Bald gestures provide unwarranted relief….

Ffolkes,

“You can lead a yak to water
but you can’t teach an old dog
to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke.”

~~ Opus ~~

Inverness and Invergordon 003

Scottish Coastline near Invergordon


Hajime…. Yesterday, I took advantage of some cat nap time to complete today’s Pearl, which turned a bit epic on me. There’s a fresh discussion of human nature & society, an old poem from 2012, and a rather epic old-school pearl to finish it off. Quite the mess, I should think, which is why the music should make it all better….

Since this is done, for the most part, I’ll stick it in the Tardis, & deliver it to the WP editor in the morning, once we figure out the proper settings. This, of course, is a bonus, because now I can work a day ahead, giving me more time to play with Leelu; the older she gets the more she requires attention, it seems. But, she’s worth a bit of effort, so, no big deal. It does mean, though, this intro will be, once again, shortened more than we are accustomed to find it. C’est la fucking vie, right?

Here is how that works….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Science is what you know, philosophy is what you don’t know.”

~~Bertrand Russell ~~


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bonnie (2)

Bonnie Raitt


Today’s video isn’t a video, though watching Bonnie play is my idea of heaven. I decided to show y’all WHY she is my favorite artist in Rock & Roll/Blues/R&B/Pop/you name it. She plays guitar like BB King, and sings like anyone’s idea of an angel. Plus, hey, red hair & a gorgeous smile, y’know? What’s not to like?…. Here is a compilation from her album(s) of Best Hits…. I don’t have to tell you to enjoy; I know you will. She can rip your heart out. put it right back in, then melt it….

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Bonnie Raitt

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lao

“Nature is not human-hearted.”
 
~~ Lao Tzu ~~


Long before there was much going on in the Western World, other than a few cities in Europe, such as Athens, human thought reached a pinnacle in China, when Lao Tzu shared the Way of the Tao with the world, in the Tao Teh Ching, and in writings we have had passed down through the ages by other scholars who studied the Way. This particular aphorism is one few in today’s world would ever consider, much less use to help themselves deal with the world as it exists….

Life today has become so complicated, it is difficult for even the most competent individuals to maintain any sort of balance in life. Maintaining the basic requirements for a comfortable life takes so much mental & physical effort, very few have the wherewithal to spend more than a minimum amount of time thinking about such things as human nature, the nature of Reality, or philosophy in general. There just aren’t enough minutes in the day. Sadly, by failing to consider notions such as our opening quote, their lives are made even more difficult than it is, or, needs to be.

We, being human, tend to judge the universe, and what happens around us, according to our preconceived, or previously held, ideas of how it works; this tends to lead us to believe in what we want as good, and what we do not wish to be bad, in simplest terms. Such a tendency is reinforced by the structure of society as it is, a society which reflects the nature of its members, to wit: it is believed that humans can control reality to get what they want…. Sadly, this is an illusion, for reality will change, no matter whether we participate in those changes, or not; we have no say in any of that; to attempt to do so only leads to frustration, and conflict, for the universe is what it is, and not subject to our judgment of it.

Thus we have come to a point in history where we are “governed”; society has embraced the illusion that individuals need protection from the universe’s changes, and, government is just the one to do it. For some reason, people have come to believe A) they are incapable of understanding or dealing with life at large, and, B) they need others to help them do so. I’m not sure just how it got established in people’s minds, but, there it is, so, what can we do about it? It isn’t true, by any stretch of the imagination, yet, people still wish for government to order life so they don’t have to think, only do what they are told is right….

This foolish dependency, which has no actual basis in reality, has led to other illusions, which are commonly held to be true. For example, there is the notion of “Rights” which, according to the theory, is something all people should have…. Yet, so far, the only ‘right’ that seems to be ours is the right to live, and, in time, to die…. Beyond that, it’s all a crap shoot, ffolkes, and anyone who tells you otherwise has a hand in your pocket….

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

The other illusion which has plagued the progress of humanity falls into the same category, to wit; humans were created by a supernatural being who cares about them, and wishes them well…. This seems, to me, to be somewhat wishful thinking, for there is no evidence whatsoever to be found which gives any such indication on the part of Reality. Everything else we perceive tells us, simply, our existence matters not at all to Reality. It went along just find before we arrived, and will do so after we have departed this plane of existence… All the available verifiable evidence is clear on this….

Yet, mankind at large seems to prefer to have their thinking done for them; as long as they are reasonably comfortable, the average person will never think of such issues, or use their mind for much beyond deciding which snack to grab at the next commercial. This innate laziness, while useful when applied with rationality, is more than merely harmful when abused in such a way, for it has led us to another issue which, according to the rules of Reality we already know, cannot be ignored, or denied….

“People who take issue with control of population do not understand that if it is not done in a graceful way, nature will do it in a brutal fashion.” — H. Kendall

Yes, ffolkes, the world has become a dangerous place, not because of how we humans have used our capabilities, but, rather, because of how we have failed to take full advantage of them, by learning our own true nature, and how to use those abilities we have to create change, rather than constantly trying to maintain the status quo…. Life is change, and only the dead do not have to obey that law….

“God is not all-powerful as he cannot build a wall he cannot jump.”

~~ Blaise Pascal ~~


See? This is what the human mind is capable of…. a far cry from dogma or kings……

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Comedy_Tragedy

Penance, Made Simple

After all the dross is sent away
a celebration can begin,
time will face up to space, to stay
willing, to shine from within.

Anger and confusion come in to share
brushing reason aside,
eager to welcome all that is fair,
alert to danger, eyes wide.

Re-gift the wicked with their own pain
stand with the just;
fail to partake of the ill-gotten gain,
living in honor, the only must.

Standing fast in the face of wrong
is its own prize and reward.
Holding on to truth makes us strong,
well worth working toward.

Little is left to chance by fate
our lessons are never free of cost.
Seldom does reality make us wait
only when alone, are we lost.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/23/2012


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pearls_3

    Today’s final, old-school pearl is an epic monster, which speaks, in a general, yet incredibly detailed way, of Life at Large, and how to approach it with dignity, serenity, reason, and virtue…. And, why not? The world needs all the virtue, and reason, it can get just now, trust me….

***********

All nature is but art, unknown to thee;
All chance, direction, which thou canst not see;
All discord, harmony not understood;
All partial evil, universal good;
And spite of pride, in erring reason’s spite,
One truth is clear, Whatever is, is right.

~~ Alexander Pope — Essay on Man, Epistle i, Line 289 ~~

***********

“He would be the finer gentleman that should leave the world
without having tasted of lying
or pretense of any sort,
or of wantonness or conceit.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, ix, 2 ~~

***********

“To different minds, the same world is a hell, and a heaven.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Journal”, 20 December 1822 ~~

***********

“A good listener is not only popular everywhere,
but after a while he gets to know something.”

