Authentic plastic flamingos on parade….

Ffolkes,

“Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite.”

~~ Lazarus Long ~~

test shotss 006

    Having issued walking papers to Mrs. Grundy years ago, I am perfectly aware of how lucky I am to have done so. Being free of the worries most folks carry around, about what others think, is a truly valuable freedom, and is largely responsible for most of the fresh rants that are produced here…. One must, after all, take advantage of those areas in life where such freedoms may be applied; there are many, many ways the world employs, to try to keep us quiet, whether it be a busybody preacher, telling us to obey temporal authority, or a government lackey, trying to apply some bureaucratic legislative belch, which is supposed to make society moral…. Nothing else has done that, but, for some reason, a lot of folks believe laws will do so…..

At which point, I laugh heartily, and go smoke a joint, while I peruse the latest news of the world’s impending demise…. But, it’s a bit early to get into such a depressing issue. I guess what we are seeing here is another example of of trying to write before coffee has been consumed in sufficient quantity to keep it all rational. Of course, I’m not certain at all what sort of rationality I can claim at 0305 in the morning, so, that’s probably a wash, too….

Oh well, I suppose I’ll need to get ruthless again, if we’re to make any headway today. I have another appointment out in the BBR, a very critical appointment, which can be viewed as a turning point, one which will determine whether the battle is to continue, or if Kaiser will finally raise the white flag, and provide me with the medical treatment I believe is best for me, rather than accepting their asinine policies which have no basis in either reality, or in medical science…. The decision to be made today will, hopefully, mean I can take a well-deserved rest from having to fight for my rights as a person against a soulless corporation…. until their next assault on my sensibilities, of course….

Okay, so, here is where the ruthless part comes in…. If I were you, I’d hold on to the nearest stanchion, or make sure my seat belt is fastened securely, because, at the moment I finish this sentence, we are going in, and the pilot has instructions to make it a HOT landing…. Y’all hang on, now, y’hear?….. Wheeee!….

Shall we Pearl?

“Perhaps I know why it is man alone who laughs: He alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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

Today’s video selection is one about which I feel some ambivalence. When this show was on TV, I would never miss an episode, if possible; it was one of the most popular shows of its time. From the vantage point of age, however, I can see exactly how much societal manipulation, aka, brainwashing of the American viewing public, was going on in every episode….

Every American TV stereotype was displayed by the characters, as well as in the plots and dialogue; the crafty American hero, with his motley crew of culturally diverse mates (of each color and nationality), each of whom is a studied caricature of his or her type, a true stereotype, with the Americans, naturally, easily making fools of their stereotypical Nazi “captors”, not to mention everyone else involved…. actors, writers, AND audience… All of them were clueless, not just the actors, producers,  & the networks; none of those who made it, nor any of those who watched it, had any clue as to any political, or thought manipulation that was going on…. but, trust me, you’ll see all of it, exposed glaringly in every episode…

It’s amusing stuff, though, as long as you don’t take it seriously…. and, a nice break from the more modern bullshit we see on TV…. Have you ever seen that ridiculous show called “24”? Pathetic…. any who, here’s Hogan and the boys from Stalag 13…. or, was it 17?…. Ah, who cares?…. Enjoy….


Hogan’s Heroes Season 4 Episode 1

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

“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” — William Wordsworth

I know it makes me eccentric, to believe some of the things I profess to believe; that’s okay, I’ve been called that particular name all my life. The things I state as beliefs are based on evidence and facts, not supposition, or fantasy, so, I’m not overly concerned regarding the “wall of noise” thrown up by those who choose to allow the Dogma Dogs, or the Pundits, to tell them what they should believe…. I’ll start to worry if they ever choose to throw in a fact or two on the side of their argument; until then, it’s just a powerless sound and fury, none of my concern….

Even though it’s early, I don’t feel like ranting…. Oh, there is plenty about which to rant; I’m just not in the proper frame of mind, being determined to focus on my appointment later in the day. Today, I’m going to, again, rely on my friend Lou to furnish today’s subject for this section…. I haven’t listened to this yet, but, knowing Alan Watts, I’m certain he has a valid group of points from which he argues his position, and whatever he says will be a version of the truth, as seen by one of our Age’s masters of philosophy…. The subject matter is such that I won’t bother to tell you to enjoy it, but, it WILL all be valid, and true, and relevant to reality….

http://talesfromtheconspiratum.com/2015/01/07/alan-watts-what-is-wrong-with-our-culture-506/

“The great experimental principle, then, is doubt, that philosophic doubt which leaves to the mind its freedom and initiative, and from which the virtues most valuable to investigators in physiology and medicine are derived.” — Claude Bernard, ‘An Introduction to Experimental Medicine’ 1865

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

Whenever I feel like some REAL poetry, in the sense of how much reality it conveys to the reader, this poet is one who will always satisfy…. Nobody writes closer to the edge of what is real than Charles….

