Suicide by platitude….

Ffolkes,

“In the bigger scheme of things,
the universe is not asking us to do something,
the universe is asking us to be something.
And that’s a whole different thing.”

~~ Lucille Clifton ~~

harbor view

Harbor view at high tide, from the esplanade….

Hajime…. It has been four days since I last wrote…. anything significant. In that time, my muse went away, along with much of my sanity; it’s been, shall we say, an ‘interesting’ time. In fact, I still don’t feel much like writing, but, there is still SOME degree of social consciousness floating around in what now passes for my mind, & I thought it would be good to let those few ffolkes who come regularly know I am alive, and, within reason, as well as can be expected…. for an old fart with more life under his belt than he, perhaps, knows what to do with….

The battle for sanity continues, though with somewhat less bloodshed. It’s strange to be experiencing the symptoms of PTSD so strongly, & my only cogent thought on why involves the physical issues that I also am battling, as I realized the emotional content of what is going on in my head is all attached to past events, not present, yet, it is the present in which I must cope… It has long been known that stress & disturbance in the ‘gut’, (i.e., the digestive system) often cause such emotional purging; it was noted first in women who had multiple abdominal surgeries (C-sections, etc.), & was determined to be a relatively general human condition; when our midsection is under ‘attack’, whether from internal or external forces, it will unleash emotions, past or present, at high volume & strength…

Knowing what might be behind my issues only makes it understandable. This allows one to create some emotional space in which to think, but, doesn’t make any of it any simpler, or easier…. just more explainable…. and, it isn’t done, for my gut has a LOT of healing to do. It is getting the help it needs from me, but, the ultimate effect must be borne by my mind, currently under attack from self-imposed demonic possession…. Sounds like a party, doesn’t it? NOT….

Oh well, so be it. I hope to be able to write soon; for now, I am on hiatus, and will remain so for the foreseeable near future. The Pearl you see today is all there is, as I haven’t even been able to get Smart Bee to cooperate much, thus precluding one of my more stabilizing activities… Probably Murphy’s fault there, but, he only gets us where we leave ourselves vulnerable, so, I can’t complain about that. I will merely say, I’ll be back, for I can feel much in me still to purge, & it’s gotta go somewhere, right? Right…. For today, all that means is, what you see, from this point on, is what you get. So be it….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Courage is not the absence of fear,
but rather the judgment
that something else is more important than fear.”

~~ Ambrose Redmoon ~~

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

Default day, so, default music…. Enjoy!…..

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

“Haiku’s inventor
must have had seven fingers
on his middle hand.”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

Tally Ho…

Mornings bring quiet
as the demons go to rest.
But, where do they go?

Sanity recedes
into insignificance.
Only Now exists.

We create it all
out of fear and memory.
Yet spirit abides.

If only poems
would flow out as easily
as our pain flows in.

Ah, well, said the sage;
Now is all we ever have
for eternity.

~~ gigoid ~~

7/16/2017

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Use the wrist, Luke….

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“Pluralitas non ponenda est sine necessitate.”
(Multiplicity is not to be asserted when it is unnecessary.)

~~ William of Occam [Occam’s Razor] ~~

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“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love
will have the final word in reality.”

~~ Martin Luther King ~~

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“Even a fool knows that you can’t touch the stars,
but it doesn’t stop a wise man from trying.”

~~ Judge Harry T. Stone ~~

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“The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal
depends not on what he feels but on what he does;
just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Meditations, ix, 16 ~~

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“The man who has no imagination has no wings.”

~~ Muhammad Ali ~~

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“How many Zen masters does it take to change a light bulb?
A tree in a golden forest.”

~~ Sagacious Bee ~~

*******

“You grok?”

~~ Michael Valentine Smith ~~

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Well, apparently, I had more in there than I knew. As I’ve said before, so be it. I believe I also said, WYSIWYG, so, there you go. I’ll be back as soon as I finish off these demons, but, won’t bother to try to predict how long it might take…. I will, however, be back, on that you may rely…. See ya, ffolkes…

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

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À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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Bargaining with Murphy….

Ffolkes,

“If a man insisted always on being serious,
and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation,
he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.”

~~ Herodotus ~~

ketchikan-early-morn

Spring morning ~ Ketchikan, Alaska….

Hajime…. According to all I’ve been told most of my life, there are limits to what we may expect from Life. I don’t remember ever quite believing it, since all I could observe around me failed to support such a thesis. (Yes, I was precocious….) So, I’ve always tended to go beyond what others might feel is prudent, which was fine with me, but, tended to make my young life a bit more, shall we say, ‘interesting’? But, then, nobody ever learned much from never being challenged, did they?

Y’all might, at this point, wonder just what the hell I’m getting at, but, that would show your own self-absorption. If you thought about it a moment, you also might remember you shouldn’t expect what you expect around here, and it wouldn’t surprise you to find out I’m not getting at anything. Well, nothing particularly meaningful, or, for that matter, relevant. I was just sort of wandering around in my head, and that’s what I found. I do that a lot, which, if you’ve been here any number of times, you’d already know, and have skipped down to the music.

For any Gentle Readers who remain at this point, it probably won’t cause any further feather-ruffling to announce we’re done here, and will be moving on, as soon as I figure out a reasonably intelligent way to get myself out of this cul-de-sac of reasoning in which I’ve inadvertently placed myself. I’m afraid I’m going to have to resort to an old, tried-and-true method, we used to call #4….. Actually, it’s pretty cool, not to mention efficient. How does it work. Easy. Just like this….

Shall we pearl?….

“A reverence for life does not require one to respect nature’s obvious mistakes.”

~~ Robert A. Heinlein ~~

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norah-jones

Norah Jones

Image from desktopimages.com via Google Images

A friend reminded me to include music, which I do using his own stated preference, with great pleasure. Especially for the opportunity to include the music of this daughter of an icon, sister of another, as well as an iconic talent herself. In today’s world of hype and illusion, her music stands out, as real. Here’s a live concert from a few years back, purported to have good sound quality…. Let’s go see if that holds true, shall we?…. Enjoy, ffolkes….

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Comedy_Tragedy

Stray Cats

The veils that billow and fold
between dreams and reality
may sometimes part,
showing the visions of one to the other,
blending, bleeding as one,
only to bring us up short,
closely jammed against immovable fate.

Still, we keep our watch,
seeking to find the vision
that brings with it the mark of reality’s regard,
a humble mind, and a compassionate heart.

Events of broad impact draw us away again,
distracting with shiny glitter and tinny music,
leaving our feelings raw and bruised,
the victim of universal disregard.

Now, in the twilight of years, the music is fading,
and the glitter has all gone….
yet the memory of visions remains sharp and clear,
melancholy reminders of reality’s promises,
unkept…..

~~gigoid~~

4/12/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Justifiably Inane….

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“Words must be weighed, not counted.”

~~ Polish Proverb ~~

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“The truth is always the strongest argument.”

~ Sophocles — Phaedra, Frag. 737 ~~

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“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.”

~~ Occam’s Razor ~~

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“The shortest distance between two people is laughter.”

~~Victor Borge ~~

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“My imagination makes me human and makes me a fool;
it gives me all the world and exiles me from it.”

~~ Ursula K. Le Guin ~~

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“If you are out to describe the truth,
leave elegance to the tailor.”

~~ Albert Einstein ~~

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“Appearance must not foil, nor shifted sphere confuse thy brain.
Ample are time and space–ample the fields of nature.”

~~ Walt Whitman, CONTINUITIES ~~

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It may be premature of me to make any judgments, so, I won’t. What I will do is continue the efficiency so bravely provided in the intro by using the old #4. In the closing section, that looks like this…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes. Just try to stop me…. Hah!….

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

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À bientôt, mon cherí….

Monotheism typically requires optimistic pessimism, and pink underwear….

Ffolkes,

“Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.”

(Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.)

~~ William of Occam, Occam’s Razor ~~

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“Some people still think you need shaving cream to use Occam’s Razor.”

~~ Sardonic Bee ~~

voyager-uranus-moon-mirandaMiranda, Moon of Uranus, photo taken by Voyager, from an article on Space.com


It seems the battle waging inside my head is leaking over into my process; not only do I have nothing in my mind, but, the vast power of that nothing terrifies me. For over three years now, I’ve used the process of creating this blog to keep me relatively sane, but, sanity seems to be receding in my rear-view mirror, as I type…. For some days now, my mind has taken me for a retrospective ride through my memories, not always to the most comforting destinations therein…. All of us, even those of us who consider ourselves to be Warriors of the Light, know we have failed in life at certain moments; we all have places in our memory which we don’t care to remember often, as they are proof of our weakness….

My problem isn’t that there are too many of them, though, some might say so…. they, however, usually are people who don’t have a clue as to what I’ve lived through, so I figure what they may say doesn’t count, and, in fact, shows their own ignorance & lack of morality more than it does any such failures on my part…. No, I’m talking about memories which we wish we could change, where our actions, and the decisions made, were just wrong, and weak, and, worst of all, may have harmed another creature, whether human or otherwise…. Things we can only admit to ourselves, in the privacy of our own minds…. things so egregiously immoral that we condemn ourselves for having done them….

But, nobody can change the past, and, after a while, weeping over past mistakes gets old, as well as futile…. I KNOW that there are many things in Life we cannot change; the most obvious of those is the past. Feeling bad over past errors in judgment is about as futile as it gets in this dimension, under these laws of universal nature…. and, as long as I continue to whip myself over stuff I can’t change, I’ll continue to suffer these paroxysms of emotionalism and angst…..

I am feeling somewhat stronger, and better, because I’m closer to being able to live with my mistakes again; thanks to the time I spent in therapy, I know how to get through it better, to regain my center, and my balance there…. But, this time, it has leaked over into this process more than in the past, so, that, I think, is something to work on….

All I know at this point is, I’m tired of trying to type while tears are making it tough to see the keyboard, so, it’s got to stop. Putting these Pearls together has been my salvation; I refuse to give it up, even if it does become more work than play…. I guess the fact that it can serve as both is what makes it so valuable to me…. but, that’s another of those things I don’t want to look at too closely, lest it disappear altogether for being exposed….

Now, maybe the picture I chose today will make more sense to you…. Just look at Miranda, the poor wee thing…. a moon of a huge, eccentric planet, with a tilted axis, and a massively elliptical orbit, that over the millennia has pulled, and twisted, and turned her insides out with gravitational stresses. Consequently, the face she shows to the universe has turned into a horrible caricature of a moon, with lines, cracks, and twisted features running in all directions. For such a beautiful name, her face is scarred and terribly disfigured…. as I feel inside…. But, it’s okay, because, I know I don’t need to sweat making any changes in the world…. I only need to make changes within me, as necessary and appropriate….

Shall we Pearl?….