~~ Wilson Mizner ~~

***********

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in
silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all
persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to
the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive
persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser
persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep
interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the
world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the
grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things
of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do
not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and
loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a
child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to
be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is
unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive
Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of
life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”

~~ Max Ehrman, “Desiderata” (1927) ~~

***********

“… as sight is in the body, so is reason in the soul…”

~~ Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics ~~

~~ Bl. I, Ch. 6, 10966, lines 29-30 ~~

***********

“[T]he earth does not belong to man;
man belongs to the earth.
This we know.
All things are connected
like the blood which unites one family.
All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth
befalls the sons of the earth.
Man did not weave the web of life;
he is merely a strand in it.
Whatever he does to the web,
he does to himself.”

~~ Chief Seattle, 1854 (c.1786-1866) ~~

***********

“There is no wealth but life.”

~~ John Ruskin ~~

***********

“Because I have loved life,
I shall have no sorrow to die.”

~~ Amelia Burr ~~

***********


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Done; not merely done, but, done a day early. Not bad for an old fart. Since I’ve probably tortured enough people for one day, I’ll take my leave without fanfare, merely a quick bow, and exit, stage right… or left, or down, which is, I guess, the proper direction to send you. See y’all tomorrow, if the plan comes together…. Looking good so far….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

He shrugged his sunburned shoulders in reply….

Ffolkes,

Winding ever upward, the road grew steep. Trudging along the roadside, next to the cliff falling away toward a glistening ribbon of water, thousands of feet below, an old man, grey hair falling down his back to his hips, leaned heavily on the staff he is using to push himself each weary step up the mountain’s eastern flank. Worn and bent, he struggles slowly, the small pack on his back seemingly bending him into submission, hour after hour, making slow but steady progress toward the pass, a thousand feet higher yet….

As the sun moved over the mountain to the west, the road, switching back as it climbed, came into shadow, which seemed to energize the old man; his steps became longer and stronger, increasing his pace incrementally, until he no longer paced the snails, but, strode up the mountain as if on level ground….. By the time he reached the pass, he had completely changed appearance; no longer bent, or seemingly weary, he stopped at the summit, to peer into the valley below, now fully erect, glowing with strength…. As he stood gazing into the distance, the sun sunk below the far horizon, throwing the entire world into dusk….

Well, ffolkes, there you have my version of the opening of a vampire story…. I can tell you now, it will never be written, not beyond where it is now, as I really have NO interest in writing about vampires…. Not that I am prejudiced against that genre of literature (yes I am….), but, really, who cares about some insane living dead person, or how they get along trying to deal with immortality, living nocturnally, and the whole blood-sucking issue…. I know it is a classic, lending itself naturally to plots involving morality, ethics, religion, and all the other mystical trappings that go along with such mythical creatures….. and is immensely popular among the weak-minded….

Myself, I never saw that much in it, or was impressed by their so-called powers…. Okay, so they can’t die, again, in the normal sense…. but, I’ll bet, if they take a shotgun blast to the head, maybe a couple of times, I don’t think they’re going to want to do much…. Hell, separating that head from their torso, say, with a katana…. (That is a Japanese samurai sword, razor sharp, able to perform beheadings with one stroke…. in the right hands…) Well, I’d like to see one of them regenerate THAT, once the head and body are a few meters apart…. Okay, so, not the nicest visual image to go along with breakfast…. what were you thinking, anyway? Runny eggs and floppy bacon…. I shudder to think about it….

Any who, undercooked pig meat and chicken embryos aside, the above, though not necessarily my cup of coffee (I updated that phrase to suit my preferences….), could conceivably become part of my skill set…. But, that would happen only if I chose to develop those chops, and that just isn’t going to take place, not in this century, and, unless medical science takes a leap forward pretty soon, my chances of seeing the next one aren’t too good…. Long odds, for sure; not impossible, given some of the advances I’ve heard about (the research going on with stem cells, and nanotechnology, is incredibly encouraging in re: increasing the human life span….), but, definitely not a sure bet.

More likely, I’ll be gone by the time this century reaches the half-way marker, as that will mark my 100th birthday. I’m pretty sure I’m stubborn enough to make it that far, but I’m also smart enough to realize that, unless some medical magic happens, I probably won’t last much longer than that…. If my current condition is any indicator, getting to 100 will be a definite challenge…. That’s okay, I’ve tried to live my life with the American Indian point of view, to wit: “Today is a good day to die”…. I’ve always liked that phrase; it implies a life lived with passion, and ethics, and strength of character, all of which I hope to continue to hold as the driving forces in my life….

Okay, that’s pretty pompous, but, hey, that doesn’t make it any less true…. It also, by golly, takes us far enough from our opening lines to call this an intro, and a damn decent one at that…. Well, maybe it DID wander a bit, but, it never got completely off the rails, and that is a good sign…. It’s also, as I see, a bit long, but, what else is new? My ability to blather without cease is a finely honed skill by now, so, that’s only to be expected when I get going like this….

I had intended to lament my new routine morning-mind, which seems to require at least 45 minutes, minimum, before it will even consider composition, or creative imagery…. but, then I got caught up in the story line, and lost track of my initial plan in the thrill struggle involved in creating a new story line… Since serendipity has forced its way into the room, let’s let her sit down, and have a cup of coffee…. I always make plenty….

Shall we Pearl?….

A few can touch the magic string,
And noisy Fame is proud to win them;
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!

— Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) — The Voiceless

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I first read the Desiderata when I was in college, at UC Berkeley in the late 1960’s. It underwent a revival then, as much of it fit into the philosophy of peace that most of the “hippies” of the era took as their own, including myself. I’ve heard arguments that it is too positive, too fanciful about the beauty in life, and doesn’t fit in with a realistic outlook on life…. Well, bullshit….

Yes, it’s positive, but, it’s meant to be. I’ve gone through it, and set apart with bold, italic lettering a few of the most influential phrases from the treatise. Below that, I’ve put the same phrases, as I would if they were pearls, to demonstrate the power of what they have to say. These five statements, or pieces of advice, if you will, have been the pillars upon which much of my philosophy of life rests. I’ve used them countless times in my life, to encourage myself, to admonish myself, and, in general, to provide me with a blueprint for acting rightly, out of right thinking, and compassion…. So, screw the curmudgeonry, that CAN be detrimental, and live your life with this sort of outlook; you’ll find yourself more content than, perhaps, you have ever been… Enjoy!….

Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

 — Max Ehrman (1872-1945) – “Desiderata” (1927)


Listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly.

Be yourself.

Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.

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

A little change of tempo, without losing quality at all….

Drinking Alone

I take my wine jug out among the flowers
to drink alone, without friends.

I raise my cup to entice the moon.
That, and my shadow, makes us three.