Another Day

having the low down blues and going
into a restaurant to eat.
you sit at a table.
the waitress smiles at you.
she’s dumpy. her ass is too big.
she radiates kindness and sympathy.
live with her 3 months and a man would no real agony.
o.k., you’ll tip her 15 percent.
you order a turkey sandwich and a
beer.
the man at the table across from you
has watery blue eyes and
a head like an elephant.
at a table further down are 3 men
with very tiny heads
and long necks
like ostriches.
they talk loudly of land development.
why, you think, did I ever come
in here when I have the low-down
blues?
then the the waitress comes back with the sandwich
and she asks you if there will be anything
else?
and you tell her, no no, this will be
fine.
then somebody behind you laughs.
it’s a cork laugh filled with sand and
broken glass.

you begin eating the sandwich.

it’s something.
it’s a minor, difficult,
sensible action
like composing a popular song
to make a 14-year old
weep.
you order another beer.
jesus, look at that guy
his hands hang down almost to his knees and he’s
whistling.
well, time to get out.
pick up the bill.
tip.
go to the register.
pay.
pick up a toothpick.
go out the door.
your car is still there.
and there are 3 men with heads
and necks
like ostriches all getting into one
car.
they each have a toothpick and now
they are talking about women.
they drive away first
they drive away fast.
they’re best i guess.
it’s an unbearably hot day.
there’s a first-stage smog alert.
all the birds and plants are dead
or dying.

you start the engine.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~


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

Today’s final pearls was created ahead of time, by some elves who came through the other day…. I’m not sure just what they were trying to say, but, it didn’t come out too badly, so, we’ll let it go out, as it is…. It seems to be a comment on living, right up until you die….

Just like the falling rainbow
Just like the stars in the sky
Life should never feel small.

~~ Vearncombe ~~

~~ Black, Paradise ~~


“Not every soil can bear all things.” — Virgil (19 BC)

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein

“Virtue refuses facility for her companion … the easy, gentle, and sloping path that guides the footsteps of a good natural disposition is not the path of true virtue. It demands a rough and thorny road.” — Michael de Montaigne (1533-1592) — Essays, Book ii, Chap. xi, Of Cruelty

“For “ignorance is the mother of devotion,” as all the world knows.” — Robert Burton (1577-1640) — The Anatomy of Melancholy, Part iii, Sect. 4, Memb. 1, Subsect. 2

“I bid him look into the lives of men as though into a mirror, and from others to take an example for himself.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Adelphoe, Act iii, Sc. 3, 61, (415.)

Go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows.” — Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

Green be the turf above thee,
  Friend of my better days!
None knew thee but to love thee,
  Nor named thee but to praise.

~~ Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790-1867) ~~

~~ On the Death of Joseph Rodman Drake ~~

Aha! Now it makes more sense…. It’s a pearl for Richey, Red’s friend, who passed away suddenly a few days past…. Blessed Be, Richey…. The very last pearl is for you….

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

Well, that went well, for all it was truncated throughout the process by intransigent discomfort, the flux-state of existence currently holding sway in every one of the 210 bones in my skeleton… SIGH…. So much for break time, eh? Ah well, at least I’m done with this for the day…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, Theresa, and Richey…
and everyone else, too…

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Entropy is easy; it’s Chaos that’s tough….

Ffolkes,
I’m still deep in moving mode today, at least theoretically. The help I was told I was getting from my landlord seems to be morphing into no help, so I’ve had to,  so far, do it all myself. I’ve been lucky, and careful, and haven’t hurt my back yet, but much more, and I’m pushing the odds. Hopefully, he will come through today…..

