearls, and the pearl. I know, it’s a bit confusing, but, hey, what else is new?….. Enjoy!….

“I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science…This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.” — Max Born

There… keep that in the forefront of your mind as you read the articles below, and you’ll be much more comfortable with the resultant conclusions…. Each story is preceded by a pearl that seemed to fit its paradigm…. and the whole mess is closed perfectly by our old friend Pooh, in his evil-twin persona….

“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,”

~~ Emily Dickinson

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/28/leg-government-spying-supreme-court-decision-cellphones

“The child is the father of the man.” — William Wordsworth

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/27/nsa-queries-phone-data-2013-report

“As far as the men who are running for President are concerned, they aren’t even people I would date.” — Nora Ephron

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/28/uk-rendition-flights-diego-garcia

“Ambition is in fact the avarice of power.” — Smart Bee

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/28/illegal-spying-below-blimp-flies-over-nsa-data-centre-in-surveillance-protest

There you go…. I’m pretty sure the experiment failed, though it’s hard to tell from the vantage point of the present time; only the future gives us that sort of value judgments…. But, in the final analysis, a pearl always depends on the final entry to make or break its value point…. and this one is a beaut!…..

” — Bother! said Pooh, as a woozle bit his bottom.”

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

This poem of mine seems to fit the ambiance that we’ve stumbled into today, so, here it is….

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~


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

Okay, so, to make up for the failed experiment, and for the absence of the Wise Old Pine Cone, here are a group of pictures guaranteed to make you go “Awwww”, no matter how grumpily you woke up…. These pix might even be stronger than the need for coffee, so you might want to grab yours FIRST…. All of them were found at the London Daily Telegraph, in two of their photo features, called the Day in Animal Pictures, and Best Animal Photobombs…. all from June 27 or 28, I forget…. I guess that’s close enough for attribution….
0netwogame of bones4567There you have it, ffolkes, a plethora of cuteness to take with you wherever you go today….. I know, it pulls my curmudgeon covers, but, hey, I do what I must to make this a valuable experience for the Gentle Reader, even if it means resorting to pandering….

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This has to be one of the weirdest, most fractured Pearls I’ve ever created…. It is, however, a testament to my dedication to this purpose, because, obviously, I wasn’t much into this today…. not from a creative standpoint, anyway….. Probably has a lot to do with my current mental state, which is somewhat muddled…. No worries, the good thing about this is, I get another chance tomorrow, to try to improve…. Given today’s results, that shouldn’t be too hard to do…. See ya, 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

Further examples of filial chicanery….

Ffolkes,

As some of y’all may have noted, yesterday’s Pearl was disrupted by Reality, whereas today’s will be characterized by Fantasy, or a reasonable facsimile thereof….The most pertinent item I recall seems to be the unexpected increase in planetary gravity that hit about 2 PM yesterday…. Didn’t you notice? It seemed quite significant to me;  I had been struggling all day to keep upright, as the normally severe sucking power of our planet pulled at me constantly, no matter what I was doing…. sitting, standing, walking, typing, driving, all of it seemed harder, as if I were swimming through heavy syrup, or wearing extra bags of sand or something…. By eight o’clock at night, I was exhausted from the effort to remain a simian of the modern variety, standing upright like a true hominid….

And, then, I woke up…. t’was a new day dawning, turning the blues and grays of the morning sky to a pale pinkish blue, lifting spirits along with hopes, unbidden. All the bad, mad stuff that filled the last days was gone, banished to wherever such things go when pinned with the light of day, and I am once again filled with piss and vinegar, so to speak, ready for whatever the new day will bring. Of course, being an inveterate planner, I already know what will happen today, at least, according to my schedule, but, Murphy has a tendency to ignore my schedules in favor of his own, with mine usually ending up in the trash, while I adjust to his…. the asshole….

I’m up at my usual hour, and intend to write as usual…. Intentions aren’t always enough, though, so we’ll see how it goes today. It has to be better than it was the last two days, which, even sans the kind attentions of the Murph, I spent in the dumps, thanks to the gift that keeps on giving (PTSD). I’m all better now, having thrown off the unreasoning sense of anxiety that pervaded my conscious mind, and gone beyond whatever it was that triggered the episode…. Once more, I am completely in the dark as to what that might be; I do wish I could figure it out, as it is a pain in the ass, and if I knew how to block its ascent into my consciousness, I would do so in a heartbeat…. Until I do, I am at the mercy of whatever it is, destined to fall into despair in an instant, never knowing why….

Ah well, so what else is new? Life with PTSD goes on, as I said, yesterday, sort of, if we don’t hang on to it too tight, and I’m determined NOT to grip it tightly enough to hold it in its place…. If you see me doing so, please tickle me, or throw some water, or something to let me know, as I’m done with feeling bad for no good reason…. It’s a waste of time I could use to be doing something more constructive….. Of course, writing this blog may or may not fall precisely into that category, but, it’s what I do, so deal…. And, speaking of what I do….  Shall we Pearl?
_____________________________

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

With this statement, Mr. Mencken has put his finger on the pulse of America, that is for certain. It goes a long way toward explaining why so many people in this country are so willing to believe the outright, egregious lies that are told to them every single day by the officials they elect every year at the polls that characterize our republic…. They do lie, you know, with almost every statement that comes out of their mouths…. They begin with the most important lie they tell, from which all the others spring, and that is the lie they tell when they tell you that they want to be elected so they can work for YOU! Each and every politician learns early in their career, if they are at all to be successful, they MUST portray themselves as a public-spirited, honest, and tireless worker whose only purpose is to make life better for their constituents….