“How are things? Just as they are.” ~~ Smart Alec Bee

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What we have below is a pearl composed of elementary ideas re: the American experiment…. If I were to rant, these would all be part of it, in the sense of being all of one theme, of how it is supposed to work… The first thing to remember, is to acknowledge the veracity of the first pearl, just below, by A. F. Tyler, a truism of historical perspective with which we must view all the rest, including the actual historical events we have observed since the inception of our nation…. We must never forget to place the form of government we have in its proper perspective, to keep track of the bigger picture in which it exists, in space, and time…. To wit:

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.” — Alexander Frazer Tyler (1748-1813), — The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic

With this in mind, we see the following pearls/ideas become even more important, as we realize our own duty, if we wish to have ANY of the freedoms enjoyed by our ancestors. In my lifetime, I’ve witnessed our society progress from abundance into selfishness; we are well on our way to complacency now, as indicated by society’s general refusal to acknowledge the danger of climate change, which is only a PART of the environmental issues with which we are threatened… Given the state of the environment, we may, or may not, have enough time to ever get to the point of apathy, much less dependency…. Nonetheless, if we pay heed to these pearls, it certainly can’t hurt, and it could very well help….

“The voice of protest, of warning, of appeal is never more needed than when the clamor of fife and drum, echoed by the press and too often by the pulpit, is bidding all men fall in step and obey in silence the tyrannous word of command. Then, more than ever, it is the duty of the good citizen not to be silent.” — Charles Eliot Norton, True Patriotism, 1898

“Millions of sensible people are too high-minded to concede that politics is almost always the choice of the lesser evil.  “Tweedledum and Tweedledee,” they say, “I will not vote.”  Having abstained, they are presented with a President who appoints the people who are going to rummage around in their lives for the next four years.  Consider all the people who sat home in a stew in 1968 rather than vote for Hubert Humphrey.  They showed Humphrey.  Those people who taught Hubert Humphrey a lesson will still be enjoying the Nixon Supreme Court when Tricia and Julie begin to find silver threads among the gold and the black.” — Russell Baker, “Ford without Flummery”

“That truth cannot be material in any respect, is contrary to the nature of things.  No tribunal, no codes, no systems can repeal or impair this law of God, for by his eternal laws it is inherent in the nature of things … It is evident that if you cannot apply this mitigated doctrine for which I speak … you must for ever remain ignorant of what your rulers do.  I can never think this ought to be; I never did think the truth was a crime; I am glad the day is come in which it is to be decided; for my soul has ever abhorred the thought, that a free man dared not speak the truth.” — Alexander Hamilton

“…I am opposed to all attempts to license or restrict the arming of individuals…I consider such laws a violation of civil liberty, subversive of democratic political institutions, and self-defeating in their purpose.” — Robert A. Heinlein, in a 1949 letter concerning “Red Planet”

“What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms!” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Letter to Colonel W. S. Smith, 1787

“We have a presidential election coming up. And I think the big problem, of course, is someone will win.” — Barry Crimmins

“He serves the state best, who opposes it the most.” — Smart Bee

Well, there you go…. so be it. gigoid has spoken….

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We all grew up with the Beach Boys, so, no introduction is necessary, I think…. just enjoy…..

The Beach Boys, 50th Anniversary

http://youtu.be/1ldm-_jKKes


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Again today, especially today, we’ll keep this in-house, to keep from affecting anyone else’s reputation….

Dreaming of Calliope

La belle dame sans merci speaks aloud through endless night,
torturing dreams, with powerful words and stentorian phrases.
Manifest visions bathed in unbearable grace and light,
destroying all direction, standing lost, in unfathomable mazes.

Fate plays a part, one that will never face denial,
as fear and courage eternally vie for ascendancy.
Conflict becomes valid, gifting strength in open trial,
but honest emotion wears no costume so fancy.

Blood, sweat, and tears stroll on avenues of gold,
unlikely heroines heralding as in ancient lore;
Sharp, competent knives cut through tales untold,
eternally shifting reality past the naked shore.

Drifting toward origin, bereft of mandate or cause,
finished, nay, abandoned, tied with a figurative bow.
No simple gift from muses to give comfort or pause,
save that all we need to know, we already know…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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All in all, the pearls below are not bad advice…. but, like all advice, it’s worth what one pays for it, exactly; for it to be of any value at all, one must pay heed….

“We shall not grow wiser before we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.” — F. A. Hayek

“Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It wasn’t reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out.” — Sydney Smith

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.” — Aldous Huxley (1904-1963)

“In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make his port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.” — Henry David Thoreau, Walden

“I love to doubt as well as know.’ — Dante

“Most recently, I’ve read so much about the dangers of smoke and drink that I have finally decided to give up reading altogether.” — variation on a theme by Henny Youngman

“Devote each day to the object then in time and every evening will find something done.” — Goethe (1749-1832)

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Well, ’tisn’t evening, but, ’tis done, and I am content with that….. It gives me the rest of the day to try to find more ways to keep myself out of the pit…. I’m sure most of y’all are familiar with the pit…. you know, the deep one we fall into when we give in to the pain in our minds…. Fortunately for us all, there are a myriad of methods to keep from tumbling into its depths; the trick is to have one or more of them handy when the pit materializes right in front of our running feet…. See y’all tomorrow ffolkes, and, that is the best, most hopeful thing I can say…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

One of our nuclear clothespins is missing….

Ffolkes,

Don’t tell the monitors, but I think we’re going to have to cut back on the number of virgins we are sacrificing to the gods so they’ll smile upon this blog…. It’s not for any other reason than the fact we are beginning to run into the old Roman firewood conundrum, from back in the days when wood, wind, and water were the only energy sources we had as humans….

Rome, that ancient city, in time grew so large that it became problematic for the Romans to find firewood in the hills above and around the city. After several centuries of population growth, trees became scarce near the city, and the men who worked to gather it, who were called ‘carbonara’, eventually had to make week-long, or longer, forays into the mountains, and further into the countryside, in order to find a source of wood sizable enough to suit their needs.

During these trips, the men would take with them the food and supplies they needed to live for the time they were gone…. As Italians, their foods ran to the simple, but savory, with pasta, bread, and wine as the staples…. all of which travels well, meaning they could take the ingredients with them to use while on the trip…. Dried pasta, dried vegetables (peas, mushrooms, etc.), onions, garlic, pancetta, bread, wine, and cream, for example, in the form of a cow that they herded along the road with them as they went to look for their wood….

Any chefs in the audience may have noted that ingredients listed are those needed to produce the classic Italian dish, Pasta Carbonara, named after the men who kept the fireplaces of ancient Rome supplied with wood during the winter…. I can testify as to its deliciousness, and, in fact, it is my favorite of all the Italian dishes I make, save perhaps Pasta Vongolé, which is made with fresh clams, garlic, white wine, and cream, if desired…. I do both dishes superbly, if I do say so myself….

How does this silly but interesting history relate to this pearl? Well, I’ll tell ya, if you’ll hang on a moment…. Remember what I said about cutting back on our virginal sacrifices? Well, we’re having the same issue finding virgins as the Romans had with their firewood…. It’s taking longer and longer to FIND one that is willing to be sacrificed; last week I had to go all the way to hills above Bakersfield, to harvest one from a junior high school up near Yosemite, which is a good four or five hour drive…. This meant I had to listen to the babble of a 13 year old virgin all the way home, unless I felt like being mean, & sedating him….

Now, I’ll bet y’all are wondering what we do with our virgins after we use them…. which is something you’ll just have to wonder about for a long time, because I have neither the time, the inclination, nor the legal requirement to tell you….. Suffice it to say they are NOT killed, but are placed into an environment where their virginity will not cause them any further harm, and allowed to live out their lives in ignorance of the service they perform for society…. It would only confuse them, and make them less valuable as a trained consumer for the corporate masters..

Okay, I’m done now…. That was quite a mouthful for a relatively poor joke…. If it was a scam, we’d have to call it a long-con, and wait up to a year for the punchline to hit home….. But, since this is a daily blog, we can just call it what it is, which is, of course, nonsense and drivel, fresh from my fevered brain, all for the purpose of filling up space in this section, solely designed to bring us to the point where I can say, without any fear of retribution or heckling beyond the norm….

Shall we Pearl?….

“There is nothing so awkward as courting a woman whilst she is making sausages.” — Laurence Sterne

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Today’s first section will be a Newsy Pearl, with articles ripped from the world’s news, and comments on those articles by gigoid the dubious at his angst-filled sarcastic best (hopefully…)…. Abondanza!….

First, a public service announcement…. A Swedish cyber-security group has found a flaw in the secure internet protocol that two-thirds of the servers on the Internet use, a flaw which provides a route for hackers to exploit, enabling them to obtain data and information from many different commercial and non-commercial sources on the web…. They also found that this flaw has been present, unknown to any but a few, for over two years, and MAY already have been exploited by hackers to steal millions upon millions of passwords and information about people…. It’s called Heartbleed, and, apparently, there is no way to tell how much data has already been compromised….

The authorities have decided to finally let the public know about this, and suggest that ALL users who use the internet change ALL their passwords, advising all those users to also take other steps to further protect and secure their data…. Nice of them to let us know, eh?…. Any who, pass it on, because we ALL need to pay attention to this one…. They’ve been to the barn, but left the door open…. you may want to close it, as best you can….

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Online-security-flaw-exposes-millions-of-passwords-5386933.php

Now we’ll go on to the “Cuban Twitter” issue, that brilliantly programed distraction from Barry’s house, wherein the administration is working like mad to keep us from paying too close attention to what they are NOT doing to reform the NDAA and the NSA’s rabid, out-of-control spying…. While all the hullabaloo about this latest piece of stupidity plays itself out on the public stage, discussing the ins and outs of A PROGRAM THAT NOT ONLY FAILED BUT IS NO LONGER IN PLACE, the NSA quietly continues to mine the metadata on phones and computers all over the world, including right here in the USA…..

Yep, this issue, along with the loud, idiotic feud currently being played out between the Senate and the CIA, is the perfect subject to pull attention away from the NSA, as it gives the media, and their dupes, the general public, something on which to focus their ire, instead of having it focused solely on the Department of Cybersecurity, or whatever it’s called…. 

You know, that well-known organization that coordinates all of our spying with the NSA, (Homeland Security now includes the NSA, CIA, FBI, and whatever clandestine organizations in other departments, such as the branches of the military, all sharing information to keep their paranoia fresh), in their avowed search for terrorists, which includes their continuing joint abuse of the American people’s personal meta data….

Go ahead, read the following, and I’ll see you on the other side…. The initial comments you will see were written yesterday, prior to writing this, and may repeat certain portions, for effect….. sort of a reverse time warp, you see…..

“Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side?  And hain’t that a big enough majority in any town?” — Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Angry-exchange-on-Capitol-Hill-over-Cuban-Twitter-5387870.php


http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/US-penned-political-satire-in-secret-Cuban-Twitter-5387849.php

Here’s the latest on the Cuban Twitter smoke screen… which is obscuring the other smoke screen, the Saga of DiFi and the CIA, both of which are distracting the public’s attention from what is actually happening NOW…. which is the same old shit/stuff these stories are blathering over, to wit: the out-of-control spying and lying that is going on in Washington, and all over the world, all of which gives me the distinct impression the BRC  seems to be  is waging a war of attrition against its own citizens.

The techniques of information manipulation, to misdirect the attention of the enemy to where it cannot see the actual events that transpire behind the scenes; the lies told bare-faced, claiming innocence with bloody hands…. Well, you get the picture…. The people who are in charge of our nation, ffolkes, are NOT very nice people, and are waging a war against YOU, ME, and everyone who doesn’t fall in line with their insane view of the world….