I’m finding myself completely justified in my previously stated dislike for moving. One full day of it, and I’m emotionally, and physically exhausted. I remembered the worst part…. after one has finished getting stuff out of the old house, and taken it over to the new, then the work begins. All that stuff I’ve just moved has to find a new home in the new place, and I have no idea at this point what is going where, beyond knowing whether it’s kitchen stuff, bathroom stuff, or other stuff. Plus, I’ll be moving it into a smaller total space, so it has to be ruthlessly organized, or it’s not going to fit…. Wouldn’t that be fun? Get everything over there and find out some of it has to go, because it won’t fit. Looking forward to that….. not!….

Okay, I done whining now. I’ll just finish up here with a Pearl, and get back to the drudgery to come….. Shall we Pearl?……
___________________________________

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human  mind to correlate all its contents.   We live on a placid island of ignorance  in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should  voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little;  but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……

“It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have  been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita

“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________

Buddha in Glory

Center of all centers, core of cores,
almond self-enclosed, and growing sweet–
all this universe, to the furthest stars
all beyond them, is your flesh, your fruit.

Now you feel how nothing clings to you;
your vast shell reaches into endless space,
and there the rich, thick fluids rise and flow.
Illuminated in your infinite peace,

a billion stars go spinning through the night,
blazing high above your head.
But in you is the presence that
will be, when all the stars are dead.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Rilke is a poet fairly new to me; I first read one of his pieces a couple of years ago. I like most of what I’ve read; it seems very accessible, very personal, and quite insightful in places…. all of which make him a good poet, in my mind….. Enjoy!
___________________________________

[A small difference of opinion on the U.S. Supreme Court in ‘Texas v. Johnson’ 491 U.S. 397 (1989)

“If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.” — Justice William J. Brennan, writing for the majority

“Surely one of the purposes of a democratic society is to legislate against conduct that is regarded as evil and profoundly offensive to the majority of people; whether it be murder, embezzlement, pollution or flag burning.” — Chief Justice William Rehnquist, dissenting

Yeah, that’s a bit of a difference in those positions, for sure. The second one, by Justice Rehnquist, is somewhat disturbing, in that it attempts to justify the Mrs. Grundys of the world, and gives the sense that the majority does not have to accommodate any minority. It is just another way of trying to legislate morality, a practice that has proven, through thousands of years of history, to be a futile pastime. Laws, and the threat of punishment for breaking them, have NEVER been effective in getting folks to act right, and they never will.

The dichotomy described by these two opinions on the Court reflects pretty well how society is breaking down in the upcoming election. The Democrats are trying to spend another four years cleaning up the mess left by the last Republican president, possibly the worst president we’ve ever had, in terms of both foreign policy and economics.

The incumbent president, Barack Obama, has spent four years trying to get us out of two wars, and trying to return some of the social aid for the poor and vulnerable, along with having to deal with economic policies from his predecessor that put a stranglehold on the middle class. He’s done fairly well, considering the Republican party has thrown up every obstacle they could to keep him from doing anything at all. They have not even come close to fitting the label of “loyal opposition” but have insisted on turning the issues into a social battleground at every turn.

The election in November will, I hope, sustain my image of my country’s basic intelligence. I am hoping that all the apathetic middle class voters who generally don’t vote, due to their feeling that it doesn’t matter who is elected, will pull their heads out of the sand (or their ass, wherever it resides when they are hiding from reality….) and come out and vote the liberal ticket…..

The Republican ticket wants to turn back the clock, and go back to giving all the perks and tax breaks to the rich, while reducing the services that are now available to seniors and the poor. This doesn’t even mention the all-out war they’ve declared on women’s rights regarding healthcare, and their right to vote. If they have their way, the only thing they want a woman to be is a brainwashed, barefoot, baby-making machine.

There are other issues. of course, but these are the main ones I see as being decided by the two separate poles of voters, and I would really like to see a good turnout, to let the conservative idiots see just how much of a minority they are. If they somehow manipulate matters so that the Romney/Ryan two headed beast is elected, they will work to consolidate and strengthen their hold over the rest of us, destroying the middle class, until all that is left is the 1% rich, powerful beloved ruling class, and the 99% poor, vulnerable, and disenfranchised in this country.

If that happens, there is no telling what may occur next….. We could easily see a period of assassinations, coups, and civil skirmishes, as the true patriots in this country are liable to take up arms against such deep encroachment on their rights. I know I am tempted to buy myself a rifle, and a scope, and go hunting….. and I wouldn’t be hunting squirrels, let me assure you…… Oh, and  forget trying to make me believe that violence never solves anything, because that is just delusional…. ask Alexander the Great, or Ghengis Khan whether violence worked for them….