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth…. NONE of them are at all concerned with any of that nonsense; they are there to carry out their own agenda, which has very little to do with what is good for the general run of mankind…. No, they are there to serve the interests of the men and women who pay them, those lobbyists and special interest representatives who run the businesses of the corporate masters.

The people on the street cannot provide them with the perks, or the cash, that the clandestine rulers are able to come up with, other than peripherally, by electing them in the first place…. Once elected, their true colors come out into the light of day, and it can be easily seen how their actions are never congruent with what they have promised to the people who elected them….

It’s all about power and money to these folks, not service. In my entire life of observing politics around the world, I have yet to see a single elected official who could be shown to be honest, not at the national level. The one who came the closest was Jimmy Carter, and his presidency was marked by how little got done, because he was so honest that the true politicians in Congress blocked every reform he tried to institute during his time in office. His actions during that time showed him to be the exception to the usual rule for politicians, which is why, I believe, he was so ineffective as a legislator….

“Invest in America — Buy Japan!”– Smart Bee

Other than Carter, I have seen concrete proof that EVERY President of this country has lied to the American people, not just once or twice, but continuously, about nearly everything. Time and time again, public outcries are heard or seen in the news about some new revelation regarding something some politician lied about, just like it is breaking news or something, when it is actually the normal state of affairs….

I don’t know why it is, but if a man on a TV set, wearing a suit and tie, makes a statement to the public, the general public will believe it, sometimes fanatically, without ever examining it for whether or not it is true… Then, when it turns out they were lied to, they get all upset and vocalize their displeasure, never once admitting it was their own cupidity that allowed the lie to occur in the first place…. It makes me wonder what happened to people in this country, to make them go soft in the head….

“Doctors are the same as lawyers; the only difference is that lawyers merely rob you, whereas doctors rob you and kill you too.” — Anton Chekhov

Did you ever notice how many politicians were lawyers, first? Most of them, as it turns out, for the simple reason that learning to be a lawyer gives a politician two advantageous types of training… One advantage is that law school teaches the student how to lie in every imaginable way, in order to ascertain which kinds of lies are legal…. The other advantage is their primary motivation….

If asked, a very large percentage of lawyers will tell you their reason for becoming a barrister in the first place is that it is a good way to get rich, ( without mentioning, of course, that this is true only as long as one doesn’t give a shit about other people, and what that might do to them)…. In other words they make their money by taking advantage of people’s misery, holding them as hostages against their own destiny, in order to gain resources, i.e. money, and its sidekick, power…..

Then the lawyers realize that their training is perfect for politics…. The ability to lie with facility comes in very handy to anyone who wants to be in the public eye, as that is how one gets elected in the first place…. Tell people what they want to hear, and they will vote for you, every time, coming back to the same trough to eat, even though they get screwed, time after time…. Having the facility to ignore what happens to others, due to their own actions, is the other skill so important to the political set, and the training one receives as a lawyer fits right into that category….

“Watching the democratic party in a presidential contest is like watching a washing machine with a defective bearing:  It starts up smoothly enough, but soon, it begins to wobble and shake, jumping violently from place to place, until it tears itself to pieces, spewing dirty laundry all over the room.” –Smart Bee

Some people will say that there ARE some good lawyers out there, and I won’t argue that…. but, they’re still lawyers, not politicians, aren’t they? They’re doing what they can to help ffolkes find their way through the morass of our legal system to get what they need, even occasionally finding some justice…. But, they aren’t going further, and going into public service, are they? They’re still in place, where they can help, but, they are so few and far between, they are hard to find, and so are very busy, seldom having the time or resources to work against their less honest colleagues. Plus, they really are very few in number, as altruists seldom become lawyers in the first place….

I can see that this has evolved into a full scale rant, and we’ve just begun the day, so I’ll call a halt here. I often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir, anyway, when I go through this stuff again…. It’s all familiar material around here, so it isn’t as if I’m presenting new ideas for your examination…. No, this is all old stuff, and, sadly, doesn’t seem to ever create the outrage that I feel in very many other ffolkes… which is too bad…..  I forget who said that “if you keep on doing things the same ways as you always have, things will always be the way they’ve always been….”, but, they were absolutely correct…. We are on a path to our own destruction, clearly, but, nobody seems to care…

Nobody, that is, who seems able to DO anything about it, and they are the ones who will need to make the changes….. The people in authority over the rest of us are wearing blinders in this respect…. The idea that what they are doing is wrong, and will eventually kill us all, doesn’t fit into their world-view, so they won’t believe it, and will continue to refuse to make any of the changes needed to re-direct our steps onto a path less dangerous.

It is up to the rest of us to get it done, and that may entail overthrowing the current crop of rulers, either by the vote, or by the less agreeable option of using the necessary force, while making sure the new crop will act in OUR best interests, rather than their own…. If it does happen, it will be the first time in history, which is fine with me…. just as long as it is not the LAST time in history….

