C’mon, it’s only twins! Bonus time….

Ffolkes,
I’ve tried to play nice. I like to think I’m a patient man, and I’m probably wrong, most of the time. But not this time; I have been patient. Since my first outburst of anger and disbelief, over a week and a half ago, I haven’t even mentioned it, except in passing. As said, I’ve been patient, but I’m done with that now…..

Close to two weeks ago, I contacted WordPress Support, to report that I was having difficulty accessing certain blog sites around WP, a problem that sometimes included not being able to access my own site, unless viewing it as a visitor; when signed in, I was blocked from my site, and a number of others. Each attempt to access those sites, usually from a link in the notification emails I get when one of the blogs I follow posts a new article or poem, sends me to a blank error page, and the path to get there involves a remote login location, different each time.

It wouldn’t be so bad, I suppose, if the sites I couldn’t get to were some that I was not too familiar with, or wasn’t that into (though I haven’t found any of those). But, they’re not…. they are all favorites, sites I’ve been following daily since I found them. I’m still trying to stay convinced that it isn’t deliberate, or a conspiracy, because of the sites blocked, at least four of them are rather pointed in their posts, the point generally pointed in the direction of the PTB in the USA, and very vocal in their support of their politics, and critical of the politics of their opposite numbers in society.

But, whatever the content, I can’t get to them to read, or comment on their work….. it’s been very frustrating. If any of the following are reading today, please forgive me for not being around; I can’t do anything about it right now; but I won’t stop complaining, either…. the sites I cannot get access to include:  Jueseppi’s at the Obamacrat; allaboutlemon, Dolly’s site, including the Art Game; Vina Kent’s site; 3chicspolitico, can’t get there: starsrainsunmoon.com, Mari Cayuso’s poetry & photos site; Cauldrons & Cupcakes; Tony’s blog, Finding Subjects; and a few others I don’t remember offhand…..

So, if I don’t hear from WordPress today, which I have come to believe is not going to happen, (they have been ignoring me now for well over a week), then tomorrow I will begin my siege….. I will flood the Support section with emails and support requests (though I have already sent seven such requests, only one of which received any response at all). I will again post about the problems here on this blog. And, I will request that everyone else join me in a big raspberry for the Support department, which has been strangely silent throughout this entire ordeal.

If I still get no response, I will ask for my money back, for the domain name I am supposed to own and control, but which I cannot even consistently view. And I won’t stop there…. there are more damaging places to post such complaints, PR-wise, and I guarantee, I’ll find them…. I don’t like being ignored, and I’m more than just a little pissed off about this.  Mostly it’s the lack of response that gets me; I just don’t understand why communicating with me is such a hard thing to do. It’s not like I’m hiding or anything; I’m right here every day….. and the posts are here to prove it…..

Enough!…. this nonsense has taken up enough time and energy, that could be better spent elsewhere…. and now will be. Shall we Pearl?….. I think so….
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One of the most perverse things about the universe is that it doesn’t care what you believe. – Anonymous, our old friend….

Due primarily to that aspect of human nature called the Talent of Reality Denial, this is a hard concept for many Americans to comprehend, especially those hampered by a Christian upbringing, an unfortunately large figure. Christians are taught from an early age that the universe DOES care what they believe; they are desperate for that to be true (because if it isn’t, then they are not special, or privileged by birth; there is nothing concrete to indicate in any way that they are intrinsically better than anything else on this planet….), so, by their belief, they make it so, for them.

For these folks, entitlement, and its concomitant arrogance, come naturally, as a side-effect of considering themselves to be “chosen” by God, that it is their destiny to be His favored children. This belief bestows on them a heavenly mandate to utilize all the earth’s resources, animal, plant, mineral, water, etc., solely for their own benefit (which they generally interpret as permission to rape and pillage the rest of creation, because, by God, the Bible tells them it is their right, and their just reward for their faith). Looked at from a rational point of view, this is, of course, poodwaddle of the highest degree (I don’t think I made up that word; I’m sure I’ve seen it elsewhere….. sure fits, doesn’t it?…)

So, it becomes clear why so much time and energy is spent on divisive arguments over morality, and in public debate over the advisability of following the completely self-destructive policies of these self-styled Lords of Creation, right up to the point of extinction. It can’t be otherwise, when those who regard themselves as having heavenly mandate refuse to give up their privileged status, and are unwilling to even consider any other options. In the tiny little black holes they call their minds, any hint of such a rational viewpoint is automatically and viciously rejected out of hand as being a danger to their way of life.