If you think I’m judging them harshly, well, you may be correct…. But, guess what? They are supposed to be MY public servants, not the other way around, and I’m not going to act as if they have any right to do any of what they are up to, not as long as that is true….. I don’t buy into the sense of entitlement they assume, and happen to believe that they are not only NOT the best of us, rising to the top like cream in milk, but, in fact, I see them as more like the scum that rises to the top of any polluted stream…. It fits them much better, in terms of both visual aspect, as well as their, shall we say, less than flowery odor….

This whole issue, making a big fuss over something that is over and done, and was a mistake to begin with, is just another way to distract the public, keeping them from thinking about the stuff that Edward Snowden revealed, all of which IS STILL GOING ON.

That is what they don’t want us to know, ffolkes, and they’ll do anything to keep us focused somewhere else, even if that means giving up some poor bureaucrats who were only doing what they were told, serving them up as scapegoats to hide their own actions, allowing the press and public to judge these poor fools, to let Congress crucify THEM for having stupidly done a poor job, at what was never anything but a stupid idea…. If it keeps us from looking at what the NSA is doing, all the better, in their view….

I said above that I see our own government perpetrating what I see as acts of war against the American people; I consider that to be gospel truth…. The Beloved Ruling Class, at least, the one I’VE been watching, has been using Sun Tzu’s Art of War to carry on a campaign of disinformation and manipulation of attitudes for many years now….. If you’ve ever read it, it is very clear how the government’s actions and statements are designed to use the principles outlined therein to confuse and misdirect the public’s minds….

With this latest administration, that campaign has reached new levels of intrusion into people’s lives, stealing from them not only their money, with outrageous tax structures and an economic system designed to steal even more of what they earn, but, has also made serious inroads into eliminating the Bill of Rights, taking away liberty after liberty, all in the name of “Homeland Security”, an oxymoron if I ever heard one… Now, they aren’t even waiting for us to spend the money, but are using our own computers and phones to increase their level of control over our fates….

Bah, humbug…. I’m pissed again, and it’s still early…. I’m going to stop now, and go on to the next section, where I hope the poem I’ll choose will have a calming effect on me…. I am not looking forward to carrying this around all day….. and, I’m sure y’all are as tired of hearing about all this, as I am about having to write about it…. Believe me, I wish there wasn’t so damn much wrong in today’s world…. Maybe if there was a bit less, I’d feel as if I could afford to turn my head toward a subject somewhat less critical, but much more amiable to my spirit….

SIGH…. Such is life, and we have to take it the way it comes…. In doing so, however, it would be wise to remember…..  despite any desires or wishes YOU may have, you are at war, ffolkes….. and the enemy lives very close at hand….

I’m gonna go Pearl now….

“Most essential qualification for a politician: The ability to foretell what will happen tomorrow, next month, and next year- and to explain afterward why it did not happen.” — Sir Winston Churchill

“Nothing is more admirable than the fortitude with which millionaires tolerate the disadvantages of their wealth.” — Nero Wolfe, Rex Stout (1866-1975)

“He whose pride oppresses the humble may, perhaps, be humbled, but will never be humble.” — Lavater

“Diplomats are just as essential to starting a war as soldiers are for finishing it … You take diplomacy out of war, and the thing would fall flat in a week.” — Will Rogers

“Firmness in politics is called obstinacy anywhere else.” — Smart Bee

“No man is good enough to govern another man without that other’s consent.” — Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.” — Spinoza (1632-1677)

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Maybe it’s just me, but I think this poem is beautiful…. so much so it is one of the best ever written, in my somewhat less than humble opinion….

Part of its charm, for me, comes from the sheer symmetry of the rhyming pattern Wordsworth used… Four lines with alternating ending rhymes, followed by a couplet that also rhymed perfectly…. Twenty-four lines, four stanzas, and a visual aspect as sharp as a photograph, in describing the flowers, and in the way it appears on screen, or paper…. Just look at it…. centered, balanced, complete within itself….

Carrying the pattern through to the ending verse, for me, creates a visual aspect that matches the sheer beauty of the experience he is sharing with the reader…. It assumes an almost mathematically precise symmetry for me, displaying the sheer beauty of nature in all its undisciplined magnificence….. One of my all-time favorite poems, for sure…. and always guaranteed to soothe the spirit…. I defy ANYONE to say they don’t feel better after reading this…..

Daffodils

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~~ William Wordsworth ~~


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

Having completed the obligatory ranting for the day…. (hell, given what I wrote yesterday, I could consider myself done for the week….) I don’t feel compelled to do so any further, and in fact, plan to finish up as quickly as I can, & go take a nap….. As a retired dilettante,  I have that right, and I exercise it frequently, to keep it supple…. Moreover, I like it, so, there…..

I think, given the apparent direction my mood is taking, on the evidence of that last sentence, it intends to go somewhere none of us particularly want to go, so, I’m going to go pearling again, with no particular parameters to guide my hand, only a vague sense of nonsense…. whatever THAT might be….

Pluralitas non ponenda est sine necessitate.  (Multiplicity is not to be asserted when it is unnecessary.) — William of Occam [Occam’s Razor]

“There is a time for thinking and a time for NOT thinking.  And THIS isn’t one of them.” — Paul the Samurai

“A gleekzorp without a tornpee is like a quop without a fertsneet (sort of).” — Smart Bee

“Real glory springs from the silent conquest of ourselves.” — Joseph P. Thompson

“I put aside my copy of “BOWLING WORLD” and think about GUN CONTROL legislation..” — Zippy the Pinhead

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” — Albert Einstein

“Trouble rather the tiger in his lair than the sage amongst his books. For to you Kingdoms and their armies are things mighty and enduring, but to him they are but toys of the moment, to be overturned by the flicking of a finger.” — Chinese proverb

Hmm…. an eclectic little group, eh? In looking at the whole pearl, I think I would suggest shuffling them around a bit, to see if a different configuration will shake it down to a point where it’s a bit more transparent, or at least organized into a sequential thought pattern…. Or, not….

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

Having dutifully proofed, edited, and polished, I consider this done…. Moreover, after carefully performing the appropriate calculations, I am convinced there really isn’t any more damage I can do…. That means it would be a good idea to end this now, and get on with the rest of the day….

Oh…. Okay, that means me…. Very well…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, provided the BRC hasn’t found me yet….

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

Would chartreuse fill the bill?…

Ffolkes,

I remember fire, and fear, and the smell of blood. Blurred, confused images pass behind my eyes, unheeded, as I try to separate all the conflicting perceptions clamoring for my attention from all directions…. Panicked, I open my eyes, only to close them immediately, as the smoke and heat fly into my awareness, and into my lungs. Coughing madly, I start to run, anywhere….

Crashing into walls, screaming in abject, unreasoning fear, I run blindly down the hallway, with flames and smoke pulling at me, reaching out to caress with seductive, lethal fingers, as I flee past the open doors, all with more flames and smoke pouring out…. As I near the window at the end of the hallway, the glass bursts, sending millions of glittering sharp needles raining down at my face….

So, I ducked, grabbed a fire extinguisher, & put out the fire….. Actually, what I actually did is stop writing, because I couldn’t decide whether to kill him off, or save him, & it was getting close to the point where I’d have to do one or the other…. Rather than make up my mind, I decided to just give up, and bring y’all into this paragraph, where a taste of real-time will bring us right into line with our agenda for today. Well, that’s the plan, anyway. Given the general state of affairs around these parts, there’s really no telling what will ACTUALLY occur…. That’s just fine, though, we like it that way….

That’s what we keep telling ourselves, anyway…. that’s our story, and we’re sticking with it. (As you can see, we are also using the royal “we” today….) Besides, what with the way that Reality generally treats ALL of us, I’ve found it’s best to go along with whatever happens, without argument. Trying to make things work the way I want is not what I’d call a lucrative occupation, not for a person who claims to be a realist…. Reality seldom asks us for our opinions about how things should go; it just lets the shit fly, with no worries about what it sticks to…. No nose, y’know?…. the smell doesn’t affect ’em….

I’d claim it had one, (a nose, that is….), but, the anthropomorphizing of inanimate forces of Nature seldom results in anything other than a black eye, or a bloody nose, with the ubiquitous Murphy being  both the obvious exception that proves the rule, and, the perpetrator of Reality’s sardonic attentions…. Besides, y’all are probably aware by now of what is going on here…..

No doubt, the regulars among you have tumbled to what I’ve been doing for the past five paragraphs, as they’ve seen this sort of trickery before…. Yes, we’re deep into the depths of another of my famous meanders, and it’s too late now to say we’re not…. Not only is it too late for that, but, we’ve also lost our way to the end….

But, we have the means to deal with that, no worries…. I’ll just open up this little cupboard right here, and pull out this little package, containing all the denial I’ll need to deal with the reporters later, while I surreptitiously apply Emergency Method #4….. otherwise known as the sudden complete stop…..

Shall we Pearl?

“Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. ” (Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.) — William of Occam, Occam’s Razor

Aha! I KNEW there was SOMETHING I was doing wrong!….. Ah well, it DOES add more to the arguments explaining why using EM #4 is a good idea on mornings like this one…
_____________________________

I’m in a strange place today…. I suppose, coming from me, that isn’t saying anything particularly unusual, but, it still holds true; even for me, I’m feeling weird…. I read the two articles below yesterday, during the short period of time I was able to sit and read news-type stuff….

The first was added to the evidence in my mind regarding the imminent world-wide environmental crisis that Mankind has to face in the coming years, while the second offers at least a small bit of philosophy that could be of help to us in our struggle… by which I mean, the article by Mark M. has some very rational points to bring out, points which, if heeded, can’t help but make things better for a lot of people…. But, who listens to a smart-ass, semi-millennial, faux hippie with a big vocabulary, except ffolkes like me?….

I could conceivably, and quite easily, I’m sure, rant on the first article, about society’s pending demise, thus proving it fits into the prevailing theory of civilization to which the article refers, a theory which delineates how cultures age over time, until their predictable, eventual, inevitable collapse, destroyed from within by corruption, and the weight of its own folly. Our society is a perfect fit for this theory, for which there exists a LOT of evidence, all provided from our own history. But, I’m still a bit tired, and not able to sit long enough to do justice to such a critical, complex subject….

Instead, read the two articles, to get a good idea of where we are today in the World at Large… For your reading and cogitative pleasure, I’ve followed these with a religirant from the archives, just for fun….. Enjoy, ffolkes, as much as you can, considering the subject matter….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/houston-texas/texas/article/NASA-funded-report-says-society-is-trending-5328327.php

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/03/18/is-work-life-balance-a-lie/

The following rant is one of my best, all in all, as it didn’t start out with the intent to rant, but just grew naturally….. Abondanza!….

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

From 11/24/13:

The following religirant is from June of 2012; in my opinion, it remains as cogent as the day it was first written….. Thank goodness, as it gives me a reason to use it now. (Note from 2014: It’s as valid today as it was last November…)  My advice is to take it with the usual grain or two of your favorite flavored salt….. Myself, I like a mixture of onion and garlic salts, with some cracked black pepper, and a touch of chili powder, for interest, and balance…. Metaphorically speaking, you could think of that as Reason, Doubt, and Imagination…. apply them to any subject, and they’ll come out a lot better than merely using Faith and/or Fearful Denial….

“Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training, for it trains people as to how they shall think.” — Arthur Schopenhauer

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

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love (1972)

There are many folks out there who, when reading my material for the first time, might get the impression that I am an atheist, and an anarchist. The stuff I write would tend to give that impression, I have no doubt. But, it really isn’t the case, and just goes to show that not everything is always as it seems….

I’m not an atheist, at least not in a classical sense. I would more accurately be described as agnostic, as I believe strongly in a spiritual component in the universe. But, the very concept of omnipotence, and omniscience, implies that one cannot define God, or whatever entity one considers to be the ultimate authority. A finite mind cannot comprehend an infinite mind; anything we can imagine cannot, by definition, be accurate or complete, as our minds are not infinite in scope.

It could be said that our imagination IS infinite. We can, at the very least, comprehend the concept of infinity, even if we cannot touch it, or see it, or count that high. But, to actually think that what we imagine about God is the same as reality is not only arrogant, it is foolish. Yet a large percentage of the human race not only believes they know what God looks like (ironically, God always looks suspiciously like the folks who are claiming Him as their deity….), but, also have the temerity to say that they know what He wants. To my way of thinking, this is sheer self-aggrandizement, and unjustifiably arrogant….

I suppose it helps them in dealing with the everyday stresses of life to think that they are special. It must be comforting to think they are beloved of God, and what they do is important to Him. This sense of belonging is important to a lot of folks, in reaction, I think, to their own fears about their ability, or, in their eyes, their inability, to deal with reality as it exists. It gives them a sense of entitlement, and justifies their actions, no matter how immoral or unethical they may be. It allows them to act upon their impulses without restraint, to lie, to cheat, to steal, all in the name of the Lord. And, if they should happen to feel a tiny shred of guilt about what they are doing to other folks, why, they just confess their sins to Jesus, and all is forgiven!….

Sorry, ffolkes, but I could never buy into the whole scenario, from my earliest days on this planet…. All of my experience, and all of my reasoning has led me to a different view of reality than what is described by any religion. I have observed the behavior of most people of a religious bent to be, as a rule, hypocritical, cruel, bigoted, racist, and, for the most part, unrelated to any moral or ethical system of any depth. Those who claim to be the MOST religious in society go so far as to threaten violence toward anyone who disagrees with their beliefs, justified by their own self-proclaimed right to spew their hatred on anyone who differs.

I believe in compassion and kindness. I believe in love. I believe in protecting the vulnerable, and helping the less fortunate. I believe in beauty. And, I believe in reality, whatever that may be; it’s purely subjective for the most part. I DON’T believe in the divinity of Jesus, or Buddha, or Lao Tzu, or Mohammad, or any other religious prophet. I don’t believe there is some white haired, bearded old guy sitting on a throne of gold up in the sky somewhere, looking down and getting his shorts in a bunch because I didn’t salute his graven image first thing after I got up.

That whole graven image thing, and the idea that God wants, or needs, our worship has always been a thorn in my side. I mean, can’t these zealots understand the irony of worshiping an image of Christ on the cross? Don’t they know that the cross is a graven image? And, most importantly to me, why would an omnipotent being NEED to have MY worship? It makes no sense. None. I cannot imagine of ANY reason for a God to care at all about such petty bullshit; I don’t care to be worshiped, why should He? Having someone act that way toward me makes me uncomfortable, so I can’t see why a God would even want to go there. What purpose does it serve? In my opinion, it debases the worshiper, AND the one worshiped.

One of my computer alarms just went off, and made me realize I was ranting, which I had not started out to do. I think y’all can get the gist of my arguments by this time, and, since those who are in disagreement with what I’ve written aren’t going to be persuaded away from their long-held delusions by my words, further soliloquy would be futile.

I’ll just finish by saying this…. until Mankind grows up enough to be able to put aside the crutch of religion, until the species as a whole learns to stand up to reality as it exists, without the delusional imaginary friend to intercede on their behalf with the universe, then our path to extinction will remain clear…. It’s too bad, really, because we do show a lot of promise, at times, and under the right conditions…. It’s too bad we will never be allowed to explore our limits as an adult species, because we will have killed ourselves off before we ever got out of childhood….

“There ain’t no devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk.” — Tom Waits, Heartattack and Vine
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There you go…. Now, I COULD continue ranting on this theme; it’s one I can pick up in a heartbeat. But, I’ll be nice, and get on with the rest of today’s effort…. See, I CAN be disciplined…. and compassionate, as well…. it just takes a while sometimes……

“It is in changing that things find repose” — Heraclitus
_____________________________

On days such as this one is turning out to be, I try to NOT let any of what takes place here splash onto other people…. In that vein, here is one of my older poems, just to fill up this space with something that rhymes….

A Dubiously Soft Morning

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

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

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

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

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

Fiddle de dee, fiddle de dum….. I smell the blood of an English mun…. I always hated that rhyme; it isn’t QUITE right, and, thus, hurts my obsessive sense of order…. But, it’s a nice little phrase to indicate the passage of time, with the added attraction of being thoroughly nonsensical…. As such, it’s handy for those of us who rely on literary tricks to get by…. Patently, it’s useful, if only to get us where we needed to go, which, oddly enough, is right here….. Fancy that!…..

I COULD get really silly, and go for Monty Python style in this next section, but, I’m not terribly expert in the Silly Walk. I CAN do a decent “Ni ni ni….”, but, how many times can one fall back on that? Not too many, I can assure you…. No, we’ll stay with what we know best, which just happens to be an old-school pearl, with parameters unset, to give it that random, harlequin look… It works for me, as it will for you, if you give it half a chance…. that’s all we’re asking for, ffolkes, just half a chance….

“The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.” — Albert Schweitzer

“Regrets and complaints about relations are to be attributed to the same cause, which is not old age, but men’s characters and tempers; for he who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but for someone with the opposite deposition, youth and old age are equally a burden.” — Plato,_The Republic_, Book 1

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible  were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

“Mark how fleeting and paltry is the estate of man,–yesterday in embryo, to-morrow a mummy or ashes. So for the hair’s-breadth of time assigned to thee live rationally, and part with life cheerfully, as drops the ripe olive, extolling the season that bore it and the tree that matured it.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, iv, 48

“Nature does nothing uselessly.’ — Aristotle

“Extinct is forever.” — Smart Bee

“There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you please unless it causes others harm. With it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.” — P.J. O’Rourke
_____________________________

I seem to be incapable of reaching any sort of conclusive resolution regarding the nature, and/or disposition of this Pearl; some time during the creation of today’s piece, my mind took a hike, and hasn’t returned all the way…. Something out there in my subconscious is drawing a good portion of its focus, so, I guess I’ll have to finish this without benefit of being 100% present…. and if anyone makes a comment as to that being a normal state, I WILL be hurt…. 

Not really, cuz it’s perfectly true, and I try not to let true stuff hurt me…. (see the last pearl in section three to see why….)…. Actually, I’m all here, I’m just not ALL here, if you catch my drift….

Now that I’ve gotten to the point of deliberate obscurity, I’d better bring this to a close…. It’s true, though, I don’t know what to think about today’s Pearl; it felt strange while putting it together, and still defies my complete comprehension…. I’m a little worried about how that will affect others, but, hey, we all take a risk, every time we try to use whatever it is we keep between our ears, so, like me, and everyone else, y’all are on your own in that respect…. I don’t think any of it will actually HARM you, unless, of course, you try to use it as REAL wisdom….

See ya tomorrow, when things will be different…. None of us has much of a choice about THAT, do we?…..

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

Statistical universes encourage the use of pets….

Ffolkes,

You can expect no desperate whining, nor any trepidation at the blank screen this morning; the date, in all its glorious singularity, is subject enough for anyone to latch onto, providing all of us would-be authors and columnists with ample fodder for our grist, or grist for our mill, or more simply, lots to write about…..

The end of another year, for some reason, seems to put society into nostalgia mode, with year-end sales, year-end parties, year-end lists, and all sorts of activities designed to bring more attention to what just happened, thus avoiding both living in the moment, and preparing for the future, both of which would doubtlessly serve us better than gazing into our checkered past….

In this sense, we can see that all of the end of the year contortions people go through every damn year are just another method of avoiding anything that MIGHT resemble intelligent or productive living. Society would rather spend all their time going over the past year, with all of its problems and triumphs, than it would discussing what may be wrong now, or trying to prepare for a potentially fatally grim future, one very much likely to be less than a stable, peaceful path, but, rather, a short, violent one that leads to, shall we say, a less than desirable outcome, in a very short time…..

Last year, I wrote the following, as the beginning to the last Pearl of 2012…. I think it’s pretty good, so let’s see how it reads today….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From 12/31/2012:

Exploring consensual reality means more than just talking about what people see as real; it means being real, and learning to accept the reality of others, while at the same time rejecting all those realities that are harmful in some way. It means speaking up against all the cruelty and evil that we see, refusing to join the masses who try to ignore what they cannot understand, and therefore, fear. It means exposing those who live their lives without regard for anyone else. It means taking responsibility for one’s own actions, and insisting that others do the same. It means, to me, that even though there is little hope of changing human nature at this late date, a small chance exists that we can survive, provided we learn to embrace ALL of life with honest regard, and can find a way to bring out the best in human nature, rather than allowing the worst to run rampant….

And that, pompous as it is, is ALL we will say about the future, or the past year, for the time being. Everyone else will, I’m sure, cover that adequately, and it would be a waste of my time to add to what is already a massive outpouring of material to read. I’d much rather provide something a bit different, and shall endeavor to do so, post haste…. Sorry, once pomposity sets in, it’s hard to put down….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Not too bad, and certainly worth using again this year….. Now, if I could only figure out what the hell to write about today, I could fulfill my given task here at ECR with no fuss or muss…. But, as per normal around here, it looks like it will take some effort to get anything worthwhile to come out of this messy process….. This intro, as can be seen, is yet another experiment, this one thrown together and applied on short notice, as the day snuck up on me, so to speak… Well, actually, the idea snuck up on me, and…. oh, never mind….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“The answer to the question “why was I born trans?” is not in the past, but in the future. When we move beyond asking how we got here and ask what we should do with what we have we answer why we are here.” — Callan Williams

Believe me, this is a much more appropriate pearl than you may think upon first read….. and is much, much deeper than it may first appear….. Just think on it, and it will become clear why this is here, and what it means to all of us, not just the “trans”…..
_____________________________

Not only was the opening of the Pearl from last year on this date a good one, but there was a religirant in there that is well worth reprinting today…. It is still completely valid, in all respects, remaining both an indictment of those who would foist this nonsense upon an unsuspecting society, and as a call to think about the dogma that is impressed upon the believers of what I consider to be delusional material… i.e. strong beliefs held in the absence of evidence or tangible proof….. In short, an indictment of preachers and priests, imams and sadhus, and all the other religious pundits who try to manipulate mankind by the application of massive guilt, and the concept of original sin…. the greatest scam of all time….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Also from 12/31/2012:

Forgiveness. How does a person without faith in a higher power obtain this boon? Certainly not from themselves…. I know, if I have done something for which I feel the need, or desire, to be forgiven, then I most likely don’t deserve it, and refuse to give in to self-indulgence. According to the preachers, God forgives all, but damn me if I can see any reason to do so, no matter how ‘merciful’ he/she/it might be. How can anyone expect moral behavior, if even our most grievous sins are forgiven? Because of the promise of reward for compliance, or threat of punishment for refusal to conform? I agree with Albert Einstein, that any such philosophy is not realistic, and certainly not moral,,..