“… democracy is not something you believe in, or a place you hang your hat, but it’s something you do.  You participate.  If you stop doing it, democracy crumbles and falls apart.” — Abby Hoffman
_____________________________

At least one poem that has been marinating in my head has leaked out this morning, as I suspected it might….. I’m not sure where it came from, or what I should do with it, but, here it is…. any suggestions?….. Be nice, now…. I ain’t Yeats, but, I’ve done worse, too….

A Dubiously Soft Morning

Idiosyncratic images, clamoring for regard,
fill up the white, white screen on which I view
my life, never seeing, nor invited to sup
ambrosial remnants of anything new.

Still, but almost in motion, allegory sails away
bobbing gently, quick and easy to find,
signs of one happy child, seriously at play,
blissfully immersed, focused joy in mind.

Formidable cries of outraged simple justice
echo plaintive relevance, in half the time.
Maladaptive infants, destined for hospice
salvage an only child, daring to sing in rhyme.

Creativity equals unquestioning farce,
often reaching for absurdity, brazenly afire.
Instead, a blow is felt that no joy will soften,
accepting the price, added to the cost of desire.

~~ gigoid ~~

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“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

I like this, mostly because of its clarity and brevity of expression…. It’s perfect no-frills wisdom, with no ups and no extras, all you need for enlightenment in one short, pithy phrase. It also exposes the basic untruth of the mindset against which Thomas Aquinas warned, when he cautioned us to “Beware the man of one book.” I often wonder how the Church scholars managed to rationalize that statement into their set of dogmatic rules, and still canonize Saint Thomas as one of the icons of their faith; this statement is so diametrically opposed to all they teach, how did it become his entry into sainthood, with all the perks that involves, like, I don’t know, what, a better seat at holy dinners?

Any who, all sarcastic smirking aside, it doesn’t make sense, but, then, most of what I have heard and read about the more popular Christian religious sects doesn’t make much sense, either…. People seem to find it compelling, though, and manage to invest a lot of time and energy fulfilling whatever agenda items having those beliefs will engender.

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Lazarus Long

These, to me, are the folks who find it easier to go through life allowing what other people believe determine their own thoughts and feelings, as it is less troublesome for them to have someone else do it for them, than making the effort to understand the world on their own….. I suppose it’s okay, for them, to allow this, but, for me, it would drive me crazy in no time at all to try to believe some of what they would have me believe, because A) It doesn’t make any sense, and B) the assertions made, aside from the fantastic unbelievability of their nature, are offered without any evidence of their veracity, no proof of their actual truth. Given just those two requirements of mine for accepting something as true, none of what I heard in church makes the slightest bit of sense…

But, for well over two thousand years, this church, along with two or three competing churches, with slightly altered versions of the same set of beliefs on the same subject, has attempted to dominate human existence, saying it has the ONLY answers to the eternal questions, to wit: Is there a God? and, if so, What is He/She/It like?…. Simplistic, I know, but, an accurate paraphrased summarization, I think…. Honest, anyway, right? I mean, when one strips down the basic ideas to their bare bones, they sound ridiculous; then, when one sees there is also no real, incontrovertible proof of any of it, beyond logical constructions based on assumptions not proven, they become simply unbelievable, to my way of thinking….

Of course, one must actually THINK about this stuff, and not just assume it is true…. even what I’m saying should be examined for its own veracity…. I think all I need to do to offer proof of most of my assertions is point to either some part of reality, which generally proves without question what is real, or to something in the news that demonstrates the fallibility of what the churches offer as their dogma, which is legion. Then, once the information has been presented, it must be examined for it’s connections to what is real, in order to be able to determine for sure that it IS or IS NOT true…. Sadly, in my experience, most people skip that last step entirely, preferring to go along with what they’ve been told since they were little, because to examine it, one must first accept the possibility of being wrong in the first place…. and, that they are not willing to do….

That is the simple truth folks, no matter how much anyone tries to deny it. Reality determines what is true, not belief, or faith, and nothing anyone can say or do will ever change that simple fact of reality. There are no magic bullets, so, if we want to have magic in our lives, we have to make it ourselves, which leaves out the possibility of depending on anything in nature to do so for us, no matter how much we want it to be so, or how strongly we maintain our faith in what is unreal…. As some other philosopher has stated, “Just because a million people believe something is so, doesn’t make it so…. A lie is still a lie, even if a lot of people believe it…….. or, more colorfully…..

“If you call a dog’s tail a leg, how many legs does the dog have? Four. Calling a tail a leg, doesn’t make it a leg.” — Abraham Lincoln

So, spare me, please, the sermons, and pitying looks, because, quite frankly, the concept of Heaven bores me to tears; it sounds as if the Angel Satan throws a better party, and doesn’t expect his acolytes to curry favor…. plus, they never expect him not to lie to them, as he is right up front about it….

“I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.” — Jack London, Jack London’s Tales of Adventure
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Such an outburst! I can see that I am right to write every day…. This stuff tends to build up if I go too long without letting it out, and there’s no telling what kind of harm THAT may cause to the space-time continuum…. Let’s see if it reads half as well as it flowed out….. Hmph, well, I think that the Pulitzer committee may want to stand down, but, it’s better than most Pearls, all in all, and it’s all freshly made stuff, so, so be it….  WYSIWYG, today, anyway…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Mostly, folks LIKE big portions….