It’s odd, really, that there are so many things in the universe that are a danger to their way of looking at things; it’s like they have no faith at all in their faith, or in each other, and suspect themselves of giving in to temptation at every turn. Makes one wonder just how much faith and belief they really feel about their dogma, if they are so fearful it will be forsaken at first opportunity…..

I think it would be a sad and fearful way to go through life, never feeling comfortable about the universe, always expecting it to try to turn me into my worst nightmare…. a thinking, rational being…..  and regardless of whether these folks believe it, or not, the universe just doesn’t give a shit…. at all….. massive, immutable indifference is the best we can expect…. thank you, Universe!…….

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?” — Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Sign of Four
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EXCERPTS FROM LIFE’S LITTLE INSTRUCTION BOOK, VOLUMES I AND II

35. Plant a tree on your birthday.
47. Don’t waste time learning the “tricks of the trade.” Instead, learn the trade.
53. Vote.
68. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference.
100. Read the Bill of Rights.
198. Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter.
209. Observe the speed limit.*
267. Lie on your back and look at the stars.
271. When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail. If you’re going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce.
322. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Theresa*, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas  Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.
393. Learn how to operate a Macintosh computer.*
513. Never laugh at anyone’s dreams.
558. Never betray a confidence.
595. Be the first to fight for a just cause.
817. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
939. Never be ashamed of your patriotism.
— H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

I’ve seen some of these on previous dives, but never found so many in one batch before….. Most of the ones I’ve seen are like these…. pretty good advice, all in all. In this list, my only hesitancy involves # 209, which obviously needs a qualifier statement, #322, a list from which I would delete Mother Theresa (she already has enough time in her day; she doesn’t need any more time to fuck with anybody else, adding to all the smarmy, self-serving false piety she already gets away with…..) and # 393, which is just sick…. no, not sick, just foolishly naive…. the rest of them are stuff that I can get behind, and would even consider pushing, if stalled….
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Here are a few historical observations on our preferred form of public entertainment……

“Democracy, which is a charming form of government, full of variety and disorder, and dispensing a sort of equality to equals and unequals alike.” — Plato, The Republic. Book VIII. 558

“Democracy is more cruel than wars or tyrants.” — Seneca, Epistulae morales ad Lucilium CIV, c. 63

“Termiter’s argument that God is His own grandmother generated a surprising amount of controversy among Church leaders, who on the one hand considered the argument unsupported by scripture but on the other hand were unwilling to risk offending God’s grandmother.” — Len Cool, American Pie  (Okay, it’s not political, but, hey, funny, right?….) (and kind of appropriate, if I stop to think about it…..) (kind of sounds similar to, and no more believable than, the current controversy over creationism and evolution….)

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the whole American people  which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state.” — Thomas Jefferson, to the Danbury (Connecticut) Baptist Association in 1802  (Whoops! How’d he get in here?….)

“Man is a religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion – several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.” — Mark Twain — The Damned Human Race  (Okay, okay…. busted!  Religion and politics seem to have merged in my mind this morning…. funny how that happens…. but it still fits the category, so, deal….)

and, on a final note, let’s combine the two previously revealed (reviled?) culprits in one fine, almost-a-limerick plea for mercy….

Dear Lord, observe this bended knee
This visage meek and humble,
And hear this confidential plea
Voiced in reverent mumble:
Give me Shylock, give me Fagin
But O God spare me Ronald Reagan!
— Ansel Adams

If God is omnipotent, why does he need my money?  (Sorry, couldn’t resist…. I’m done for now…..)
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Haiku

A muse long absent
panicky fear consuming
creativity.

Shameless, isn’t it, what we will do, when nothing else will do?….. But all things considered, not too shabby….
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Statistics and their use allow one to jump from an unwarranted assumption to a preconceived conclusion without so much as even a slight hesitation. The use of such condensed information allows that compendious information may be sufficiently reduced to facilitate discussion among experts who can interpret the findings without any relation whatsoever to reality. — Anonymous, dammit….