“In his private heart no man much respects himself.” — Mark Twain

All of us, without exception, have things we hide inside ourselves, secrets that nobody else will ever be told. Whether it is a memory of an act one is not proud of, or a bit of severe foolishness, or something so shameful that to share it would be to become a pariah, all of us humans have secrets. I would guess that almost all of them are akin to what is described in the first paragraph, to wit: acts that need forgiveness, but do not deserve it. I believe that this may be a method by which one can tell another person’s outlook on religion, for almost all religions are based on this principle, of divine forgiveness. Even though we may do things in life that are unforgivable, the gods, or God, for the monotheistic among us, are so merciful, that they will do so, if you but acknowledge their divinity, and admit they are your higher power….

It’s a good deal, all in all, if one buys it. Myself, I’m a bit sanguine about it, since I only have the word of the preachers that it is so; there is no real evidence to be found that supports the theory, and the scientist in me wants at least a little bit of proof before accepting something as truth. I’m not going to buy anything just on someone else’s word, or assertion of truth; I’ve been alive long enough to know that doing things like that can only lead to losing something, if only the advantage of self-respect.

“His ignorance covers the world like a blanket, and there’s scarcely a hole in it anywhere.” — Mark Twain

Wait, I thought we were talking about religion, not the last Republican President…. Sorry, couldn’t resist…. Any who, it all comes back to the basic idea of how we view reality, in terms of the concept of God, or a power greater than ourselves, that is responsible somehow for everything that exists, and thus, for us. By giving away that responsibility, I think, we are showing our own cowardice; I’m not willing to do that, not without more compelling evidence than hearsay.

I’m not blind to the other evidence that many religionists claim as being proof of God and his will; I’ve burst into tears myself at the sight of a particularly vivid sunrise, without knowing why, other than the beauty of it was so arrestingly powerful. I’ve seen good things happen everywhere, in human interaction, and in Nature. I’ve witnessed what priests like to call “grace”, and will admit that such events are not explainable by ordinary means.

I’ve also witnessed the other side of existence, where human nature turns dark and cruel, while Nature reveals its own complete indifference for human suffering; I cannot accept that the same entity would dare to assume, or want responsibility for such a wicked universe, even if the balance of good and evil is maintained by the presence of the other.

That assumption is purely human, and thus does not qualify, in my mind, as evidence of divinity in the form of God, by any of the visions held by any of the churches of Mankind. Unless, of course, one goes beyond doctrine, into philosophy, where the above contradictions do not apply, or can be explained by one further assumption. That assumption is a hard one for most humans, as it involves taking responsibility for EVERYTHING that they do, and for everything that happens to them. (Yep, that’s a paraphrase of the basic principle of Karma…)

In other words, as Robert Heinlein put it so aptly, in his epic statement of philosophy, Stranger In a Strange Land, “Thou art God.”  I know, it’s blasphemous, but, hey, been there, done that, let’s get past it…. It is the only explanation that fits ALL the facts in evidence, and even if a bit grandiose, really isn’t, because we are, after all, just a bunch of bozos on the bus.

Being God, though, would be a really boring job, the way the job descriptions in all the churches read, and I don’t think I want to take that on, particularly. It may be the only way I can find any forgiveness for those things I’ve done in my long life of which I am not proud, but, since I don’t feel that I SHOULD be forgiven for them, I think I’ll just accept the responsibility, along with the consequence, a certain lessening of my self-esteem, and try to act in the future in ways that won’t make me feel that way….

It really isn’t hard to be good, in reality, as long as you care…. The problem is, not enough people care, or even think about stuff like this…. Me, I can’t help myself…. Caring, to me, is what being human is about; those who don’t care aren’t fully human, and won’t be until they do….

“I am covered with pure vegetable oil and I am writing a best seller!”  — Zippy the Pinhead
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Once again, I’m forced to resort to my own poetry, for honor’s sake…. It’s one of my strongest held beliefs, that no one else should ever get any of the blame for what happens here, so, there are times when I must use my own, to protect the names of the innocent….. I hope you enjoy it, as it was picked out to match today’s mood….

Stray Cats

The veils that billow and fold
between dreams and reality
 may sometimes part,
showing the visions of one to the other,
blending, bleeding as one,
only to bring us up short,
closely jammed against immovable fate.

Still, we keep our watch,
seeking to find the vision
 that brings with it the mark of reality’s regard,
a humble mind, and a compassionate heart.

Events of broad impact draw us away again,
distracting with shiny glitter and tinny music,
leaving our feelings raw and bruised,
the victim of universal disregard.

Now, in the twilight of years, the music is fading,
and the glitter has all gone….
yet the memory of visions remains sharp and clear,
melancholy reminders of reality’s promises,
unkept…..

~~gigoid~~

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Since it IS the last day of the year, I will condescend to create one fresh section of today’s Pearl, even if it is only an old-school variety pearl, which I can throw together in my sleep…. No comments from the peanut gallery on that one, please…. In truth, Smart Bee has been really, really good at what it does of late, so I’m kind of trusting it to pull my fat from the fire, in a manner of speaking, as I have yet to really do much today, beyond blather, a form of literature at which I am gaining some expertise….. So, let’s see if SB can pull off another serendipitous grouping of wisdom in small pieces, eh?….

“A people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never will,  and never can, be.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Politics is for people who have a passion for changing life but lack a passion for living it.” — Tom Robbins

“For insurance purposes, an act of God is defined as something which no reasonable person could possibly have anticipated. In this same sense, Catholic theologians speak of the creation of humanity as an act of God! If carried to the logical conclusion, we might even find some sort of reason for your ordinary parking meter.” — Smart Bee

“We’re not afraid, its just that we have this thing about death.” — Smart Bee

Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.  (Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.) — William of Occam, Occam’s Razor

“I feel like a fugitive from the law of averages.” — William H. Mauldin, “Up Front” 1944 *

“My face is new, my license is expired, and I’m under a doctor’s care!!!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

A bit obscure, but, you wouldn’t want it to be easy, now, would you? I think not…. You’ll take it the way it is, and like it….
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* “Up Front” 1944, by William H. “Bill” Mauldin This is a GREAT book…. I read it as a young child, because it was in my parent’s library, and we were always encouraged to look at the books. It was a series of cartoons, with two ordinary US Army joes as the ‘heroes’. It pictured the life of an average soldier, on the front lines during WWII in Europe, from the standpoint or these two typical Americans, Willie and Joe, following them with extremely realistic cartoon-like sketches, more portraiture than cartoons, like a comic book, in black and white for publishing in the newspapers of the time….

The sketches/cartoons took the reader with Willie and Joe through battles, life on post, life in the field, encounters with the locals overseas, fear, homesickness, illness, and all the trials and joys that are found in such times…. The text, which I read later, in my early teens, was simple and compelling, written by the author, a political cartoonist/journalist, who traveled around with the soldiers all over during the war years…. A great read…. It educated me at a young age about war, and how average people behaved at those times in history…. very enlightening re: human nature, as I recall…. and funny as hell, even to a five or six year old….

Well, for a final go, this certainly has some bulk to it…. Not a bad way to roll over into a new year, artificial as that distinction may be (What calendar do YOU follow? Gregorian? Orthodox? Mayan? Aztec? Chinese? It makes a difference, you know….). I suppose most of the ffolkes who would be reading this, as English speakers, even if not native, (NOT a handicap, I assure you….) are following the one that celebrates tonight as the crossing from one year to the next in line…..

Thus, as the Universe encourages us all to embrace Change, as acknowledged by Axiom #1 of Peruaosophy, I can say “Happy New Year” without any sense of embarrassment or guilt for being politically incorrect…. not that I give a shit, of course, but, hey, I try to be nice some of the time…. See ya next year, ffolkes… It’s been Real…. Now, if only we all could agree on how that Reality should proceed….

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

dozer3

Intent is seven thirteenths of the law….

Ffolkes,

Unbeknownst to the remainder of the world, I struggle, here in the dark of the morning, waging war with the always-present, never-sleeping, force of evil, that the world calls Bob, or sometimes, Steve-a-rino….. No matter what name we use, by any other token, they are very, very bad evils, whether in their initial, merely bloody, sharp-sword incarnation, or if they’ve gone into complete chainsaw mode. Either way, somebody is in for a world of hurt….

“What the hell is he babbling about now?”, is probably the foremost question in your mind(s) right now…. (I know, assuming that more than one mind currently reading this is being, perhaps, too hopeful…. My readership has taken a severe dip lately….)…. I’m babbling because, hey, it’s what I’m best at, and nothing else seemed as if it was going to get me down the road toward a real Pearl, so, I just went with it…. It’s not as if y’all had gotten accustomed to a more elegant format around here, now, is it? No, we’ve been stuck in bourgeois mode for quite some time now, with no real change of venue in sight…

Not that there’s anything wrong with being bourgeois; it’s only when we start trying to break into proletariat mode that the trouble begins, as it always does in such cases….. The human animal, though it always seems to fall into some form of hierarchical society, seems to function most efficiently when categories such as bourgeois, proletarian, or any others based on financial worth, are NOT used to determine one’s relative place in society…. The only truly honorable form would be a society where one’s social standing was based solely on how much one gave back to that society…. This, however, is mere speculation, since no human society has ever been structured in such a manner that it could be considered as “honorable”…..

Society has always been structured to favor those with the most resources under their control, which is why we are seeing the issues we now have to deal with, as the effects of entropy over time wear away at the foundations upon which it is built. Money is an artificial concept, not really a part of reality, other than as we humans perceive it to be, and therefore, only has the importance that we place on it. Making it the primary social factor that determines how high up in society one rises in the estimation of peers is destined to become a problem, as human nature tends not to share very well…. in short, people get greedy, and hoard all the resources (money) to themselves, ensuring their own place, and keeping others in a place lesser than their own….

Politicians, bless their black, lying, little hearts, would have us believe we live in a classless society, that everyone is equal, and has equal rights…. Well, ffolkes, guess what?…. That’s just another of their ubiquitous lies, and society isn’t like that at all…. At every level, built in prejudices and misconceptions, guided and kept true by unseen, but iron-clad cliches, color people’s viewpoint with the brush of discrimination, based on how much money a person makes, or what color their skin may be, or where they were born, or whether or not they stand up to pee…

There are a myriad of ways people use to decide that other people aren’t as good as they are, all of which are lies; all of those thousands of prejudices are taught by, enforced by, and continuously enabled by the BRC, our Beloved Ruling Class, who believes their place at the top of society is inherently theirs. Given this long-held delusion, and the fact that it has held sway over the rest of society for over ten thousand years, it seems clear they have no intention  of ever relinquishing that place to anyone else….

Oops, it happened again, didn’t it? I fell right into another opening rant, never realizing what I was up to until I was a thousand words down the pike… I guess it’s okay; I don’t see any casualties, other than my own readership’s numbers, so, apparently nobody was standing close enough to get hit by the flying shrapnel….. The fact that there ARE no casualties is not necessarily a good thing, you know….. a couple of bodies would at least indicate that there is SOMEONE reading this stuff, but, I guess my ego doesn’t really need THAT kind of proof…. It’s all a wash anyhow, as I ran out of lime and sulfuric acid, and I’d have a hard time disposing of the corpses… so, it’s just as well….