But the moon doesn’t drink,
and my shadow silently follows.

I will travel with moon and shadow,
happy to the end of spring.

When I sing, the moon dances.
When I dance, my shadow dances, too.

We share life’s joys when sober.
Drunk, each goes a separate way.

Constant friends, although we wander,
we’ll meet again in the Milky Way.

~~ Li T’ai-po ~~


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I had promised to put another episode of the adventures of Wise Old Pine Cone, but, once again, I got usurped by his schedule, which, apparently, blew up…. I’ll get some pictures of him and his paduan as soon as I can, but, he won’t give me a solid commitment on a day yet, so, I can’t say when that will happen…. In the meantime, here is an old-school pearl, fresh as a daisy, though not as cute…. We’ll go with random, harlequin style, no set parameters, and no paradigms…

“I want everything to be explained to me or nothing…. The absurd springs from this confrontation between the human call and the unreasonable silence of the world.” — Albert Camus (1913-1960), The Myth of Sisyphus (1955)

“Dust is an armor of poor quality.” — Smart Bee

“Ambiguity is invariant.” — Hartz’ Uncertainty Principle

“Who sees all beings in his own Self, and his own  Self in all beings, loses all fear.” — Isa Upanishad

” — Bother! said Pooh, as he stomped Barney’s butt to Jello.” — Smart Bee

“Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her. But once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.” — Voltaire

“Do I look like someone who cares about what God thinks?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Any time a pearl comes with Camus, the Upanishads, and both evil Pooh and Zippy, it can’t go wrong; I offer the above as certifiable verification of that…. This is a special pearl, ffolkes…. Not only is it powerful, erudite, and funny as hell, it took maybe a minute and a half to collect; Smart Bee obviously had been prepping for this, as I looked at a total of 17 pearls to collect this seven…. that’s an INCREDIBLE percentage, compared to normal reality’s output…. This one will, no doubt, be useful to read again in the future; I guarantee that each time you read it, you will get something new from it…..

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Well, that went a lot better than I’d hoped, or expected. I’m not even going to look in the horse’s mouth; I’m just going to bid thee adieu, until tomorrow, given just a bit of luck…. 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

A pleasing sound of running water….

Ffolkes,

Like milk, spilling out of a cereal bowl, fog poured over the rim of the mountain, white, cold, pushing frigid gusts of wind ahead as it rushed down the side of the hills, swooping swiftly toward the camp in the trees at the foot of the peak. As darkness begins to thicken among the trees, the camp’s inhabitants snuggle deeper into their blankets, secure in their tents, heedless of the mist gathering between, turning the air surreal in the twilight. Dim shapes of sentries move around the perimeter of the camp, rifles at the ready; fog made their job more difficult, causing each to narrow eyes to peer into the gloom, and grip their weapon tightly, in fear of what could no longer be seen….

Enough, already…. My old friend is back, and I’m not a particularly happy camper, myself, this morning…. hence, the little fictional opening, to loosen up the old neurons, hopefully with a bit of style, while waiting for my magic cream to take effect enough to let me sit…. Great fun…. But, I’m determined to get this done, regardless of how I feel, so, I may as well get on with it…. no whining allowed today….

I am going to cheat a bit…. I have a lot to do today; this will need to get done, so I can do it all before I give out…. an event I can already predict to occur sometime around 11 AM…. By then, the pain, and gravity, will knock me down and out for an hour or two, so I can get something else done this afternoon…. Sheesh, you’d think I was still working, or had kids or something…. No, just duty, and obligatory completion of same, so, as I said, no whining allowed….

However, that is why this intro is so short, and lacking in rational organization; I just dived in without any plan, other than to get done as quickly as I can…. I am even going to resort to method #4, early in the game, to get us out of the intro without any fuss…. In fact, I see it coming up now, so, I’ll see you in the next section….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“The writer who loses his self-doubt, who gives way as he grows old to a sudden euphoria, to prolixity, should stop writing immediately: the time has come for him to lay aside his pen.” — Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

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

The following is a fairly long diatribe, that served me well a few months ago; it was first posted two years ago, and by golly, is still valid…. so, please enjoy…..

From 1/12/2014:

Perception is, perhaps, the most elementally intricate quality we possess as living creatures. Through the five-plus senses we bring to the process, we receive information from the universe that gives us what we require, in order to be able to interact with Reality, (another term for the Universe… for the purposes of this discussion, anyway….)  in some sort of way that is meaningful to us.

This information comes to us in a variety of forms, and our minds must utilize the complex, yet subtle qualities of imagination, reason, logic, and all those mental functions that our minds have discovered to organize the information, functions whose etiology are basically unknown to us, as part of our basic nature. We don’t think about, or feel in any way, the process of seeing, or smelling, or touching, except in the context of the sense itself…. We just DO it….

Yet each sense is such that it works WITH all the others, in ways we don’t really understand, to give us the pictures in our heads that show us how our minds perceive the world outside us…. We, being the imaginative creatures we are, have evolved all sorts of ways to organize and utilize our perceptions, all of which are again connected (remember that complexity part…) to another facet of Reality, which is our motivation for what we do, an outgrowth of our judgments of what we perceive…. We perceive, we judge, we act on that judgment, all according to our basic outlook on life, and how we choose to accept, and use, what we perceive….

This subject, I know, is a  bit esoteric for such a venue, but, I’m leading up to a point, which is this…. We all perceive the world differently, but, that doesn’t mean the world takes that into any account…. It’s one of our hardest lessons to accept when we are forced to admit that the Universe, in all its majestic glory, couldn’t give a tiny little crap for us, or for what we think of the way things are…. If we choose to interact with it in such a way that we are breaking the basic rules that everything works by, then we will have to pay the price, in the only way that the Universe uses to exact payment, to wit: extinction….

Now, given that, it seems to me that my ranting about all of this*** is a bit like that ant crawling up the elephant’s leg, with belligerent intentions…. In short, it’s not really a productive way to achieve whatever it is I’m trying to do, as I can see only one possible outcome, which, the odds, and logic, would tend to dictate doesn’t include any need for any worry on the part of the elephant…. All that is a long winded, pedantic way of saying that my rants, while satisfying on a personal level for the release they provide, are mostly a waste of breath, in a practical sense…. Nothing will change because I rant, in spite of the need for change being the whole purpose behind the rant…

The major part of that reason, I think, lies in the fact that I’m preaching to the choir…. None of the ffolkes, or folks, who read my blog, (with the possible exception of any bored NSA drones who may be assigned to do so merely because of my anti-government stance, shown by the  use of key phrases indicating my opposition….), are in any position to make any of the changes themselves, even though many of them would be willing to do so, I think…. But, the people who inhabit the halls of our government in Washington, and in other capitols around the world, DON’T read my blog, nor do they agree with most of the things about which I rant….