It is frustrating, to say the least, to find a beautifully reasoned, perfectly clear statement of the obvious such as this, and not be able to congratulate or praise the author. It sounds like something Dave Barry would have said, if a bit more slangly than this seems to be. Or, possibly, Mark Twain, though he also tended to simplify his writing to more resemble actual speech. But, whoever wrote this is someone with whom I’d enjoy spending time, drinking wine and dissecting the rest of humanity’s foibles and incredible diversity…. I think I’d enjoy it a lot….
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I find myself this morning to be completely discombobulated…. Now, this may seem to be a rather radical claim, considering the relatively well-organized material I’ve just produced, despite its tendency to skip from one concept to the next with little or no warning or preparation. Nonetheless, it is true…. and here is why…..

It is now 0512, military time…. that’s a touch after 5 AM to the rest of us in this time zone on the west coast of the US, which means I’ve been at this for just over three hours now, having arisen at a few minutes after 2 AM, abandoning all my futile attempts to shut off my mind and return to dreamland. Not that I ever got very far into that fabled place; it’s tough to do so when one must get every other hour or so to deal with either pain, muscle spasms, or just plain restlessness.

SIGH…. life is tough, n’est pas? This too shall pass, I’m sure… when I’m tired enough, I’ll sleep. But, meantime, it gets my schedule all turned around… company coming today, around 1130 or so, and by then I’ll be approaching zombie status…. it could be worse; it could be someone I don’t want to see who is coming, so I’ll just suck it up, put a period on this, and get on with it…. just gotta figure out what to do now, and for the next six hours until my friend arrives…. piece o’cake….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Apocalyptic seashell fire sale blues….

Ffolkes,
A gloomy mass of clouds lined the horizon, promising rain in the near future. Beneath them, a line of rolling dunes stretched eastward, leading to a high wall of mountains in the far distance. Closer, perhaps only two miles distant, sat the caravansary where the night would be passed, safe behind the walls separating the trees and water from the desert all around. The camels lining the trail, impatient to get to the water they could smell, shifted and groaned, wanting to be off. But Ahmed waited, continuing to scan the distance to the oasis with a sharp gaze.

Rumors of vicious Tuareg raiders attacking caravans had circled the bazaar in Alexandria before their departure, three days past, and Ahmed had no intention of allowing his group of merchants and their wares to become loot for the Tuareg campfires to celebrate that night. His complement of mercenary guards, well-paid to assure loyalty, were spread evenly through the caravan, disguised as merchants, but with weapons close at hand in case of trouble. As his keen eyes continued to watch for any movement or disturbed birds that would betray hidden groups of raiders, he smiled, congratulating himself for his foresight. “Let them attack,” he thought to himself, “we shall give them a swift journey to Hell’s Gate!”  Turning to his second, he nodded once, and the command to move passed swiftly down the well-dressed line of burdened camels, until the entire caravan once more trod slowly toward the caravansary in the near distance.

Well…. that was different. This passage was brought to you by the fine folks at Imagine, the fantasy and fiction marketplace down on Highway 29. gratis, as an example of what may be found in their immense catalog of storied beginnings and exciting endings. They’re reasonably priced too; I got this one for free, just because it was more than three days old….not a bad deal, considering the short story I’ll get out of it should bring in some decent change, provided, of course, I can find a buyer for it in today’s competitive market. Until I get that finished though, let’s get on with today’s Pearl, or Pearls, as the case may be…..
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In our society, the Republicans set out to prove that the Democrats can not be trusted to run the government. And the Democrats set out to prove that the Republicans can not be trusted to run our government. The real problem here is that both the Democrats and the Republicans have come up with something which is absolutely true and perfectly correct. This means that the people get to pull some sort of horrible trick on themselves and live with their choice for four years.–No attribution given…

I’m sorry there is no attribution for this, because I’d have liked to shake that person’s hand. The truth of this proposition should be obvious to even the hard to convince, for it has been proven time after time, in every election in my lifetime, and if things don’t change, will be true for as long as it takes to finish the end-game scenario we have been hurtling toward for a long time. It’s kind of like the weather….everybody talks about it, but nobody ever does anything to change, or control it.