On that note, I think I’d best get on with it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“By space the universe encompasses and swallows me up like a dot; by thought I encompass the Universe.” — Pascal, Pensees, n. 265

“To sit silently,  and look wise, is not to be compared to drinking sake and making a riotous shouting.” — Ono No Tabitu
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Fortunately for y’all, I’m tired today, and not really feeling up to a full-fledged rant, intro-section notwithstanding…. This is good news for you, and for me, as it means I can let SB do all the hard work…. Here is a relatively straightforward pearl, with a few pointed sticks jabbed toward the eyes of our Beloved Ruling Class, and society at large…

“Ahhhh, it’s amazing what a cheat can do!!” — Smart Bee

“A mind not to be changed by place or time, the mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” — John Milton

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 4/19/24

PATRIOT, n.  One to whom the interests of a part seem superior to those of the whole.  The dupe of statesmen and the tool of conquerors.– Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

“There is no more mean, stupid, dastardly, pitiful, selfish, spiteful, envious, ungrateful animal than the Public.  It is the greatest of cowards, for it is afraid of itself.” — William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

“Does history repeat itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce?   No, that’s too grand, too considered a process.  History just burps, and we taste again that raw-onion sandwich it swallowed centuries ago.” — Julian Barnes

“Mr. Coolidge is the best Democrat we ever had in the White House. He didn’t do nothin’, but that’s what we wanted done.” — Will Rogers
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No introduction needed, nor any comments…. just enjoy!….

A Song About Myself

I.
There was a naughty boy,
A naughty boy was he,
He would not stop at home,
He could not quiet be-
He took
In his knapsack
A book
Full of vowels
And a shirt
With some towels,
A slight cap
For night cap,
A hair brush,
Comb ditto,
New stockings
For old ones
Would split O!
This knapsack
Tight at’s back
He rivetted close
And followed his nose
To the north,
To the north,
And follow’d his nose
To the north.

II.
There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
For nothing would he do
But scribble poetry-
He took
An ink stand
In his hand
And a pen
Big as ten
In the other,
And away
In a pother
He ran
To the mountains
And fountains
And ghostes
And postes
And witches
And ditches
And wrote
In his coat
When the weather
Was cool,
Fear of gout,
And without
When the weather
Was warm-
Och the charm
When we choose
To follow one’s nose
To the north,
To the north,
To follow one’s nose
To the north!

III.
There was a naughty boy
And a naughty boy was he,
He kept little fishes
In washing tubs three
In spite
Of the might
Of the maid
Nor afraid
Of his Granny-good-
He often would
Hurly burly
Get up early
And go
By hook or crook
To the brook
And bring home
Miller’s thumb,
Tittlebat
Not over fat,
Minnows small
As the stall
Of a glove,
Not above
The size
Of a nice
Little baby’s
Little fingers-
O he made
‘Twas his trade
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle-
A kettle
Of fish a pretty kettle
A kettle!

IV.
There was a naughty boy,
And a naughty boy was he,
He ran away to Scotland
The people for to see-
There he found
That the ground
Was as hard,
That a yard
Was as long,
That a song
Was as merry,
That a cherry
Was as red,
That lead
Was as weighty,
That fourscore
Was as eighty,
That a door
Was as wooden
As in England-
So he stood in his shoes
And he wonder’d,
He wonder’d,
He stood in his
Shoes and he wonder’d.

~~ John Keats ~~

_____________________________

We’re going old-school again for this section, and you can thank me later…. Right now, I’m trying hard to get this done in what may be a new record time…. we’ll see if SB will cooperate long enough to do that….

“Weird enough for all practical purposes.” — Smart Bee, while accepting the award for Strangest Blog O’The Week….

“There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that is behooves all of us not to talk about the rest of us.” — Robert Louis Stevenson, “Good and Bad”

“If I could believe that this was said sincerely, I could put up with anything.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act i, Sc. 2, 96, (176.)

“I feed my pig apples by holding him in my arms and letting him eat the apples right off the tree. Some people say that takes too much time, but time don’t mean nothing to a pig.” — Grandpa Jones

“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” — Francis Bacon

“A person needs a little madness, or else they never dare cut the rope and be free.” — Nikos Kazantzakis

Not bad, all in all, even though it didn’t break through any time barriers…. But, it needs just the right finishing touch to be perfect, for which, less than that, never accept will we, as Yoda would say…. sort of…. If nothing else, this gives me the opportunity to throw in a bit of interactive fun, for at least one of my regular readers (hell, I wouldn’t mind if BOTH of them tried it out….  🙂  )….

I’ll put three aphorisms below, one of which is the perfect ending quote for this pearl… You get to pick, and whichever one you like, well, you just put it right in the comments, and I’ll look at it…. That’s all… I’ll look at it…. No prize (I’ve already spent too much this year on traveling, & have to start watching my expenditures….), no contest, just interactive fun…

Okay, okay, wait, don’t go away!!…. I’ll think of a prize…. First, somebody will have to make a comment, though, because there is little point in my going to the trouble of figuring out a reward, if nobody is going to even participate… If, however, I do get responses to this minor little manipulation (shhh!…), I WILL award a prize, of some sort…. and, since I’m not a politician, by either intent, or accident, you can trust me to tell you the truth… Sure you can, it’s easy…. If you can buy what the average politico is promising y’all, you can trust me not to lie about this…. Besides, there’s no profit in it for me to not tell the truth, so, it also appeals to my self-interest to come up with something worthwhile… so, I will… Now, look at these, and make a choice as to which one fits in the best with the rest….. if any….

“Shave daily with Occam’s razor.” — Smart Bee

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.” — Oscar Wilde

“By letting go, it all gets done.” — Tao Te Ching
_____________________________

Having begun the day with an absolutely appropriate word, “unbeknownst”, I feel fortunate, indeed, to have survived thus far, with still enough moxie to complete what has turned out to be somewhat of an epic; for a (technically) rant-less wonder, it’s fairly involved. I’m again a trifle hesitant to proof it, lest it surprise me even more, but, typos make me crazy, so….

Well, that’s a relief! I’m not certain just how it got here, but, it definitely arrived intact; if that isn’t obscure enough for you, well, sorry, I’ll try to do better tomorrow…. In any case, this is, quite obviously, finished, and, possibly, overdone, again…. Since I have no illusions at all that what I’ve just said will cause confusion in at least one person, my duty is complete, and I’m outta here….

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

dozer3

Remnants of patent leather madrigals….

Ffolkes,
I’ve started to write several times this morning, but each time was forced to begin again, having spewed pure garbage onto the page. Even this honest statement of dismay seems to me to be stilted and stupid; it seems doubtful, at this point, that anything worthwhile is going to be coming forth from the depths of my mind to grace our presence with wit and style. I’d give up, but, I’m stubborn….

Having thus disposed of at least the first paragraph, perhaps I can distract Murphy with my fuzzy brain….. If he thinks I’m already in a state of confusion, he will, sometimes, let me be, allowing me to fuck with myself, which, though no less destructive, is often less bloody, and takes less clean-up….. Funny, isn’t it, what we can learn to live with?…. Besides, even Murphy will have a hard time putting me in a depressed state today…. In a bit under eight hours, I’ll be getting into a limo, which will deliver me, and milady Patricia, to the cruise terminal to embark on our ten day trip to Alaska…. Very little in the universe could make me unhappy at this point….

The only hard part now is getting through these eight hours…. creating this Pearl will eat up some of it, and I’ve got some ideas of how to pass the time quickly…. but, nothing will make the clock move fast enough to suit us. Everything is done, and all we need to do is carry our bags to the curb to be on our way….. I’m so jazzed and excited, even coming up with the BS I can normally spew out on demand is a bit more than I feel easy with….. Oh well, such is life, as they say….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

You knew it would happen today…. and, if you didn’t, you should have…. I had intended to make this a fresh pearl, old-school variety, and rant in the third section, provided I can find a rantable subject….. However, Smart Bee has gone over to Murphy’s side for the time being, and won’t cooperate with the plan…. so, I’m retreating to the archives for a short, pithy rant on religion, or religious philosophy, whatever that might mean…. This was originally posted in December of 2011…

“That which leads us to the performance of duty by offering pleasure as its reward, is not virtue, but a deceptive copy and imitation of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ffolkes,

Just so it’s clear…..I’m not an atheist, per se, at least, not in the classical sense of the word.  I do hold beliefs regarding the subject of divinity and spirituality, but they bear no great resemblance to those espoused by any organized faith, and I don’t discuss them with anyone. It just causes arguments.  I am not a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Unitarian, or a Buddhist, or any other of the virtually countless ‘isms’ people have come up with to try to understand those parts of the universe that we do not comprehend.

I’ve read the holy books of most of the major faiths; Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, the Bibles of several different Christian sects , the Tao Teh Ching, the I Ching, and any other related material I could find. Not that I made a complete heavy study of each, but I learned enough to be able to draw comparisons, and judge the validity of each (which I admit, is purely subjective. But then, isn’t any religious belief purely subjective? Why yes, I do believe it is…..).

It occurred to me, just now, that, maybe, for all these centuries we (that’s the human “we”…. meaning all of us as a group….) have sought to explain what we do not understand, we have been looking at things from the wrong perspective, at least in terms of intelligence, with its defined value to us being such that man considers himself greater than “lower” forms of life. The attitude that we are the pinnacle of creation is a given in almost every approach taken by philosophers and scientists in any explanation of why things are as they are. Since we have not the ability to create worlds (yet), or stars (yet), or universes (yet?), we attribute the state of things as we know them to creatures of vast wisdom and power, as “far above us as we are above bacteria or amoeba.” How often have you heard the last part? Isn’t that part of any definition of a god, or even God, by whatever name one calls him/her/them/it?

But what if the amoeba IS God? Amoeba are the most ancient form of life we know of, utilizing the simplest means of reproduction available (as far as WE know anyway…), and are an essential step in the formation of other life. Perhaps the entire bacterial level is God’s nervous system, and the amoeba are the thoughts of God. And as other forms of life evolved, maybe each entered another part of the symbiotic whole that is life, non-life, energy, matter, and non-matter, all of which must be present in order for our universe to manifest itself.

All of which makes our viewpoint completely backwards; we are the bottom of creation, not the top. Every other part of the universe, and almost every animal and creature on our planet we know of, except ourselves and our vaunted intelligence, are functioning, and functioning well, according to their place in Nature because they have no need to do anything else.  Our intelligence is generally accepted to be that which makes us ‘better’ than the rest of creation, a convenient word to describe something that may not have been created at all, but might just happen to be the way it is, because it wants to be…..at least most of it does….so far we haven’t done too well at learning how to be at one with the rest of creation; quite the opposite, as a general rule…..

Hmmm…..well, I guess that’s one way to look at it…… at least with this credo, there’s no guilt, no shame, no incentives, and no rewards….. other than self-respect……

— How many amoebas does it take to change a light bulb?  One. No, 2. No, 4. No, 8. No, 16. No, 32……. — Smart Bee
_____________________________

Some years ago, on the occasion of her mother’s passing, Patricia, my lady love, wrote a memorial tribute, in which she put a poem that she wrote for her mother…. I think it is very touching, as well as quite beautiful, and include it here, not to depress anyone, but to celebrate the life of her mother by sharing what Patricia felt when she wrote the poem….. Enjoy!….