Ffolkes,

Life does go on, if we just let it do so without holding on too tight…. I managed to get through yesterday’s bout of depression, aided ably by my son, who called just to make sure I was okay, which made me cry, but this time in a good way…. I really am proud of the way he has turned out. In spite of the difficulties his life has presented him (some of which were his doing, but, most of which was not….), he remains a generous, caring, compassionate individual, and is living his life with honor, for the sake of his own son. He’s working at three jobs right now, since the modern business model refuses to hire people full time anymore, but still has the time and energy to worry about his old man…. It was definitely an uplifting call…

Today, I am much less bothered by my unwanted feelings of fear and angst; my only tears today are the result of good thoughts and feelings. Strange, how one day can make such a difference in our world; if I didn’t know better, I’d suspect myself of being human, and therefore subject to the whims of Father Time….. Oh, wait, that’s right, I am human, and Father Time laughs at me just as often as he does at anyone, and quite possibly, he laughs harder.

I don’t know if it hits everyone the same way it does me, but this aging process is giving me fits, at least part of the time. Add in the emotional lability to the mix of crap (sorry, couldn’t find the Thesaurus to find the exact right word…. ‘crap’ will do, though….) that aging brings us, and it all gets even more muddled up….

This Pearl is liable to be late getting posted, as I must leave soon to take milady to an appointment, and won’t get back to this for a while…. I could cheat, I suppose, but, after yesterday’s unexpected melt-down, I feel a need to produce a fresher product, without resorting completely to archived material, which is probably better than what I can come up with today, but, seems too much like giving up, or giving in, to my baser impulses, which I do far too often already. One must have a certain degree of honesty with self, or life just isn’t worth living…

Well, it’s like that for those of us raised by master-sergeants, anyway… I can’t say I see the same degree of self-honesty in many of our public figures, whom I suspect are often less than honest, with themselves, and even more often, with us….. Hell, I don’t suspect them of lying, I am sure they are lying to us; I was just trying to be discrete, but, what the hell, they’re up front with the lies, so I’ll be up front in pointing them out whenever I see them…. It keeps me off the streets, and gives me something relatively harmless to do, right?….

I’m blathering again, and meandering, but, hey, that’s what seems to work best here in the intro section. It seems obvious by now that I’m never going to get the hang of it, nor am I going to find a template that can be used every day; that would be too easy, and I’ve come to realize that Murphy is never going to allow that to happen. So, I’m becoming inured to the embarrassment, and calloused about the overall effect on the world at large. It’s just the way it is, and will have to remain, so I, and, concomitantly, you all, will just have to deal with it, because it’s not going to change anytime soon…. Well, not as long as I keep blogging, and who knows how long that will go on? I don’t, so, chances are, it will continue, until, as they are fond of saying in the military, they find someone better, or I’m dead….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

What a beautiful beginning for a rant…. too bad it will have to wait another day….. please see the last section for an explanation, of sorts….
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Theres no poem here…. you may be wondering why, and I will say this… see below….
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“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

Another fine start for a dissertation on a particular religion, but, one that will have to wait, again…. I will reiterate…. see below, please….
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So, here’s what happened… I wrote the intro, and was done at 0730 this morning, whereupon I left to go take care of the business for the day….. As it turned out, that kept me busy, and/or distracted, enough to keep me from finishing this missive…. so, it has to wait until morning…. Rather than worry ffolkes who might wonder what became of me after yesterday, I’m posting this late, for any who care to peruse what is here…. I did like the into, section, after a fashion, and as much as I ever do, so, instead of throwing it out, here it is, in all its glory…. Tomorrow, I promise, I will have a fresh, complete Pearl of Virtual Wisdom for your delectation and elucidation….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

A frail piece, outlined in pink aspic….

Ffolkes,

— Bother! said Pooh, as he realized Piglet was indeed the essence of Chaotic Evil.

As unbelievable as it may seem at first, this is exactly how I feel this morning. Oh, not to worry, Piglet isn’t here, so I don’t have to bother about that, but, I know just how frustrated and surprised Pooh felt when it became clear just what those late night episodes with Piglet meant…. it’s a bummer, to say the least.

The problem is, I have absolutely no reason to feel any such emotions right now…. Oh, there are the usual number of worrisome events going on in my life, the kind that are always threatening to occur, but, nothing that should cause the degree of fear and anxiety that is sweeping through me as I write, and, as has plagued me since getting started today….

Ah, gotta love this mental illness, it’s such a joy. To awaken in the grip of diffuse anxiety, and unreasoning, unspecified fear, with tears, ready to flow, sitting behind the eyes, adding the pressure of filled sinuses to the catalog of the day’s events…. So, you can add a runny nose to all that is bugging me right now, just for good measure….

The pisser remains that I have no good reason to feel like this, in truth; it’s all a gift from my unconscious, which has apparently decided to continue punishing me for allowing myself to become broken, by the work that I did for so long…. I don’t know why it is still so upset; the choice at the time was either to go to work for the state, taking care of the mentally ill, or to go into the Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines (shudder….) and get carted off to play soldier in the jungles of Southeast Asia….