Our society has, by all the information available, effectively sealed the fate of our species, by refusing to acknowledge our true place in the ecosphere, instead choosing to assume that the elitist attitudes fostered by Christian mores is fact, and that the rest of creation is ours to do with as we please. This blindness to the truth has brought us to the brink of species extinction, and it won’t be much longer before what we have done so far cannot be reversed. In fact, there is ample evidence that we reached that point in the latter decades of the 20th century, and the final solution is not far off now.

It’s too bad, too….. we had such promise as a species. Poetry, philosophy, art, all of our most creative characteristics have not been sufficient to keep the assholes among us from fouling our own nest, and it is now too late to do much about it, other than continue to fiddle while Rome burns around us…….

” [W]e shall continue to have a worsening ecologic crisis until we reject the Christian axiom that nature has no reason for existence save to serve man.” — Lynn White, Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis”, Science V. 155 No. 3767 (10 March 1967), pp. 1203-1207.
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“Mother Theresa epitomizes for me the blinkered charitableness upon which we pride ourselves and for which we expect reward in this world and the next.   There is very little on earth that I hate more than that.” — Feminist Germaine Greer

I’m not sure why Ms. Greer is identified as a feminist; it seems rather superfluous in this context. Her sentiment, though most likely very unpopular with the average run of folks, makes me want to say, “YES! At last, someone says it out loud!” That will no doubt bring me some flak as well, but, so be it. 

I’ve always thought that it takes a very condescending nature to be as falsely selfless as Mother Theresa. She must be one of the most horrible people to be around that I can imagine. Can you imagine having to listen to her endless judgments and smarmy, self-serving, overweening pride in how pious she believes herself to be, on a regular basis? I’m afraid I’d become rather homicidal in short order; I don’t deal well with self-satisfied, judgmental folks, who have nothing better to do than tell everyone else how uncharitable they are in comparison to themselves. Makes me want to bite them, hard.

I’ll bet the Popes love the fact that she buries herself in various poor ghettos around the world; it keeps them from having to talk to her very often.  Call me uncharitable if you like; you’d be wrong, but hey, it’s your dime. I just don’t want the world to think that she is the best example of selflessness; it’s more like selfishness to me……a perfect example of why those who receive charity tend to violently dislike those who try to lift them up ‘in service to God’; what a crock! It’s just another way for those giving the help to feel superior and self-satisfied with their own piety…….a fancy, long winded way to say they are barefaced liars, too cowardly to admit their own selfishness…..

“All of us necessarily hold many casual opinions that are ludicrously wrong simply because life is far too short for us to think through even a small fraction of the topics that we come across.” — Julian Simon  (And some, like Mother Theresa, never bother to question their dogmatic beliefs, to test their validity against reality…..)

One final thought on this subject…..and, sorry, but my karma just ran over your dogma.

A form of open-mindedness is the pathway to wisdom. Close your mind and you  open the way for ignorance to flourish, but you will never even know it. — our old friend Anonymous
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“Those who really deserve praise are the people who, while human enough to enjoy power, nevertheless pay more attention to justice than they are compelled to do by their situation.” — Thucydides

It’s been quite a while since I last saw, or used, a quote from Thucydides; I’ve always liked his take on things. This is a very astute observation, and a good yardstick to measure the relative worth of a politician.  Politicians, dealing as they do with power every day, are the most susceptible to its degrading qualities, so we need some way to decide whether or not we want them to continue to hold such power in their sweaty little hands. Without going through the entire list of the current crop of bozoids in office, I can still say with some confidence that I cannot think of a single example of a person such as described who has been elected in the past 60 years. The only reason I don’t include politicians before that time in this list is that I wasn’t there, and therefore am not qualified to judge that; one can’t rely on written history to give an accurate picture.

So, in the interest of fairness, I am challenging my readers…… give me a name of someone in the public eye in the last 60 years who meets the standard laid down by Thucydides above, and provide some evidence, and I will change my tune to include that information. If anyone can come up with one, I’ll be very surprised; encouraged as well, because the existence of one would imply the possible existence of others who share this attribute. We’ll see if I get any names……
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“I have witnessed and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide.” — Mark Twain, 1891

I can relate to this very well. I pretty much like just about any kind of music there is, but as far as I’m concerned, 90% of the operas I’ve heard or seen were so thrilling I could barely stay awake. In fact, I might have slept through much of the one’s I’ve been to, had not those women on stage been caterwauling in notes so high, my whiskey glass trembled in fear.