Why is that, do you think? Why don’t the people who govern us agree with any of what I say in my rants? It’s all stuff that can be proven, and is certainly important enough to all of us to warrant discussion… But, they don’t agree… They have their own agendas, which don’t look like anything that anyone in the great unwashed masses could come up with, even though they supposedly represent US…. These are our representatives, ffolkes…. I found this short comment in an old Pearl, which I think sums up most of my point pretty well…..

(From May 12, 2012):

“Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?” — John Milton (1608-1674) — The History of England, Book iv

Did you ever wonder why a group of crows is called a congress? I didn’t. It makes perfect sense to me…. Dark, sinister looking creatures who act in odd ways, even for birds. Their behaviors tend to lean toward stealing shiny objects from wherever, or stealing the food of people or other animals and birds. When they speak, it is in a voice that grates on the ear like fingernails on a slate. In groups, they mill around, cackling and grumbling and jostling each other, until they all fly off to different areas to carry out whatever nefarious schemes they have hatched among themselves.

No, I have no problem envisioning a congress of crows; in fact, I believe they are in session, now, in Washington, D.C. …. Why, look! Here’s a list of them now!…..

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/01/10/congress-is-mostly-full-of-millionaires-but-who-are-the-richest/#19551101=0

Them’s some affluent crows, ain’t they?…. That’s what happens when any politician is given the keys to the treasury….. One last query…. Who gets to say how much money members of Congress get paid? Answer: They are authorized to set that themselves…. Okay, one more… Who authorized them? Why, they authorized that themselves, of course….

I’m tired now…. I’ve managed to spout off now about the Asininnies, or, at least, about the 545 of them who inhabit the top levels of OUR democratic bureaucracy, for a good, oh, thousand words or so, and once again, it will end up being read by those who mostly agree… (I’m making the assumption, reluctantly, but, with confidence, that if they DIDN’T agree, they’d leave a comment to say so…. I know MY Gentle Readers would do so….), so, I’m perfectly aware that no changes will happen because of what I’ve written….

I don’t FEEL any better, either, damn it!…..  😦

***  It must be noted that “all of this” should be understood to include: global warming, and the impending ecological disaster, overpopulation, criminality of the Asininnies, most especially the egregiously selfish actions of the Beloved Ruling Class, the Shadowy Corporate Masters, Snakeheads in general, (human predators…. pimps, slavers, pedophiles, and the ilk…), and the Priestly Hierarchies….. Oh, yes, and, on the rare occasion,  exposing Pooh’s evil twin….

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

As is my wont, here is a poem of my own, to prevent sharing the blame, which is more certain around here than sharing the wealth…. there isn’t a lot of that floating around…. I’m wealthy in friends and family, but nothing that could be deposited in a bank…. This MAY be my best poem, period; it was written 2/2/2012…..

Gently Came a Wounded Child

But you shall not escape my iambics.

Soft, sinuous patterns of unearthly beauty
blithely commune with sinking stars,
as pale shadows of former virtue hover
near, ever clean, ever tolerant.
These unbidden habits are worn with age and care,
ready now for dissolution,
welcoming gladly the kiss of Death’s handmaiden.

Unknown to all, the child stands aside,
weeping for the lost days of youth,
days that now shall never be,
nor yearned for ever after.
Only darkness shall lay upon the landscape,
cold, hard, eternal.

Such then are the signs and portents
as we enter into the unknown future,
they are grave indeed.

Uncertainty will be our sole companion,
as the search for hope yields no result.
The lamentations of the gods
shall sound the elegy for Man,
who never learned to see the gift that was made,
so many echoes ago, in the hopeful past;
thus will we pass this plane of existence
as we came, baffled and afraid….

~~ gigoid ~~

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

Fortunately for us all, old-school pearls don’t take a long time to create, as long as Smart Bee isn’t playing games at Murphy’s behest…. We’ll see how it does before settling on an archived example…. We’ll leave the parameters random, so SB doesn’t feel constrained to stick to our usual subjects, & see what happens…..

“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.” — US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

“I think the mistake a lot of us make is thinking the state-appointed  psychiatrist is our “friend.”” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle if it is lightly greased.” — Kehlog Albran, The Profit

“Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative.” — H. G. Wells

“One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” — Maya Angelo

“If the government doesn’t trust us with our guns, why should we trust them with theirs?” — Smart Bee

“What you think means more than anything else in your life. More than what you earn, more than where you live, more than your social position, and more than what anyone else may think about you.” — George Adams

“Is this an out-take from the “BRADY BUNCH”?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Hmm… I suppose one can’t complain about quality when in a hurry like this…. It’s okay, it’s just not going to wake up the Pulitzer committee…. I can deal with that, since I’m done…. HAH!

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

You know it’s been a tough Pearl when I come this close to including the Desiderata…. which is fine, but, a bit sappy. I know it’s just a made up philosophy, thrown together by a song-writer in the early twentieth century, but, a LOT of what is in there has been of very good use to me, in terms of being good advice on how to live life with some dignity and grace…. But, that’s a story for another time…. This Pearl is done, and I’m outta here…. 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

Bedraggled remnants are all that remain….

Ffolkes,

One might think that today’s title was an entry for a contest, or something equally inane(insane?); how else to explain such an outburst of unwanted, uncalled-for alliteration? I’m not sure what came over me, except it SEEMED like the right thing to do at the time…. which, I suppose, could be said to be a rather universal excuse for some people…. We all make mistakes (see: Theory of Bozoid Tendencies….), but, mine are often so egregious, it can take months for me to overcome whatever handicaps I’ve created for myself by giving in to the bulbousness….. This morning’s title may just fit into that category, as it is obviously something thrown together at the last moment, and settled on with reluctance….

In fact, I’m going to make this entire opening a wash, and go change it…. It’s really terrible, and I don’t think I want people to associate my name, or this blog, with such crap…. although why that should bother me NOW, I don’t know… Regardless, it’s got to go… I’ll be right back…. There, much better…. This one has all the characteristics of a decent title, with just a bit of uncertain implication, and some shy uncertainty, to draw in the interest of any readers flashing by…. We’ll go with this one, so forget the first one, & act like it never existed…. which, for you, I suppose, it didn’t, as you never saw it at all…

This, of course, means this intro is now completely off-kilter, and possibly more than just a little confusing…. Since the first paragraph makes references to which you have no connections, and thus, no possibility of ever making any sense of any of it, I’ll just tell you now, FORGET THE DAMN TITLE!…. It never has anything to do with what is in here, and never makes any sense anyway, so trying to fit my titles into some slot isn’t going to work…. they’re just not made for that…. Suffice it to say at this point…. the first title of today’s Pearl was really, really badly done, so I got rid of it, and you’ll never know just what it said, other than knowing all the words began with one letter (outburst of alliteration, yes?)…..