I didn’t use heroin, so I had no investment in fighting over there that at the behest of the government, to protect THEIR drug interests, and had no intention of falling into the trap of lies they told the public, all about how Communism would overrun the West Coast if we didn’t go over there to fight them gooks….. I have no problem with the armed services, only with the illegal use of them for the private interests of the politicians, who lied to the public, both about why the war was necessary, and about why we needed to go there to fight. Since it WAS all lies, I had no compunctions about refusing to participate in it…. Of course, they’re still at it, but that’s another story, for another day….

A lot of my peers went, though, and suffered the hell of being in extreme danger for long periods of time, eventually becoming depressed by their experience in such numbers that the old term “combat fatigue”, around since World War I and II, used to describe how people react to long-term immersion in situations of life-threatening danger, evolved into a new psychiatric diagnosis, called PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder…..

It is a condition with which I can empathize, as well as sympathize, as I fell prey to its depredations in my own work, with dangerously violent mentally ill individuals, who lacked any and all control of their actions, resorting to violence on a regular and frequent basis to achieve their wants and needs…. It doesn’t take bullets flying through the air to make a person afraid for their life, believe me….

Any who, that’s all in the past, but, it does reach out to slap me down now and again, and today is one of those days…  I have a lot to do, out in the real world, so, I’m once again blazing new trails in blogging…. This is all I’m posting today…. just the intro section, and then a teaser for each of the three sections that normally would follow…. I’m so….. fraught, I guess, is the right word…. I’m so fraught with anxiety and distress right now, I don’t even have the wherewithal to use archived material, so, rather than cheat more, I’ll just post again tomorrow, and hope that I still have a Gentle Reader or two out there, hoping to find another pearl of virtual wisdom….

Shall we NOT Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

Tomorrow, I will use this quote by Mr. Mencken as either the basis for a rant (for which it is eminently suited…), or as one of a fine, lustrous old-school pearl on the subject of politics and government, or, as we say around here, we’ll take a few shots at the BRC…. I’m almost looking forward to it….
_____________________________

Here, I’ll post a poem…. duh!
_____________________________

“The belief that there is only one truth and that oneself is in possession of it seems to me the deepest root of all evil that is in the world.” — Max Born, physicist

Boy, if this isn’t another fine rant, waiting to be written…. It almost makes me want to throw off this depression, and start writing…. But, since I still can’t seem to go five minutes without tears starting to flow, we’ll just go on to another day…. Sorry, ffolkes, I hate when this happens, but, it’s best to get past it before I do something stupid, which, as you know, is anathema to my soul….
_____________________________

That’s all I’ve got today, brothers and sisters…. Again, my apologies, or, if I haven’t offered them yet, here they are…. Sorry ’bout that, but, I just don’t have it today, and don’t feel like pretending I do, as is often the case…. I’m going to go let it go now, and go finish crying, so maybe I can get on with the rest of the day without further embarrassment…. If I can find any pride left, I’ll see y’all tomorrow….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Mooning over pugilistic dreams….

Ffolkes,
Salacious, grinning demons haunt the edges of my dreams, claws dripping in the blood of innocence. Hideous screams echo through the dark halls in my mind, as the torturous maze leads me ever deeper into the nightmare of my own mind. No soothing touch is felt on skin numb to all feeling, no mellifluous voice penetrates the foul cacophony ringing in my unwelcoming ears. Time stops, and pain becomes eternal, the focus of all perception, until I awake, groaning in fear, to find myself alive, and whole, shaking, soaked in sweat, and vowing never to sleep again….

Gee, look…. it’s already 0700 in the morning, and I’m just now getting started…. If I didn’t know better, I’d believe I had finally overcome the time distortion suffered when I went to a different time zone for over two weeks…. I knew about jet-lag, but didn’t realize just how powerfully it can affect someone unused to it (or maybe, someone so old…..). It has taken me until this week to feel relatively normal (though, if one is to judge by the first paragraph, normal has a very flexible meaning around here…); I suppose it is only logical, looking at it from the outside, to expect the recovery to take as long as the original change, but it certainly has been enlightening to experience the process from the inside.

I apologize if the first paragraph was too graphic, or negative, for anyone; it just seemed to flow out, as a reaction of some kind to the lack of sleep I’ve known for the past weeks, since leaving for Europe. Due to the absence of normally available substances to assist in getting to sleep, and staying there, during the time I was traveling, my sleep, for the entire time while away, was rather broken up…. Since returning on May 27th, it has taken this long to resume any kind of routine, as my body seemed to resist all attempts to change back to this time zone…. Ah well, persistence has saved the day, and I think from now on, I’ll be able to get back to a more acceptable level of rest at night…. If it keeps me from writing any more horror blurbs, I’ll be happy…. It’s just not my kind of thing, y’know?….

I distinctly remember, at age four, being taken to the movies by my older sister and brother, to see the opening of the (then) new movie, The Creature From The Black Lagoon. Needless to say, at that age, the monster scared the crap out of me, and I spent most of the last hour of the movie in the lobby, waiting for it to end…. While waiting, I remember vowing to myself to never, ever again spend my own money to go see anything that scared me;it seemed to me, even at that tender age, that spending my money on that was silly, or stupid, take your pick, and I wanted nothing more to do with it…. I lived up to that vow, too, and have avoided horror movies ever since….