She sits quietly,
Eyes in a wrinkled face,
Watching nothing,
Seeing everything.
A kaleidoscope of memories
flickers past.

Laughter mingles with tears,
Fear and sorrow melt into contentment.
A lifetime of joy and passion,
sorrow and doubt pass by.
Don’t hurry so, take your time.
Stop and listen
and she will tell you tales.

Tales of far away lands, great adventures,
great passion and greater trials.

She takes out the memories, one at a time,
Views them re-lives them,
brings them to life for her listeners.

Then tenderly, reverently, she wraps them again,
and places them, one at a time,
into fragile bubbles.

If you look closely, you can see them.

Tiny little flashes in her eyes……
Look close,
See them?

Individual memories encased in fragile bubbles.

In loving memory of June. T. Miller
1919-1998
by
Patricia Miller Larsen

_____________________________

Okay, it’s time to drop any pretense I have assumed…. Smart Bee isn’t cooperating, and my head just isn’t ready to be creative…. so, once again, I’ll have to dip into the past for the material to complete this Pearl…. So be it…. Here is a rather long, involved pearl from late in 2012… I think it’s one of my best, so, it will do for the moment’s need….. Enjoy!….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What is the mind? Where is it, exactly? And how does it work?….. These are questions that have been asked throughout time, without ever finding answers on which all can agree…. Oh, there are many ideas, and every sage and his brother’s cousin’s friend’s uncle has a theory about it…. Finding pearls that discuss the matter was pretty simple, actually, as they just kept popping up in front of me…. for example, here are four that I found, all of which have an important part of the idea to discuss…..

“Whether time is long or short, and whether space is broad or narrow, depend upon the mind. Those whose minds are at leisure can feel one day as a millennium, and those whose thoughts are expansive can perceive a small house to be as spacious as the universe.” — Hung Tzu-ch’eng (1593-1665)

“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with  conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another  form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is  watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamurti

“Hypotheses are not to be multiplied without necessity.” — Occam’s Razor (aka, the K.I.S.S. axiom….) (see Hanlon’s Razor, aka Heinlein’s Corollary to Occam’s Razor) (See logic) (See Dick and Jane run….) (Just wanted to make sure you’re paying attention….)

“To be a philosopher is not merely to have subtle thoughts, nor even to found a school, but so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve the problems of life not only theoretically, but practically.” — Henry David Thoreau, American Philosopher (1817-1862) in Walden

You probably noted that one of these four was not like the others (Sesame Street teaches critical thinking well, does it not?….). Occam’s Razor has done more to advance science and philosophy than any unified field theorem, or any other wide ranging thought that mankind has come up with over the years. It cuts through the bullshit, and reminds us to concentrate on what is important, to not to go off on tangents that detract from the final outcome. It’s a way of approaching science and the fields of knowledge, and even Life, that offers the superiority of having been proven true over and over, in every experiment, in every field of science since it’s publication, sometime around the Renaissance period. William of Occam was, reportedly, a mathematician, and no doubt a very good one, as his assertion regarding hypotheses implies a certain impatience with bullshit; he likely wasn’t one to put up with foolishness for long….

Of course, there are always a few who don’t have the intelligence, or the courage, to stand up to Life, and they too have had their two cents worth put in for consideration….

“Do not learn more than you absolutely need to get through life.” — Karl Kraus  (Seconded, I’m sure, by Homer Simpson….)

An obvious proponent of the entitlement crowd, this guy has expressed clearly the lack of courage that it takes to really retreat from life as can be done. These are the Republicans, the non-thinkers, the men and women who prefer to hide their heads in sand rather than meet reality with any dignity or bravery. Ignorance is their status of choice, as they don’t have to bother themselves to ever check things for truth, or even make up their own thoughts…. they just accept whatever the pundits, religious or political, tell them, because those pundits are the ones who are immoral and unethical enough to take advantage of their ignorance, and will tell them anything they want to hear, in order to soothe their bigoted fears, and, as a happy side effect, take all their money…. which they willingly give away, proving the old saw about fools and money…

I didn’t mean to get into a political rant, but I suppose it isn’t an ill-conceived idea at this point. Tonight will be the first of the Presidential debates between Obama and Romney, and a discussion of mind vs. no-mind seems appropriate somehow. We will get a pretty good picture drawn for us tonight, as one of the greatest speakers of our time, the POTUS, faces off in debate with one of the worst speakers I’ve ever seen, Mitt the Twitt, who has a proclivity for dropping bombs, and speaking without evidence of giving any thought at all to what he has just said to some group. This is an occupational hazard for someone who relies on lies and misrepresentations for the major portion of their message; it’s hard to sound true when one is obviously false…. No matter how much it gets dressed up and taught to sing and dance, a pig isn’t going to win any music contests with its squealing…..

“I’m not imaginary–I’m ontologically challenged” — Smart Bee

As might be guessed, the above is a joke, intended to poke fun at those who choose to live their lives without the benefit of using their minds…. to live one’s life in ignorance to me would seem to be the actions of a fool, by definition as well as practice. One may as well BE imaginary, if one is going to retreat from reality to the extent of turning off all curiosity, all doubt, and never using the mind for that which it was designed (if one believes in design….), or happened to evolve into…. The mind is our best, and possibly our only, ally against the harshness of reality, and it would behoove all of us to keep it in good working order, as befits a tool of such high quality…… T’is marginally better than treating it as a red-headed step-child, leaving it out to starve in the cold, harsh light of reality…..
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Without even looking this over, I know it will do…. but, I’m anal about typos, so let’s see how it reads….. Given the handicaps under which I am operating today, it isn’t at all bad…. not terribly fresh, but still stimulating… and, it’s done…. Yay!  Now I can get ready to rumble….. Next time I post will be from the road, so I can’t predict exactly when, but, it will be soon…. count on it…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Save that lanolin, we’ll use it on the new busboy….

Ffolkes,
I know, now, how the White Rabbit felt, as he hurried down the rabbit hole to Wonderland, “I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date…”  Even though the only thing I’m late for is posting this Pearl, I feel the same sense of panic and hurry as did he….. No reason, really. I did sleep a bit late, and had to spend the first twenty minutes repairing and reloading Smart Bee…. it pulled its bi-monthly corrupted file trick, which requires a quick delete and re-load of the entire program, plus a re-start of the computer…. No big deal, but time consuming…. which brings us to the present moment….

Egad, what a mess…. I’ve managed to completely screw up my transaction record, so I have no idea of exactly how much is in my account, and it’s time to pay bills for the month. I’m going to have to pay everything, then stop using the cards at all until it all catches up, and I can reconcile the record with reality…. SIGH…. I never was very good with money; it comes from never having much of it to deal with, along with a hearty disregard for the concept itself… “If you want a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures.”  I first heard this, and took it to heart, when I was about 11 years old, and made a conscious decision at that time to never try to get rich…. I’ve done that, quite well, actually…..

That’s all Big Blue Room stuff, though, and has no place here in ECR…. though it IS reality, I question the relevance for anyone reading this missive, so we’ll leave that behind, and find some other way to lead into today’s post…. That will be quite a trick, as I haven’t a clue as to what will happen today. I left the entire template blank, other than the usual suspects, intending to let myself go into an artistic trance, just typing away until my fingers wore out, and then seeing what was worth keeping…. much like I write a poem, in truth. But, my left wrist hurts from too much typing anyway, and I can’t seem to find a trance-state anywhere, in my head, or out. So much for that idea….

But, look, we’ve got three paragraphs again, just chock full of irrelevant BS, about rabbits, corrupted files, checkbooks, and mysticism colored by whimsy. Perhaps it isn’t exactly Hemingway-esque, but it’s certainly better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, and it does allow us to move on to something that MIGHT be instructive, if not entertaining. We often blur the two around here, so it’s best not to ask which it is supposed to be…. we don’t always know, and hate to be embarrassed…… Shall we Pearl?…..
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“I can’t keep from fooling around with our irrefutable certainties.  It is, for example, a pleasure knowingly to mix up two and three dimensionalities, flat and spatial, and to make fun of gravity.” — M. C. Escher

If you’ve seen Escher’s work, you’ll know that what he says here is truth, a truth graphically demonstrated by the visions he transfers to each  canvas. Though I doubt I’ll ever be hailed as such a genius as he, I like to think that what I write attempts to do the same, but rather than with dimensions of space, I play with the elements of belief that we humans hold, regarding certain aspects of society. In other words, it is a pleasure to knowingly point out the lies and the truths that people hold as certainties, and to make fun of how seriously the lies are taken, which we can equate to the force of gravity…. believing these lies is what holds us back from our potential, just as gravity holds us bound to the surface of the Earth…..

Just as Escher’s paintings release us from the laws of space and time, and of how to perceive them, our imaginations can release us from the repression heaped on us by the BRC and the 1%. When we stop believing the lies we are told, we can stop being puppets of the power of custom. Just because a lot of people believe something doesn’t make it true; only the facts of the matter can do that. In the act of accepting the lies we are told by those in authority, we become party to their chicanery, accessories, before and after the fact, to the crimes being perpetrated on society, and on the Earth as a whole….

“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater.  The clown came out to inform the public.  They thought it was just a jest and applauded.  He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder.  So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe that it is a joke.” — Smart Bee

I think Smart Bee might have a point here….. Most people don’t look past the surface of what they perceive; they accept whatever they are told, as long as the one delivering the message is in the appropriate costume, or setting. Put a moderately good looking man in a suit, have him sit at a desk looking studious and concerned, and people will pretty much take whatever he says as gospel, even if it has absolutely no truth in it, or any connection to reality whatsoever….. The public’s reaction to the possibility of global warming resembles the above statement quite a lot. Same with the question of overpopulation, either of which issue will certainly lead to war and misery, as a minimum, or extinction as a species, eventually, as a maximum result….

Whenever I bring this up, though, I am met with a silence that is deafening, and which serves as proof of exactly what I am saying…. This is the kind of message that no one wants, to hear, or to believe is real…. So, they don’t. Or, they just ignore it, thinking it will go away if they look at it again in a few days…. Guess what, ffolkes….. It”s real, it’s not going away, and that is a FACT, not a supposition, or speculation, or misread data, or conspiracy, or anything else…. it’s a fact…. And the only way to change it, is for EVERYONE to decide to turn 180 degrees from the path we are on, even if it means getting rid of those among us who don’t want to go that way… because that way means DEATH…. for all of us, without exception…. Deal with it…..

“I used to be an idealist, but I got mugged by reality.” — Smart Bee
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Okay, no cheating today…. It’s the last day of the National Poetry Writing Month, so I’m going to do my best to come up with a fresh haiku, and a fresh poem…. We’ll see how it goes, eh?….. As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku XVIII

More beautiful days,
the weather is amazing.
Soaking up the sun.

Off the proverbial cuff…

I never meant to kill that period of time,
it didn’t give me any choice.
It tried to hem me in without reason, or rhyme,
refused me any vote, or any voice.

You have to admit, I buried it deep and fast,
just as if I cared.
I knew, though, it would never last,
or ever be fully repaired.