That being said, I think it’s best now if I just give up…. Not forever, just for now, because, let’s face it, this intro is history, in terms of ever becoming what it was supposed to be…. I’m not sure I can even make it work for today’s Pearl, except it HAS to work, because I’m just not going to start completely over, not even at 0405 in the morning…. Not even Murphy can make me do that, hard as he has tried, so, I’m certainly not going to do it to myself…. that would be even more bozoid than is common for me, and not a habit into which I intend to lock myself…. So, we’re going to once again employ emergency method #4 to get us out of this…. That’s the one where I deny everything, ignore the previous paragraphs completely, and just go on, like this…..

Shall we Pearl?….

” The shortest distance between two points is off the wall.” — The Abrams’ Principle
_____________________________

This link is to an article that details some pretty obvious, but, let’s be fair, and call it alleged, political corruption, on the part of a Democratic state legislator…. You can read it, but, it really doesn’t have much to do with the discussion that comes afterward, other than peripherally, as just an extra set of data to add to the whole concept under discussion….

So, not reading it, or waiting until later to get to it, would be acceptable, and, possibly, less confusing…. It can be confusing enough around here without providing any assistance, so, just skip on down to the rant, then, if you wish, you can read later about the naughty California fat-cat politician, and his weak-willed brother….. They’re only willing dupes and/or ignorant pawns in the scenario about which you’ll read below….

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/State-Sen-Ron-Calderon-brother-indicted-5256860.php

With the above link, I began collection of a number of links to articles that would demonstrate a point I intended to make regarding the way the administration in current power in Washington DC manipulates the news so efficiently, and so effectively, in terms of fulfilling the agenda THEY have in place for how events should proceed….

Then, I stopped collecting links, and articles, when I realized just how thoroughly the media manipulates itself, as well as the public it purportedly serves, in directions it is not aware of, out of ignorance, lack of cohesive communication, and an unfortunate tendency to avoid what makes them uncomfortable…. along with not being smart enough to see what stares them right in their own faces…. I realized this entire process is so entrenched in society, we aren’t even aware of it most of the time, which is how the SCSM’s like it….

http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2014/02/21/judge-on-muslim-surveillance-any-harm-is-the-medias-fault/

See? It’s the media’s fault…. so says a judge, firmly in the pocket of the corporate masters…. Now, even those who decide what gets into the news are being manipulated, by those who own EVERYTHING, (aka, the SCSM’s, the Shadowy Corporate Slave Masters….), said manipulation having just one primary purpose, to keep their existence, and the machinations with which they control society, OUT of the public eye…. If a majority of the common people, to wit: the public, ever realized exactly how FEW are those who control 99% of all the resources on this planet, and the degree of power those few possess over the rest of us, in their insane quest to control it all, those few people wouldn’t stand a rat’s chance in a colony of cats….

The true rulers of mankind, the shadowy mega-corporate slave masters, who control virtually ALL the money and resources in the world, if unmasked, and made to acknowledge their crimes against humanity, committed over thousands of years, in their selfish quest for power, would be be hunted down and ripped limb from limb, slowly, by angry mobs, wherever they were revealed, all over the world…. a risk of which they are well aware ….

These are SMART, ruthless, self-centered people, who have absolutely NO compassion, or concern for the rights of anyone outside their immediate circle, and they’ve had long years of practice at hiding their existence, and their actions, from the general public’s eye…. The actual number of people in this clandestine group of mega-rich individuals is actually far smaller than 1% of the total world’s population, so few, their very lack of numbers makes all of what they’ve accomplished that much more of a risk for them….

They are fully aware of the danger of having their nefarious activities exposed to the public eye; they take extreme care to never let their faces become known, or, if so, only in ways that would fool the public into believing they are saintly philanthropists, making them beloved by the people for their generosity…. Long, drawn-out, agonizing, vicious, inhumanly torturous deaths would be their lot, should the downtrodden poor, and the ignorant, delusional middle classes, ever find out the truth of their slavery…. which would only be right, given their willingness to use the same violent methods as part of their own bag of tricks, which they are all-too-willing to employ, in service of their need to dominate….

Hence, as it stands today, we have their centuries-long charade, to keep themselves, and what they do to keep their control of events, from ever becoming common knowledge…. If such knowledge became known to the world at large, it would mean their death, for certain, and they know it….. But, I don’t think they’re too worried, at this point….

They have too much control over what people see, and hear, in terms of what is actually taking place in the world…. These people control governments, newspapers, corporations, television networks, and every channel of communication present in the world…. Even the Internet is under their control, as they have the power to shut it down, whenever they wish…. As we were taught by Muad ‘Dib, true power is the ability to destroy what is necessary to survive….

But, the use of such extreme force isn’t necessary for them to employ, yet, as they also have the resources to employ as many idiots writing for their side, as there are people such as myself, writing to try to expose their evil to the light of day….. Hence, the message I, and others like me, try to send is diluted before anyone ever sees it…. Simple enough, from their point of view, but, then, they wouldn’t have allowed the advent of the ‘Net, if they thought it would be their undoing….

Having the Internet may help us, though, by increasing our own abilities, and opportunities, to spread information, even if the odds of their winning, as they have for so many millennia, are not appreciably altered…. Mankind has always been under the clandestine control of these assholes…. That’s why we are in the mess we’re in…. So, let THEM figure out how to survive what even they don’t understand….. I don’t think they have any clue as to the Hell they have unleashed on themselves by not accepting the reality of global warming, and I’m almost looking forward to seeing it hit them, and watching them cry like babies when they understand what they’ve done to themselves….

They’ve done to us all, I know, but, they won’t care about that, so, I’ll take my pleasure from knowing they’ll suffer worse than the rest of us, because it is they, themselves, who MUST face up to reality, and not having a choice in that is something at which they have no experience at all…. I won’t feel any better, but, it will help make it more palatable, to know they’re going down, too…. This is a situation their sense of entitlement, (which, like any such emotion, isn’t going to alter reality…), isn’t going to get them out of having to face up to in the end….

“A duty dodged is like a debt unpaid; it is only deferred, and we must come back and settle the account at last.” — Joseph F. Newton

Whether anyone, 99%er, or 1%er, likes it, or not, this is what I would call a universal truth, in that, for us humans, it comes true, universally, whenever it is tested in reality….. Translated into more simple, more specific terms… whether we like it or not, our account with reality on this planet is about to come due, and it WILL be settled…. Like it or not, we WILL be judged, according to whether or not our duty to the planet has been met, or deferred until now…..

Since, to my way of thinking, the people who made the decisions about how the resources were used are the ones who assumed the duty, they should be the ones to answer…. Unfortunately, ALL of us have to answer for what they’ve done, because they, being the cowards they are, won’t ever take responsibility for it…. They’ll still reap their share of the reward, because reality knows who is responsible; NOBODY skips out on their bill in this restaurant…. I don’t think they’re going to enjoy their reward, though….