Stay alert ffolkes, there are strange times ahead….. things are going to get interesting, in every sense of the word…..
___________________________________

Not a very uplifting Pearl, needless to say. I’m glad I put the poem re: Buddha in the middle…. kind of lessens the sting of the last political pearl. I guess it all reflects my own state, one of, shall we say, less than complete satisfaction with the world at large….. SIGH….. such is life….. Wish me luck getting a Pearl out tomorrow; it may not happen, if all does not go well today…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Malicious exploitation of rabbinical robes….

Ffolkes,
I may have discovered the answer to one of those questions that has perplexed mankind since our species first kicked the sticks out of the crib, to wit: Why do people get so cranky when they get old? I can now tell you…. it’s all the fault of Mister Time, or Mistress Time, if you prefer (there is a lot to be said for the idea of the Time Bitch, or She Who Turns Hair Gray, a name I’ve heard numerous women authors suggest for use…..).

Now, I know you’ll probably ask what is new about that, and I’ll tell you, if you’ll give me  a chance…. don’t rush me, I just got up….

See, and there is the other reason for our cranky pants…. while I was writing the previous paragraph, lovingly polishing the phraseology, the subtle, yet simple answer that had come to me… went. Gone with the wind. Kaput, got thrown out with the bath, done a bunk…. Oh, wait, there it is…. never mind…

So, anyway, the Time Bitch gets us all eventually, and we get cranky because, not only does it HURT, but, here we are, with all this knowledge and experience that we’ve spent a lifetime learning, and these sneak attacks on our breath, strength, hair, and skin have added up to turn us into physical shadows of our former selves. All the things we’ve learned to enjoy doing are now proscribed, due to our body’s inability to meet the physical requirements of the activity. Our favorite forms of recreation or work are kept from us as no longer feasible. This, as you might guess, gets to be old quickly….like us.

So, we have to learn a new skill, called rationalization, also known to small children as pretend, or the world of make-believe. (Well, maybe not new, just a new application for it…..) We learn to say things like, “Oh, that’s okay, I’d rather sit here and read my book, really. You go ahead and swim over to Hawaii without me….”, or, “You guys go ahead, I’m just going to sit here and watch all the people. I don’t really enjoy xxxxing.”  (xxxx, being, of course, one of our previously favorite things to do….)

We learn to pretend that we don’t really mind not being able to walk without a stick of some kind, or that places that used to be close are now far away (such as the floor….), or that we have to choose hamburger even if we can afford steak, because we can’t chew it….

So, don’t wonder any more about all those cranky old folks wandering around in the world. They’re just adjusting to the new requirements Life has placed on them, and it takes some practice…. In the meantime, I think I’ll try to get over my morning irritation with my body by diving into the WWW for some pearls… wan to come along? Let’s go Pearl…..
___________________________________

“Ever notice that fifteen minutes into a Jerry Lewis telethon you start rooting for the disease?” — Jim Sherbert

It’s a good thing for me I was raised without having to experience one of the more severe religions, because I’d probably have died from making myself feel guilty by now, for making fun of iconoclasts revered by the rest of society. Mother Teresa, Jerry Lewis, Oral Roberts, Billy Graham, Swaggert & Bakker et al, they have all felt the lash of my pen, pricking at them for their hypocrisy and self-aggrandizement. The pearl above describes my feelings exactly whenever I’ve spent more than five minutes watching one of Jerry’s telethons, which have been going on TV since I was seven years old (not quite an eon, but close enough….)….

The sheer effrontery of these people is what annoys me. All of them suffer from Grundyism, and to me, this is one of the worst human characteristics there is, common as it is. Grundyism, a term inspired by Robert Heinlein’s concept of the Mrs. Grundy’s of the world, is best illustrated by visualizing Mrs. Grundy, the prototypical nosy neighbor, peering with one eye around the corner of her parlor window, keeping a beady, judgmental eye on everything going on in her neighbors’ yards and houses, in order to provide her with ample supplies of gossip about which to spread innuendo and lies to her like-minded companions, Lady Nosy-Parker and the church secretary. Nothing that she does is ever a subject for her dissection in her daily phone and back-fence conversations, only the (in her eyes…) morally questionable activities that she observes in her neighbors.