At about age 25 or 26, some lady talked me into going to see “Jaws” with her, and since she offered to pay, I went along with it, despite my reservations… It was pretty scary, too, right up until that chicken-wire contraption jumped into the boat, coming after the stupid, asshole boat captain…. Since the chicken-wire was fully visible in the movie, when the camera looked straight into the shark’s mouth, in the scene where it grabs the boat captain, it lost a bit of its scariness…. but, it was bad enough that it reinforced my reluctance to watch any other horror flicks…. So, I don’t, which suits me just fine… Life is scary enough; I see no need to pay money to get scared, for any reason….

Now that we’ve taken a trip down memory lane, to no real purpose, it must be time to quit blathering, and get on with the day’s business, such as it is….. I’m really, really late getting started, thanks to Morpheus’ kind attentions, so I may have to dip into the archives for something appropriate, in order to get done, and get on with the rest of today’s planned activities…. So, Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature.  They are all alike founded on fables and mythology.” — Thomas Jefferson

This pearl is a perfect one for a discussion (rant, if you will…) of religion… a religirant, as we call them around here…. Or, it would be, if I had the mental wherewithal to create one today…. Oh, the angst, and the knowledge I need, is all in there, organized to be presented logically…. unfortunately, I don’t have the energy, for some reason. Though I slept well, for me, I’m still tired; probably has to do with smoking, and not getting enough oxygen, or something like that… Regardless of why, I don’t quite have it in me to rant today, so I’m going to sublimate that urge by going with an old school pearl from the archives, which, fortunately for me, is on the same subject, so the above aphorism from TJ fits right in…. Enjoy!….

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

I’m feeling curmudgeonly this morning, but also quite lazy. Therefore, old school pearl…. Here is another one that jabs a pointed stick in the eye of religion, as is fairly common ’round these parts….. All of these historical figures, and modern authors, had something to say on the subject, but all in a slightly different way…. which is what makes life interesting, right? Right…. Enjoy, and pay heed, because otherwise those preachers, they’ll getcha…. and they won’t let go…..

“Human, do you know how interesting it is, this thing you describe? Avata does not have a god. How is it that you have a god? Avata has Self, has the universe. But you have a god. Where did you find this god?” — Frank Herbert

“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_

“In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain.” — Pliny the Elder

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — whoever Google says it was, if not Smart Bee… (sounds like H. L.  Mencken, or Voltaire..) (Huh…. Google attributes this to Ashleigh Brilliant….)

“I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science…This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.” — Max Born

(As perfect proof of this particular assertion, I offer the following unattributed piece of nonsense, that nevertheless is probably one of the most revered items of dogma in many Christian cults…..)

God didn’t call them the 10 suggestions! — Unknown fundie

(If you can’t see how WRONG this statement is, in so many different ways, I have a great deal of pity for you…. Reality is going to really work you over…..)

Under Alabama law, the wearer of a false mustache in church who causes unseemly laughter is subject to arrest.– Smart Bee

Well, there you go…. It all will make sense….. maybe if you just play it backwards….
__________________________________

For some poetry, no introduction is needed…..

Ancient Air

I climb up high and look on the four seas,
Heaven and earth spreading out so far.
Frost blankets all the stuff of autumn,
The wind blows with the great desert’s cold.
The eastward-flowing water is immense,
All the ten thousand things billow.
The white sun’s passing brightness fades,
Floating clouds seem to have no end.
Swallows and sparrows nest in the wutong tree,
Yuan and luan birds perch among jujube thorns.
Now it’s time to head on back again,
I flick my sword and sing Taking the Hard Road.

Li Po.

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Here is a another pearl from the archives, first presented in November of 2012….

I first read a Robert Heinlein novel when I was about 10 years old. Then, when about 11, I read his masterpiece work, Stranger In a Strange Land, and my mind was forever changed. His characters were real to me, and the words they spoke were filled with Meaning and Truth, capitalization required. Over time, he has continued to be my favorite author, and I was saddened beyond measure when he passed on, as was the entire Science Fiction world of readers and authors (I’m sure his editors and publishers were also saddened, but for different reasons, the ghouls…). He was considered, by all of SF fandom, and by all the other SF writers, to be the Grand Master of the genre, deserving every bit of praise he garnered in his lifetime.

His character, Lazarus Long, continues to be my favorite of all his protagonists, though it is a close race with Miss Friday…. Lazarus’ character is one that gave Mr. Heinlein unlimited scope for the wisdom he wished to impart to his readers. At the beginning of the book, Time Enough For Love, Lazarus has just reached the age of approximately 2600 years, having been born in 1912, with that age somewhat skewed by some travel through hyperspace, which does funny stuff to Time.

But, as near as he can remember, Lazarus has survived through all those centuries, and, in the course of the book’s plot, agrees to share some of the wisdom he has collected over the years, in the form of his “Notebooks of Lazarus Long”, a short chapter in the larger book, Time Enough for Love. Here are a few of the most cogent aphorisms in the Notebooks; all of them are used by me on a daily basis, if not more often, and one can do no better than to keep them in the forefront of their mind, to ward off the insanity the world can foist upon us with no notice…..