“I had a friend who was a clown.  When he died, all his friends went to the funeral in one car.” — Steven Wright
_____________________________

I am fully aware this is not a poem….. but, it doesn’t have to be if it doesn’t want to….. It’s a leftover piece of my history, which I, along with many young people, discovered during the 60’s, when the piece experienced a revival of interest, fifty years after it was written, by the Hippies, such as myself, who embraced this somewhat naive manifesto as part of the philosophy of love and peace they developed during those turbulent years…. You can consider this, if you wish, as an example of “pulling  my covers” as a closet romantic, and a hopeless optimist, who believes we humans are filled with such beauty of spirit, the universe will not allow us to perish…. It’s a fantasy, I know, but, hey, it FEELS better than all the doom and gloom in which I normally engage around here…. So, enjoy this little break from the heaviness, and take this to heart…. It’s naive, and somewhat unschooled, but, it’s all good advice, for sure…..

Desiderata
 
(1927)

“Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all
persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.”

~~ Max Ehrman ~~

_____________________________

I’ve gone and screwed the pooch again, but, that’s neither here nor there…. it’s merely for me to note, and try to fix…. Any whom, here we are, once again, all the way in section three, with a rant under our belts, and a decent entry for section two, in spite of its less than perfect rhyming patterns…. which are especially apparent, since it ISN’T a poem…. S’okay, though, cuz I don’t give a shit, mostly…. We’ve gotten this far, nobody is bleeding, and we haven’t had to call for any expert help for ANY of the usual reasons; I’m happy with how it’s gone so far, and you should be as well, whether you realize it, or not….

All of this blather and dross is merely a fill-in, you know, as the time for actual work approaches…. In fact, it’s approaching at such a rate as to make me quite nervous, so, I’m going to drop all the pretenses, and get on with this pearl…. It will be, naturally, an old-school pearl, without parameters, other than a vague desire to laugh…. at myself, at the world, at y’all, I don’t care…. Let’s see what Smart Bee can find today, shall we?…..

OPTIMIST, n.  A proponent of the doctrine that black is white.

A pessimist applied to God for relief.
“Ah, you wish me to restore your hope and cheerfulness,” said God.
“No,” replied the petitioner, “I wish you to create something that would justify them.”
“The world is all created,” said God, “but you have overlooked something — the mortality of the optimist.”

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Govern a family as you would cook a small fish – very gently.” — Chinese Proverb
(This truism is also applicable to governing a nation…..)

“I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” — Stephen Roberts

“Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

“It’s green.” — Scotty
(Yep. It sure is….)

— How many dead politicians does it take to change a light bulb? As many as possible. — Smart Bee

— Bother! said Pooh, as a woozle bit his bottom. — Hoop (Pooh’s evil twin….)

The process of creating pearls remains a mystery, as does the point of many of them, such as this one, whose meaning has reached levels of obscurity previously unknown to mankind…. But, hey, it all SOUNDS really cool, doesn’t it? And it’s so pretty!…. Well, maybe not, but, it really does have a point, and, it really isn’t ALL that obscure…. But, if I don’t create a little confusion, where would the fun be for any of us?….. Hah! Gotcha there, didn’t I?….
_____________________________

Beneath this stone lies Murphy,
They buried him today,
He lived the life of Riley,
While Riley was away.

I found the above in Smart Bee, just as I was finishing up the pearl in section three…. I almost soiled myself in excitement, until I realized it probably was just a joke…. Boy, though, wouldn’t THAT be good news?…. Any who, I think I’ve done as much damage as possible for one morning, so, I’m wrapping this up, just like a piece of fish, and taking it to the marketplace to try to get rid of it….. Wish me luck, ‘kay?  See you tomorrow, with a bit of luck….

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

dozer3

Some crumbled eggshells will help clarify it….

Portions of today’s Pearl were written beginning on 12/24/12, with contributions made each day thereafter. Hence the somewhat confused style of address, in terms of the relative time, and the time of writing….. I know, the explanation is just as confusing as the act….. but, it is required by law, so what are ya gonna do?….. Buena suerte, as they say in Mexico…..

Ffolkes,
Okay, I am thoroughly confused, but, hey, nothing new there…. I am writing now in complete limbo, in terms of knowing precisely where in the universe I am, relative to time and, consequently, space. I see that the date is correct…. it IS the 25th of December today, and I have two Pearls almost finished, ready to post as soon as they have a poem inserted into the second section, and I complete the third section of the second Pearl. While the rest of the world is busy with the commercial crap of which today is the culmination, I’ll be here, busily ignoring the whole thing, as I have no means to participate in the commercial frenzy at all. And, since I spend a great deal of time dissecting the Christian religion for its inherent inconsistencies, and aspects of covert manipulation for self-interest, it would probably be a bit hypocritical, anyway, for me to get too involved in it.

I do enjoy the positive emotional spirit that seems to come with the season, but the whole idea is pretty sick, given its origin. Are they celebrating the birth of Jesus (which was actually sometime in the spring, from what historical records can tell us….), or the gruesome death to which he was put (which took place in March, or thereabouts….)?

Either way,  I don’t see how it all translates into a commercial frenzy over the giving of gifts, other than as an obvious ploy to garner more money from an unsuspecting public, to line the pockets of the clergy and bankers. In that sense, I KNOW why all the bankers are smiling this time of year….. and it isn’t because they’re filled with the spirit of Christmas, or the urge to give…..

Christmas has, by the efforts of the bankers, with the complete cooperation of the clergy, become a societal frenzy of marketing and consumerism at its worst; the sheer ugliness of the whole idea makes the urge to say “Bah, humbug!” completely understandable. To take the work and honorable acts of a true reformer and twist it to suit the agenda of the business class is just that…. UGLY!

Not only is it ugly due to the efforts of the clergy and bankers to turn it into a carnival rather than a holy ceremony, but, the general populace falls right into the act, buying and spending much more than they can afford, just to keep up appearances, never once considering how hypocritical it is, or how far from the teachings of Christ it wanders to spend money in his name…..

Ah well, such is the perversity of mankind…. All I can do is avoid the whole scenario as much as possible, and just get through the day without getting depressed at all the futility….. That task, not getting depressed, is currently Job One around here, as the state department of Social Services continues to drag out my disability claim just as far as it can, and I’m getting very tired of living in poverty, watching as the assholes in the government take serious shots at my retirement system.

I cannot accurately tell you how angry I am at Obama, and any other of the politicians who are trying to make cuts to Social Security…. I’ve been pumping money into that system for almost fifty years, and now that I need it, they’re trying to take it away…. If there was ever a reason to get angry, this is it, and they had best watch their step, or I may loosen my hold on my self-control, and allow my darker side to determine what I’ll do…. Whatever that action might entail, it is guaranteed to be unpalatable to anyone who is involved in the attacks on MY retirement…..