Mr. Heinlein has suggested that the best way to deal with a sentence from one of these less-than-stellar characters such as “I know it’s none of my business, but…” , is to place a period after the word “but”, not bothering to be too careful as to worry about how forcefully that period is put in place. His attitude suggests that blood is acceptable, but mayhem is going a bit too far for mere gossip. Unless, of course, it is true, in which case, applying the period with a baseball bat, though messy, has been found to be gratifyingly cathartic, once the body is disposed of….. I suggest the use of lime and acid in combination; it is not fast, but extremely thorough….

Or, I guess, one could just say, “Go mind your own fucking business, you moron!” or some such polite suggestion, and leave it at that…..Offend them hard enough and they may watch you, but they will hesitate to talk about it…. I’ve found, personally, that an occasional wild-eyed stare at their house, mumbling and laughing maniacally, while fingering the sharp edge of an axe, to be fairly effective in keeping them quiet….. I love to see the curtains drop down over the window in a huffy rush…..
___________________________________

A man can’t get rich if he takes proper care of his family. — Navajo Proverb

I love this statement. I’ve never seen it before, and it struck me hard when I first saw it. It is the kind of statement that reverberates…. it just doesn’t go into the mind and sit there, smug in its truth. It gently leads the mind to thinking about it, to examine it, and subtly yet firmly plants a thought that grows and grows, until its wisdom is not just clear, but shining.

In thinking it over, I found it could conceivably be used as a basis for a rant against the 1%, and I still may do so. But not just now…. I find it to be a soothing thought as well, and the mental energy of producing a rant would be counter-productive, I think. So, take note of this pearl…. it is one of the shortest I’ve ever made, with that characteristic common to all the shortest of them, to wit: it truly needs no help to make its point….. This is true morality, ffolkes…..

Integrity needs no rules. — Smart Bee
___________________________________

First Love

I ne’er was struck before that hour
With love so sudden and so sweet,
Her face it bloomed like a sweet flower
And stole my heart away complete.
My face turned pale as deadly pale.
My legs refused to walk away,
And when she looked, what could I ail?
My life and all seemed turned to clay.

And then my blood rushed to my face
And took my eyesight quite away,
The trees and bushes round the place
Seemed midnight at noonday.
I could not see a single thing,
Words from my eyes did start —
They spoke as chords do from the string,
And blood burnt round my heart.

Are flowers the winter’s choice?
Is love’s bed always snow?
She seemed to hear my silent voice,
Not love’s appeals to know.
I never saw so sweet a face
As that I stood before.
My heart has left its dwelling-place
And can return no more

John Clare

As an integral part of my eternal search for lustrous pearls, I save time by subscribing to email lists that will send me material. One of those is a poetry site, Poem Hunters.com; I started using their email service about two or three weeks ago, and have found their choice of poems to be very helpful, and erudite, as well as satisfyingly diverse. I’ve now been introduced to at least four new poets (new to me….) whose work I find to be very good. This is one of them…. enjoy!
___________________________________

Some mornings go better than others…. on those mornings, I kind of wish I still was putting out five pearls a day instead of three. Ah well, I also like it this way, and it seems to be working well, so, “it ain’t broke, so I’m leavin’ it alone….”  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Unassailable Grace, Impervious Beauty….

Ffolkes,
As mentioned yesterday, today’s offering will assume the new position. With no further ado, I give you the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom (remember, kids, don’t try this at home)……

“I may not understand what you say, but I’ll defend to your death my right to deny it.” — Albert Alligator, in Pogo, 26 September 1951

Pogo, the comic strip by Walt Kelly, was still being drawn by Mr. Kelly when I was a kid. However, being just a kid, I was often confused by the things that Pogo, Albert, and all their  swamp-mates would say, and often wondered why people thought the strip was so funny. Later, when I went away to college, I was re-introduced to the strip, and came to understand why Walt Kelly was considered a genius. His droll sense of irony and his keen wit had, in the swamp society he created, a perfect outlet for all his sharp observations of American culture and politics, delivered in a down-home, laid-back way that belied the depth of his cutting wit. This Pearl, from Albert Alligator, is a perfect example of that wit, and how he used one single line to portray a number of concepts. This particular phrase sounds as if it could have been uttered by almost any of our modern talking heads. It is certainly no less potent a point than those being brought out by the group of Republican presidential wannabees; it actually sounds like something Rick Perry might blurt out, then spend the next three days “refining” his meaning. Though today we have our own modern version of Pogo in the characters of Doonesbury, I would love to have seen some of the strips Mr. Kelly would have drawn on the subject of today’s culture, were he still alive, especially those that would poke gentle fun at what I like to call the Motley Crew (Perry, Cain, Romney, Bachman, etc.)……