“Beware of the “Black Swan” fallacy.  Deductive logic is tautological; there is no way to get a new truth out of it, and it manipulates false statements as readily as true ones.  If you fail to remember this, it can trip you – with perfect logic.  The designers of the earliest computers called this the “Gigo Law”, i.e. “garbage in, garbage out”.  Inductive logic is MUCH more difficult – but can produce new truths.” — Lazarus Long

“Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“One man’s theology is another man’s belly laugh.” — Lazarus Long, Time Enough for Love

“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~~ from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long

“If you don’t like yourself, you can’t like other people.”~~ from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long

“Bromidic though it may sound, some questions don’t have answers, which is a terribly difficult lesson to learn.” — Katharine Graham
(Okay, not Lazarus, but, it’s one he might have said, perhaps in the character of Lorelei, or Lapis Lazuli, Lazarus’ cloned twin sisters, had he/she/they thought about it…. )

“Always store beer in a dark place.” ~~ from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” ~~ from the Notebooks of Lazarus Long

That’s enough for one day; Heinlein’s ideas are not as simple as they may appear at first read, and should be absorbed only after considerable rumination over their meaning…. like any chocolate for the soul, it needs to be thoroughly mixed into the milk….     🙂
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Such as it may be, here it is, complete…. Let’s see how it floats…..  Okay, I have to admit it… It’s all a cheat, but it ain’t too bad…. and it’s going out the way it is, so there…. I seem to detect a bit of friction building up in my attitudes… I’d best take a break from this now, or suffer the consequences; that would be totally unfair to y’all, as you’d probably get splashed, or dragged down with me…. Instead, I’ll just say this…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

When budgies sing, eagles sigh…..

Ffolkes,
“I know I’ve asked this before, but, tell me, what happens to the wide-eyed observer when the window between reality and unreality breaks and the glass begins to fly?” — Smart Bee

A little prophetic license is good for the soul, especially in the night ahead of the morning to come. Let us play no sad tunes, now, when we have so much about which to be happy. All is not lost, said the man with all his data backed up….. Too bad that isn’t me…. For the nonce, gute nacht….

Now it is morning for real…. It must be, because I’m confused and dismayed, a sure sign of the rising of the sun. Not that I live in a depressive world or anything like that…. It’s more like a cartoon world most of the time….. Just make sure when you draw the cartoon, you include some sort of representation of Murphy; he likes to be acknowledged for his work. And, right now, he’s working overtime on my account, to be sure…..

A few days ago, I dropped my laptop, at the coffee shop, and it took a hard fall to the tile floor, right out of my backpack, as I was taking it off prior to sitting down & booting up. It behaved okay then, booting right up & acting normal, but in the last three days, it has been playing fast and loose with normality, giving me fits. First, it doesn’t recognize my password, and boots up into a new user interface. So, I restart, and it hangs. Finally, on the third try yesterday, it booted up…. only to find that Smart Bee was corrupted again. Fine….. I uninstalled it, reloaded it, and it is now fine. Now this morning, it is acting strange again, changing the boot sequence, hanging, and generally acting as if its innards are scrambled…

Noooooooo! I can’t take it. Don’t take my computer away from me, not yet. I can’t afford a new one; hell, I haven’t finished paying for this one yet. Please, gods of computers, and Murphy, leave me the fuck alone for another few weeks, please…. Once I get my SS money, then I can afford to back this computer up with another one, but, if it goes out before then, I am up shit creek without the proverbial paddle, for sure and for certain…. THAT would not be a good thing, as it would put me at extreme risk of hurting someone, should they poke at me at the wrong moment….. Since Murphy is the Universe’s biggest coward (he never sticks around to help people clean up his messes, and he never takes responsibility for his actions…. QED….), and won’t face his victims, somebody else would be in jeopardy of answering for his doing this to me…..

I have no choice but to go on as if nothing is amiss….. the Pearls must go out….. I will be crossing fingers, toes, and eyes to make sure the damn thing keeps working, but, if you don’t see me for a day or two, know that I am down, offline, kaput, and won’t be posting every day as I have been. I can post, but it will require some time on the library’s computers, which can be hard to book when busy. Ah well, wish me luck, ffolkes, as I try to keep my world from falling apart, infrastructurally….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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As I suspected, the news has become a desert….. Since the election settled so many questions that had been paramount, there has been virtually nothing going on that is worth any outrage, and certainly nothing that would stimulate enough angst to produce a rant. The Republicans are all walking around shaking their heads, and wondering where they went wrong, or trying to fool the public into believing they are going to cooperate with the administration (a load of crap if I ever heard one….), and the Democrats can’t stop grinning long enough to get anything done yet…. It’s like watching a video of a particularly exciting Sunday School class….. pretty enough, but boring as hell….

A few items worth discussion have come up…. There is more noise being bandied about regarding gun control again, as I see some folks posting statistics about guns and people getting killed…. What, did they think that all of a sudden, after the election, human nature was going to change? It always amazes me how much outrage, and surprise, people seem to exhibit when another atrocity killing is brought out by a news outlet. People are going to lose their cool, and their control…. that is a fact of life, and a law of nature. It isn’t ever going to change, and wishing otherwise is a fool’s game. In addition to this fact is another…. guns are real. When they are used to kill, it is not as if the gun is responsible, yet people seem to think that allowing the government to regulate who can have guns, and who can’t, will somehow stop all that from happening. It won’t, and thinking it will is the worst sort of self-delusion….