Now, I will admit, there are some operatic pieces that are just as advertised; soaring melodies filled exquisitely by powerful, painfully beautiful voices (a couple of the female lead’s pieces in Aida, and the one from an opera I forget; it’s the one the protagonist in the Shawshank Redemption played on the warden’s record machine, broadcasting it for all the prisoners to hear…..incredible voice, whoever it was..). But mostly, it’s just singing in gibberish to boring music, surrounding a hard-to believe, sort-of-like a plot.

I thinks it is so popular because almost everyone is afraid to challenge the widely held belief of it’s superior qualities; they think folks will laugh at them for swimming against the tide of opinion. Me, I couldn’t care less what anybody thinks….as far as I’m concerned, it’s all a pile of doodoo, not worth a fraction of the time some folks spend on it……
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“I love to go down to the schoolyard and watch all the little children jump up and down and run around yelling and screaming…They don’t know I’m only using blanks.” — Emo Phillips

Now, THAT’S funny!  Admit it, you smiled or chuckled, before you could stop yourself. Ghetto humor can be pretty grisly, or shocking, and requires a certain degree of callousness to fully appreciate the point of it. But, it also is very human, dealing as it does with a side of life that only one who has been there can really understand. Most folks wouldn’t be able to think that there was anything funny about somebody shooting, or even pretending to shoot, at kids in a schoolyard; it goes against all their most long-held beliefs about what makes something funny. But to anyone who has spent any time at all on the street, it is hilarious……and that is part of human nature, no matter who might disagree…..

“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
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So ends another foray into the wilds of the fringes of thought…. I think it went well today. I have a feeling that some of what I’ve written will bother some folks, a lot. Well, sorry ’bout that, but that is a personal problem, and not my fault. I am perfectly willing to discuss and or argue over any points I have written about, and given enough pertinent evidence, am able to adjust my belief system accordingly. I write my beliefs in pencil, always; it makes it easier to erase and start over than writing them in stone. But, don’t try to come at me with dogma, or with something someone else has indoctrinated you to believe; I will eat your beliefs like M&M’s, and enjoy every one of them. In any case, I hope that y’all have enjoyed today’s little slice of gigoid….. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Connotations of rainbows….

Ffolkes,
I think it’s safe to say we all get pretty tired of the political circus as played out here in the USA; it all seems so pointless, until you realize it is directly affecting your own life, then it just gets irritating. Everyone I know has beliefs and convictions, with their own methods of dealing with the world, and their own methods of how to treat other people. Mostly they all get along just fine. Then I look at what is being said in the arena of public discourse, and there doesn’t seem to be any correlation, no connection with what I know is real for most folks. The avaricious ones, the ones who seek public office, have an entirely different view of reality than most of the Americans I know. Even the conservatives I talk to think differently than the politicians, except for those few who allow the politicians to do their thinking for them, and merely parrot those talking points currently in fashion. It’s unfortunate that there are a LOT of the last category, which is part of the reason why the talking heads are able to maintain their death-grip on the almighty profit margin.


Since the whole point of the above is how sick I am of hearing the nonsense in the news, I won’t rant any further today on that subject. Don’t really feel like ranting anyway; it’s already been a tough morning, and I’d rather turn in a more positive direction. It took over 25 minutes on the phone, but I was able to complete a necessary task this A.M., and I’m using that to act as the driver for the rest of today’s tasks. All of this is just a long, convoluted and obfuscatory way to say, enjoy!……

“Confront them with annihilation, and they will survive; plunge them in a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory.” — Sun Tzu

Invictus
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud
Under the bludgeoning of chance;
My head is bloody but unbowed.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll;
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
— Henley

I know you think that you understood what you thought I said, but I am not  all that sure that you understand that I seldom say what I think and even less often do I mean what I say.

Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Louis Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.

If you think women are moody and bossy – get a cat.

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.
— William Butler Yeats, “The Stolen Child”

There you go; a little whimsy is good for the soul…..so is epiphany. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!