I care not, Fortune, what you me deny:
You cannot rob me of free Nature’s grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve:
Let health my nerves and finer fibres brace,
And I their toys to the great children leave:
Of fancy, reason, virtue, naught can me bereave.
— James Thomson (1700-1748) — The Castle of Indolence, Canto ii, Stanza 3

IMHO, (in my humble opinion, for the uninitiated) poetry is possibly the one divine attribute that mankind can truly claim as his own. There is some unique part of the human psyche that is able to take the most complex, powerful emotions we experience and, in just a few well-chosen, gracefully arranged words, give powerful expression to what otherwise would take hundreds of words to explain. Love, death, betrayal, honor, independence, sorrow, joy, all of the most powerful of human feelings, all are perceived by the fertile minds of poets, who then, by some unknown inner process, give back to the world what they perceive and feel, in a form that inspires and illuminates. This particular excerpt, from James Thomson, is one I had never come across before, and before I even understood what it was saying, I knew I’d be using it, because it is just plain beautiful to read. When reading it, try reading it aloud; it’s got a wonderful rhythm to it that is just fun to speak out loud……and the message I get from it is pretty inspiring as well. What did you see or feel when you read it?…….More on this subject in future missives…..

Nuke a gay whale for Jesus. — an attempt to be as politically incorrect as possible, of unknown origin

Like most of us probably have, I’ve seen this floating around the net (there’s a phrase you wouldn’t have seen even as little as 20 years ago); whether it made you smile, frown, or just groan is immaterial for the purposes of this discussion, plus I don’t really care. 🙂 What I’m interested in just now is the phrase ‘politically incorrect’. I have serious misgivings when I consider the societal gestalt that created the whole idea of ‘political correctness’; the phrase alone is suggestive of an idea that keeps cropping up, an idea that Mrs. Grundy has been promoting for centuries, to wit: morality can be legislated. (Mrs. Grundy, for those of you who don’t know her, is that old lady across the street whose curtains twitch all day long as she takes note of all her neighbor’s activities, so she has ammunition for her busybody opinions and critical judgments of the rest of us. Also known as Nosy Parker) Trying to tell people how they should act is not the function of government, and what goes on in my house is MY business, not anyone else’s. This is another subject that we will explore again, when I’ve gotten the hang of this new format. So far, I’m being a bit too long winded (surprise!)…..

“For a man can lose neither the past nor the future; for how can one take from him that which is not his? So remember these two points:
first, that each thing is of like form from everlasting and comes round again in its cycle, and that it signifies not whether a man shall look upon the same things for a hundred years or two hundred, or for an infinity of time; second, that the longest lived and the shortest lived man, when they come to die, lose one and the same thing.”  — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ii, 14

The author of this little statement of philosophy re: reality and life was born one thousand, eight hundred and ninety years ago. I think we can agree that that is a long time ago. He lived without TV, without radio, without air-conditioning, cars; hell, they didn’t even have toilets yet. (Put THAT picture in your head; 10,000 or so people in ancient Athens, no toilets!) We modern folk tend to look upon those times, when we think of them at all, with scorn or amusement for what they had to put up with (or without). We have theoretically made a lot of progress since those days, but I can think of very few modern thinkers who have come even close to such insight into human nature, and the proper alignment of that nature in the universe. I actually find this to be the case in a large number of instances, and can only regard it as more data that points toward Armageddon in the not-so-distant future. Mankind as a species is in a period of grave danger, and that danger lies within our own nature, for we are quick to deny that which doesn’t fit our conception of how things should be, and turn our attention elsewhere. This denial will end up, I believe, as our Achilles’Heel…..

Well, that’s enough doom & gloom for one morning. Wow…..in looking back over today’s piece, I am underwhelmed, but hopeful. There was no lack of subject matter, but this format seems to feed into my tendency to fall into pedantry (see?), so we may have to make some adjustments. Here, then is your final Pearl for today, more wisdom from the ages, and sans comment……

‘We give to necessity the praise of virtue.” — Quintilian (42-118 AD) — Institutiones Oratoriae, i, 8, 14

Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!