Well, having mini-ranted to a sufficient degree, I think I’d best move on to another section. I’m a bit discombobulated, as I’ve already indicated, so the actual writing process today is sort of hit and miss. But, a dive into the database should clear things up, and if nothing else, will give me a chance to clear my head, after having filled it with angst against the machine….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

The following piece has been around for a long time, and garnered a lot of different opinions regarding its content, and overall validity as an important set of ideas. Some say it is too soft and sentimental, accusing the author of looking at life through rose colored glasses, as it were. And, in one sense they are correct. Being a no-longer in the closet romantic, I choose to believe there is nothing wrong in that, or to think that such sentimentality has no place in a discussion of reality. The world is hard enough, without our feeling the need to make that characteristic immutable by adding our own hardness; a bit of sentimentality is welcome, if it doesn’t include refusing to accept the demanding nature of real life…..

I first came across the Desiderata when I was in college, and, having never seen it before, was suitably impressed.  I’ve been re-introduced to it many times over the years, and always find something I’ve forgotten, as there are many lessons herein, lessons that life itself teaches us in its own way, and it is good to hear reminders of what we may already know, but often forget. All of these statements are good advice, and I can personally attest to the fact that, if followed with honesty, these principles allow one to live with dignity and honor….. If you feel it’s a bit sappy for your taste, well, that’s okay, just skip on by, and go on wallowing in grumpiness…… not a thing wrong with that…..    🙂

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy.

— Max Ehrman (1872-1945) – “Desiderata” (1927)
__________________________________

POETRY, n.  A form of expression peculiar to the Land beyond the Magazines. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

So Does Everybody Else, Only Not So Much

O all ye exorcizers come and exorcize now, and ye clergymen draw nigh and clerge, For I wish to be purged of an urge. It is an irksome urge, compounded of nettles and glue, And it is turning all my friends back into acquaintances, and all my acquaintances into people who look the other way when I heave into view. It is an indication that my mental buttery is butterless and my mental larder lardless, And it consists not of “Stop me if you’ve heard this one,” but of “I know you’ve heard this one because I told it to you myself, but I’m going to tell it to you again regardless,” Yes I fear I am living beyond my mental means. When I realize that it is not only anecdotes that I reiterate but what is far worse, summaries of radio programs and descriptions of cartoons in newspapers and magazines. I want to resist but I cannot resist recounting the bright sayings of celebrities that everybody already is familiar with every word of; I want to refrain but cannot refrain from telling the same audience on two successive evenings the same little snatches of domestic gossip about people I used to know that they have never heard of. When I remember some titillating episode of my childhood I figure that if it’s worth narrating once it’s worth narrating twice, in spite of lackluster eyes and dropping jaws, And indeed I have now worked my way backward from titillating episodes in my own childhood to titillating episodes in the childhood of my parents or even my parents-in-laws, And what really turns my corpuscles to ice, I carry around clippings and read them to people twice. And I know what I am doing while I am doing it and I don’t want to do it but I can’t help doing it and I am just another Ancient Mariner, And the prospects for my future social life couldn’t possibly be barrener. Did I tell you that the prospects for my future social life couldn’t be barrener?

Ogden Nash
__________________________________

“Become what you are.” — Buddha

When we are born, we are exactly who and what we are, because we don’t know how to be anything else. As we grow, we learn to interact with the world around us, learning first how to communicate our wants and needs, later applying this knowledge to further our interests in dealing with others on a social level. Communication, part perception and part expression, teaches us to add layers to our persona, incrementally increasing our isolation from our true self, unless we can maintain the awareness of self carried since birth. That self is constantly under attack by the outer world, as we are molded and manipulated by the demands made on us by our environment for conformity to custom. In this short, powerful phrase, Buddha once again identifies our most central task as humans, to be true to one’s inner nature.

“Man is the only creature that refuses to be what he is.” — Albert Camus

Albert touches here on the basic root problem for a great many humans, as the refusal to which he refers causes men to make choices based on self-interest rather than taking a wider world-view. Choosing expediency over altruism always, of course, leads to acting immorally, which describes the general demeanor of the beloved ruling class  pretty accurately, all in all, doesn’t it? Sometimes, I wonder why they even bother to lie anymore, as it doesn’t seem to matter much to most folks whether they do or not; they get away with it either way…..

“An assertion produces a stronger effect than an argument, at least among the majority of mankind. That is why public speakers seek to hammer home their party’s arguments with assertions.” — F. Nietzsche, _Human, All too Human_

This tendency on the part of man, to be gullible (What else can you call it, when someone is swayed in favor of one argument over another, simply due to its connection to a confident assertion?….. I call it gullible….), would, I suppose, explain the phenomenon of the repeated success of the beloved ruling class in lying to the public without significant consequence. Another apt description would somehow describe mental laziness, or unwillingness to exercise one’s ability to reason, in favor of passive acquiescence with another’s ideas, for that is what I see most often among the ignorant masses. The same majority of mankind, of whom Nietzsche speaks, possesses this personal characteristic, as an augmentation of the tendency he mentions, to accept assertion as provenance.

“I have seen these EGG EXTENDERS in my Supermarket….  I have read the INSTRUCTIONS….” — Zippy the Pinhead

WHAT, you may ask, does THAT have to do with Buddha, Camus, or Nietzsche, in a high-brow discussion of human nature, and its flaws? Well, to be honest, I am not entirely sure what my sub-, or un-, conscious mind was doing when it made me copy and paste that here….. but, I have a strange feeling that it is the right pearl… Let me think a moment, or perhaps overnight….

Aha! Got it!….. We know already that everything Zippy says is a powerful metaphor for reality, so the phrase, “Assertion as provenance”, is Zippy-speak for EGG EXTENDERS! Wait, that’s backwards…. EGG EXTENDERS is Zippy-speak for “Assertion, etc….” Since he has read the instructions, which came, no doubt, with a perfect assertion of its superior nature over eggs, he is therefore immune to the immorality that is so prevalent in our erstwhile superiors…. There, how’s that for some slippery slope thinking, under pressure? Pretty slick, I’d say….

So,  the next time some politician makes a confident assertion in a speech, think of Zippy, and the egg extenders, and you’ll be reminded to take what is being said with a shit load of salt….. It’s a handy little item to have in one’s mental files, for those occasions when we can’t avoid listening to such stuff (there’s that word again….)…..

“…and I get on my knees and pray, we don’t get fooled again.” — Pete Townshend
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“A man, a plan, a canoe, pasta, heros, rajahs, a coloratura, maps, snipe, percale, macaroni, a gag, a banana bag, a tan, a tag, a banana bag again, (or a camel), a crepe, pins, Spam, a rut, a Rolo, cash, a jar, sore hats, a peon, a canal – Panama!” — Guy L. Steele.