No news, no pictures can bring it back,
once is all we get.
No pleas of public good, or even public lack;
in stone the past is set.

Futuristic visions now occupy my dreams,
I’m ready to go on.
Look! It fills up the screen, and it gleams!
Where’s the moment I’m sitting on?

Now, I remembered, at long, long last,
is all we really can hold.
Every moment goes by so bloody fast,
we’d best fill them all with beauty, warm and bold.

~~ gigoid ~~

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Though today’s first section cannot be strictly considered as a rant, it was an indictment, so we’ll count it as one…. That gives me the excuse to go with an old-school pearl. Today we’ll go completely random, with Smart Bee as the only one deciding what should be included…. Let’s see what comes up from the depths today, shall we?…..

“The earth hath skin, and the skin hath diseases.  One of these…is called man.” — Nietzsche

“Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire,–conscience.” — George Washington (1732-1799) — Rule from the Copy-book of Washington when a schoolboy

When asked, “If you find so much that is unworthy of reverence in the United States, then why do you live here?” Mencken replied, “Why do men go to zoos?”

“Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. (Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.)”  — William of Occam, Occam’s Razor

“It is impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“You know, of course, that the Tasmanians, who never committed adultery, are now extinct.” — W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965)

“UH-OH!!  We’re out of AUTOMOBILE PARTS and RUBBER GOODS!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Perhaps going TOTALLY random was a mistake; this is pretty inscrutable. So inscrutable, even I am not sure what the point is, other than to point a finger at Man, for….. something…. Maybe the finger should go up the nose, to remove any foreign bodies that may have been inadvertently ingested through the proboscis….. Oh, well, it isn’t bad, so just enjoy them individually, and I’ll leave them off the Quiz….
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Aye, very late indeed…. let’s see how it proofs….. Hmm…. it’s not responding; it may be dead…. Oh well, it’s done, so I’m not going to fuss with it any further…. Besides, I’m hungry….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Soon, my child, this will all be toast….

Ffolkes,
I hardly know where to begin…. It isn’t every day one rejoins the mainstream, after struggling for about six months to keep posting, busting buns to keep in touch with the Internet world at large, and the blogging world in particular. Not enough time to do either one to my satisfaction, given an average of about 55 minutes of time to get done what is necessary to post, check email, answer email, do any research, banking, etc. Today, provided Murphy doesn’t, or hasn’t stepped in to take a hand, I’ll be connected to the Net at home, by 8 PM latest, again, given no technical glitches are thrown up last minute.

I really am speechless, almost. I don’t know whether to spit, grin, or scratch first, and since it is still, at the time of this writing, speculative fiction, I’ll just leave it alone, and let it all hang loose in that respect…. there will be plenty of options, so I’ll procrastinate later about it….. For now, it will be useful to point out… I didn’t post yesterday, the 10th, because I was too busy with real world activities that couldn’t be put off (more later on that stuff….), and today, same thing again. But, one of the productive things that got done today was the arrival and set up of the new modem, so that all will be in readiness tomorrow when the service is activated…..

What this all boils down to is that the intro, at least these first three paragraphs, are, were, written on the 11th…. after this paragraph is the intro from the 10th, with the material I wrote that day after that….. All of it is being posted either very late on the 11th, or on the 12th early, whenever I can get it done after activation. So, some of it is a bit fresher than the rest, but it is all part of a tough week, and you know what they say about authors and tough weeks… No? I thought you did…. Well, I don’t…. Any who…. onward, or in this case, backward…..

From 1/10/12

Ffolkes,
Far from being inflexible, I like to think I am pretty fluid in my attitudes about change. Any other approach to the matter is useless, as change is going to happen regardless of our take on it, so I’ve always tried to use that to my advantage, rather than spending a lot of time and energy trying to slow it down, or stop it altogether, a pastime certain to be filled with disappointment. This is why we are trying out a new technique today, or, rather, a new schedule for writing this blog when matters in the Big Blue Room require attention during the time set aside for pearling…..

I don’t know if it will work well, or not at all, so it should be a new experience, if nothing else, to find out. I can’t say I’m really enthused about having to go out into the BB Room so early, (gotta catch the 0700 bus, the first one that runs each morn….), as the weather has been nasty, cold, and wet all night, by the sounds of it, and I am feeling wimpy. But, one must do what one must, so I’ll bundle up and trundle off to the hospital to get these x-rays done for the state, so they can quit stalling around with my disability case. I swear, they’re finding every possible way they can to slow the process down, and wait until the last moment to spring them on me, for the most frustrating effect….. Apparently, Murphy works for them as a consultant on time management….

Now that the experiment has begun, I guess we’ll see how well I can write under deadline, which is sort of what I’ve done today, adjusting the schedule to accommodate this trip to Sutter-Solano this morning, and a trip to Kaiser this afternoon…. Hopefully, a trip to the library to post will fit in there between them…. that’s the plan, anyway. Plans, as we know around here, are for other people to depend on, not us…. Here at gigoid-ECR we know better than to tempt Murphy by making them, or, if we do, we don’t tend to get too worked up about having to alter them to suit reality, since we know already we will be suffering the kind attention of that particular icon, no matter what else may happen….

So, I would suggest that today, everyone take advantage of the seat belts that are attached to your seats…. Though we have never had to use them, it’s always a good thing to be prepared, right? Today’s blog could conceivably turn on us, and could conceivably necessitate some rather circuitous flying to get us past any turbulence, which may upset one’s tummy, if nothing else. Just close your eyes….. wait, no, that won’t work…. you can’t read your way out if you do that…. Well, just buckle up, hang on, and hope for the best, I suppose…. all you can do is all you can do, as you know…. Shall we Pearl?…..

P.S. to the intro: I’m rather confusing at times, I know…. it’s a gift. I don’t mean to be, actually, but, in trying to make things clear, I get carried away by details, and, it goes downhill from there…. At this particular point in time, I have no idea where this Pearl fits into real time…. I don’t know when it will be posted, the 11th, or the 12th, so any further attempts to provide any time markers seems futile. Thankfully for all of us, this means there is nothing left now but to go on…. this time it’s for real, no matter what day it is outside…. Shall we Pearl?……
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I don’t think anyone would argue if I said the world needs some work, in order to be the kind of place where everyone has an equal shot at a good life. On the bottom line, that seems to me to be the basic desire of everyone I know of who has any degree of what I’d call common sense, and it really doesn’t seem like a lot to hope for…. until one looks around at the way things are, and realizes that most folks aren’t going to have a chance in hell of spending a lot of time in a contented state….. That is, I’m certain, as confusing as I can put it, but, nonetheless, is perfectly accurate, if a bit pedantic…. The following old school pearl kind of created itself, as the best do, so you’ll need to keep an open mind to catch the point…. but, it’s a good point….

“Brains first and then Hard Work.” — Eeyore, Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

“Boys become men by watching men, by standing close to men. Manhood is a ritual passed from generation to generation with precious few spoken instructions. Passing the torch of manhood is a fragile, tedious task. If the rite of passage is successfully completed, the boy-become-man is like an oak of hardwood character. His shade and influence will bless all those who are fortunate enough to lean on him and rest under his canopy.” — Preston Gilham

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“At least I thought I was dancing, ’til somebody stepped on my hand.” — J. B. White

“Let life happen to you. Believe me: life is in the right, always.” — Rainer Maria Rilke

“I gained nothing at all from Supreme Enlightenment, and for that very reason it is called Supreme Enlightenment.” — Gautama Buddha

There you go…. Not to worry about grading; this is only on the pass/fail schedule, and won’t be on any quizzes…. But, you should pay attention, anyway, if for no other reason than is given by the Buddha….
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Is It Alive?

Fighting into the light, words push hard to exist
each step closer to real brings another unique twist.
Shedding meaning for meaning, until bright, alone, and right
sculpting useless shapes, yet undefined, in pale morning’s light.

Never knowing the face is part of the lasting charm
bringing elegant focus, before sounding the alarm.
Advantageous time sends out messages, fears finding voice,
mulling options for flexibility, virtually without choice.

Fortunate man, who embraces the power of change;
’tis magical knowledge, bonding common to strange.
Weaving words of wonder, made strong by love and duty,
into a tapestry of life, and everlasting beauty.

~~ gigoid
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“Pluralitas non ponenda est sine necessitate.” (Multiplicity is not to be asserted when it is unnecessary.) — William of Occam [Occam’s Razor]

Sometimes it’s a good thing to look at the original idea, when one is often found to use it in its various historical incarnations. (Huh? What did he say? I’ve gotta tone down the syntax complexity a bit…..) We all use some form of this in our lives; the concept has been common knowledge for many, many years. (William of Occam lived in the 12th century (?)…..) It’s really too bad that in all that time, the idea has never taken root in the general population’s mind, such as it may be. People don’t commonly use this priceless logical rule in their daily lives, and never know they have the opportunity to go through life with much less difficulty than they do in fact…..

The absence of the Razor in the everyday affairs of society is never more heavily felt than in the political arena, as year after year, and century after century, mankind continues to blunder around like a wounded rhinoceros, experimenting with various forms of government designed to keep the people happy and content to NOT kill the ruling class, (and vice versa…), and failing miserably. I can’t think of a single period from our relatively short but busy past that would indicate that we were choosing the most logical or effective forms of getting along as a culture, can you? Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems to me that if even a small amount of logic were applied to any of our governmental formats, they might just work better…. Maybe not, but, since it’s never actually been tried, why not?….

“It is difficult to legislate morality in the absence of moral legislators.” — Smart Bee

This, being absolutely true, shows just how using Occam’s Razor could be of value. The Razor implies that if legislators are not moral, then remove them, with prejudice if necessary (Razors are, after all, for cutting things off, or out, whichever works best….). Allowing them to pursue their immorality in creating laws has already cost our society many steps toward improving the human condition, and there is no room for sentimentality in such instances, not when it affects the entire world, which includes us, and every other living thing. The inanimate world doesn’t need our help at all, protected as it is by natural law from any such attempts by us to make changes to those laws. It has its own way of enforcing those laws, strong enough that compliance on our part is mandatory…..

One of the more useful characteristics of Occam’s Razor is that it can tell us when we are losing our way, so to speak. If we eliminate all the dross, and what is left isn’t working, then we are, culturally speaking, ‘in the weeds’ philosophically, and the ground is bound to get even muddier. I have, unfortunately, reached that point in this discussion…. In other words, I’m lost. When I started it, I had an idea of where to go, and started to go that way… it wandered a bit, then I got interrupted by my morning jaunt to the X-ray department. Now that I’m back, and a poem forced its way onto the screen, I’m lost, and can’t find a way back…. SIGH…. One of the risks of multi-tasking, I guess….


Oh well, just think about Occam’s Razor now and again ffolkes, and see if we can’t figure out how to put it to more use on a societal level…. it couldn’t hurt, right? No worse than what has been going on so far…..

“Th’ MIND is the Pizza Palace of th’ SOUL” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Okay, it will do…. It hasn’t been the most comfortable of Pearls to create, but it seldom is when a poem is involved. Add in the other extras today, and it goes off scale. So be it. I don’t have the time or energy to worry about it now, not if I’m going to get done all I need to do today. I hereby declare this Pearl to be finished…. Gotta go, so….   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!