“Gun Control – the belief that government, with its great wisdom and moral superiority, can be trusted with a monopoly on deadly force.”– Smart Bee

Smart Bee has hit upon the main argument against gun control as desired by the idiots who think it will help. Sorry, don’t mean to be derogatory, but it is undeniable, inarguable idiocy to think that the government is capable of controlling itself any more than individuals can; what evidence is there to even hint as much? None, none that can be seen, because there is none that can be produced. If you think that the government has even the slightest intention of using such a monopoly with restraint and integrity, well, then, you are in some serious deep shit in your mind, and seriously need to consider therapy.

Hell, just take a look at recent statistics as to how many civilians have been gunned down by corrupt cops…. it may surprise you to see that the numbers are at least equal to, if not greater than those attributed to civilian citizens. In the town I live in alone, there have been at least seven civilian deaths at the hands of police with guns, just this year, and this is not a particularly large town, nor a particularly violent one.

“Most people seem to think that trampling individual rights is OK if it is “for the good of society as a whole.”  However, society is but a large number of individuals, and how can harming the individual parts better the whole?” — Andrew Ford, forda@agcs.com

Hearing a government official claim that by restricting a right it is good for society as a whole is, to me, the very same as hearing someone wearing robes and a conical, comical hat, claim they are looking out for ‘my’ interests over their own…. I’m not gonna buy it, not now, not ever. There is NO TIME when it is acceptable to restrict an individual’s rights, unless their exercise of that right is denying the rights of another. Doing so is entering the slippery slope that leads to the loss of that right. The good of society does not lie in that direction, but rather in a direction that protects that right, and all of the others we were left as our legacy.

Hearing someone say they are acting “for the good of society” reminds me of the thief saying he is taking my things “for my own good”….. it doesn’t compute. Nor would I trust it if it did…. I may be a cynic, but in this case, I’m right…. The beloved ruling class is NOT going to look out for your best interests, or mine…. No matter how often they say they are, or how often they try to convince you, they are NOT going to do that. They are trying to control you, and screw you, and unless you hold on to your rights, and protect them with your own gun, then they will continue to try to take them away…. Sad, but true….

“Sure, understanding today’s complex world of the future is a little like having bees live in your head.  But there they are . . .” — The Firesign Theater, “I Think We’re All Bozos on this Bus!”

I have made friends with the bees in my head, and they know that I am armed and dangerous, to anyone who tries to convince me that our beloved ruling class has my best interests at heart. They don’t, and I know it, and continued attempts to try to convince me otherwise are not only doomed to failure, but are likely to prompt a response they wont’ be expecting, and one they will regret…. If so, well, all I can say is “just desserts”….
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What If

Last night, while I lay thinking here,
some Whatifs crawled inside my ear
and pranced and partied all night long
and sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I’m dumb in school?
Whatif they’ve closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there’s poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don’t grow taller?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won’t bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don’t grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems well, and then
the nighttime Whatifs strike again!

~~ Shel Silverstein
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I’m feeling curmudgeonly this morning, but also quite lazy. Therefore, old school pearl…. Here is another one that jabs a pointed stick in the eye of religion, as is fairly common ’round these parts….. All of these historical figures, and modern authors, had something to say on the subject, but all in a slightly different way…. which is what makes life interesting, right? Right…. Enjoy, and pay heed, because otherwise those preachers, they’ll getcha…. and they won’t let go…..

“Human, do you know how interesting it is, this thing you describe? Avata does not have a god. How is it that you have a god? Avata has Self, has the universe. But you have a god. Where did you find this god?” — Frank Herbert

“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_

“In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain.” — Pliny the Elder

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — whoever Google says it was, if not Smart Bee…

“I believe that ideas such as absolute certitude, absolute exactness, final truth, etc. are figments of the imagination which should not be admissible in any field of science…This loosening of thinking seems to me to be the greatest blessing which modern science has given us. For the belief in a single truth and in being the possessor thereof is the root cause of all evil in the world.” — Max Born

(As perfect proof of this particular assertion, I offer the following unattributed piece of nonsense, that nevertheless is probably one of the most revered items of dogma in many Christian cults…..)

God didn’t call them the 10 suggestions! — Unknown fundie

(If you can’t see how WRONG this statement is, in so many different ways, I have a great deal of pity for you…. Reality is going to really work you over…..)

Under Alabama law, the wearer of a false mustache in church who causes unseemly laughter is subject to arrest.– Smart Bee

Well, there you go…. It all will make sense….. maybe if you just play it backwards….
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Now, this is a Pearl of unusual construction, and more unusual format. Oh, not much is changed, but, enough that I felt the difference as I was trying to put it together. But, it is not really worth discussion, so we’ll ignore it altogether, and get on with the day…. Some might say I’ve held it up long enough as it is…. Not that I care what folks say, much…. only certain folks, which is as it should be, for all of us….. Since I don’t have any idea how to proceed from here, I’m going to have to bring this to a close, as is…..   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!