The above is included only because it is the longest palindrome I’ve ever seen, and as such, deserves a bit of admiration for the sheer stubbornness it took to figure it out, and complete it, before someone found out, and made Mr. Steele go do something more constructive….. Fascinating, as Spock might say…. In retrospect, the palindrome is just odd enough to fit in with the rest of today’s effort, so…. it stays…..

Well, it’s done, and that is the best I can say for it, I think. I’m still pretty confused, but tomorrow will re-assert control over the process. What that entails is somewhat gross, in spots, so I will spare the Gentle Reader any further exposure to the necessary actions, and just go on as if none of it had ever happened. People are good at that sort of pretending, as is obvious after every election….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Today is the Thirteenth of Never…..

Ffolkes,
So, here I sit, thoughts tumbling around in normal morning disarray, when all of a sudden, it hits me. My left hand, that is, slapping itself smartly to the forehead in dismay, as it occurs to me that not a single one of the hundreds of loose thoughts running around in there is suitable for publication. Most are thoughts I wouldn’t submit to Hustler magazine, and they’re pretty slack; I wouldn’t dream of putting any of them out for your consumption. There could be a bad run on the ER soon afterward, as most of them are toxic. Oh, wait, here’s one that doesn’t look too bad…..kinda dinged up, & could use a coat of paint, but it should fly…..okay, we’ll use it. Cut. Print…..
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“There are few things, apparently, more helpful to a writer than having once been a weird little kid.” — Katherine Paterson

If this is true, I should be a lock for a Pulitzer Prize! I won’t say I was the weirdest kid in my neighborhood. I can’t, because there weren’t any kids in the neighborhood. All the other families with kids moved away after a few days of their kids coming home after playing at my house, and telling their parents that, like me, they were going to start their own cockroach farms, so they could sell them to the other kids, too. My folks never did figure out why everyone was always moving in and out again; they figured it was the taste of the tap water. But then, they were fairly clueless themselves; they both were astrophysicists, and spent a lot of nights at the local university where they taught, watching the stars or talking to computers. They thought it was good that I had interests outside of physics, and encouraged me to expand my circle of interests to whatever intrigued me. A very progressive pair of parental units they were, though a little stuffy otherwise. I mean, who still listens to old Lawrence Welk music? Or Burl Ives? I swear, by the time I was six, I had a very complete, detailed daydream of how I would take my Uzi down to the Ugly Bug Ball and have some fun….. that’s not weird, is it?…….
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“The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed.  A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated.  If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to  declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny …  In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.” — William Ellery Channing

“It’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips.  If they move, he’s lying.” — Charles Lyall (Think about it; the mere existence of this joke is evidence of the accuracy of its premise…..)

Too late. We weren’t watching closely enough, and ‘they’ finally revealed their true colors. I really had such hopes when Obama was elected in 08; that is probably why he was elected, because everyone else also had the hope that changes would be made, changes that would turn this country back onto the path of reason. But, for three years and more, Barack has, one-by-one, broken every campaign promise he made, culminating a few days ago with the most egregious bid for power ever seen in this country.

By signing the National Defense Authorization Act, Barack Obama has sealed the fate of the Bill of Rights; they have been condemned to death, with no appeal to be allowed. With the collusion of Congress, and the willing abrogation of duty by the Supreme Court, the American people have just witnessed the end of democracy in this country. Free speech, freedom of religion, freedom to assemble, and the freedom from unjust laws (i.e., right to counsel & jury of peers, writ of habeas corpus, right to be confronted with accusers, all gone…..), freedom from unreasonable search & seizure. All of these “rights” are now gone, poof! And nobody is saying a word about it in the press…..my plans for the future have changed, and I will be seeking somewhere else in this world to live out my remaining years. I’m not going to stay here, when I know for certain that I will end up fighting with my own brothers and sisters over the loss of our rights. As soon as I can get it figured out, I’m outta here; it’s no longer a free country…..literally.

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson (Neither the Repubs nor the Demos are at all interested in the public’s well-being, and as such have become a problem that isn’t even looking for a solution…..)

No greater grief than to remember days
Of joy when misery is at hand.
— Dante (1265-1321) — Hell, Canto v, Line 121
(sorry, after writing the comments, I kept finding perfect Pearls to go with it…..)

Do not read this fortune under penalty of law. Violators will be prosecuted. — Penal Code sec. 2.3.2 (II.a.) (NDAA, v 3.0, 1/1/2012)
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Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself.  Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be.  And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy. — Max Ehrman (1872-1945) – “Desiderata” (1927)

Ah, Desiderata! How well I remember reading this for the first time. At that time, I was a newly minted Hippie, attending the university in Berkeley, and engaging full time in the expansion of my belief systems. This piece became one of the signature signs of the movement, sort of a manual for free love and all it implies. Every line here was designed to be uplifting and positive in its outlook toward life in all its glory. I admit, its really sappy in places, and somewhat naive. But it remains a pretty good outline for a life well-lived; its not as easy as one might think to be this positive all the time. But according to the precepts of the piece, that’s okay too. It’s all okay, because the universe is unfolding as it should……whether we think so or not.
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“How often we recall, with regret, that Napoleon once shot at a magazine editor and missed him and killed a publisher. But we remember with charity, that his intentions were good.” — Mark Twain

This is the goal. This is my whole purpose in writing. To be this subtle in delivering a blow from a sledgehammer; to insult so thoroughly in one line; to indicate passion, love, hate, literature, sports, and morality with such a smoothly fitted collection of words, this is my Nirvana, my Quest, the object of my jealous envy……. No really, it just doesn’t get any better than this. It’s the kind of humor that most appeals to me, for it pokes fun not only at the victims of the humor, but at the author too.

I can just see Mr. Clemens, telling this with a twinkle in his eye below a raised brow, a small little Mona Lisa smile, and a mustache trembling with the effort not to burst into guffaws. Perfect. A few days ago, I was flabbergasted, and extremely flattered, when a reader said that one of my lines sounded like something Twain might have written. I almost burst with happiness, and floated around for quite a while on that little bubble of joy. Now all I have to do is figure out how to sound like that all the time. Well, not JUST like Mark Twain, more like me with his skill. I’ll keep working on it…….
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Curse on all laws but those which love has made!
Love, free as air at sight of human ties,
Spreads his light wings, and in a moment flies.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744)  — Eloisa to Abelard, Line 74

As with any good piece of poetry, nothing needs to be added here. Just enjoy…..
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Well! I should get up early more often, I guess. No shortage of material today; it just kept flowing on. Hope you enjoy taking it in as much as I did getting it out. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!