Motivation, denigration, invocation, potato….

Ffolkes,

“I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together!”

~~ The Beatles, “I Am The Walrus ~~

foxy stump

Foxy the Stump….

Hajime…. Today is…. blank? Hmm. As I sat to begin, my mind felt full of relatively creative urges; when I began to type, it all went away. This, of course, tells me our old friend Murphy is hanging somewhere about the premises, looking for trouble. This isn’t to say we can do much about it, except to try to be mindful, so he doesn’t catch us completely flat-footed. It does mean I should speed up this intro a bit, in order to keep ahead of him as long as we can…

I suppose I could abandon all formality, & just dump y’all down the page. But, we’ve got some good stuff here today, so, I’ll ease you in as best I can, with a little prep. For your listening pleasure, I’ve included an hour of Wolfie Mozart, with two of his best pieces one after the other. Our ranting section today is filled with a most excellent guest piece, by our friend Dean Baker, with one of the finest takes on modern culture I’ve seen. Period. There’s also a rather nice old-school pearl, bringing us to the closing section with dispatch if not aplomb. Not bad for an old drunk curmudgeon, eh?

What? Oh, drunk… no, not now, but, much of last night was spent at some level of that condition; kind of fun, & makes sleep come quick…. I guess I could do without the mild hangover, but, the price has to be paid, one way or another, eh? A hot shower, a bit of mild walking, & I’ll be fine. To get moving toward completing some of that, I’ll end this here with my new-found sense of ruthlessness, which, though still a bit uncomfortable, works quite well for this sort of thing…. It works just like this, as you well know….

Shall we pearl?….

“It’s like brother Nietzsche said –being human is a complicated gig,
so give that dark night of the soul a hug and howl the eternal yes.”

~~ Chris, DJ, Northern Exposure ~~

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

mozart2

Wolfie M….

Today’s musical selection is simple. The two symphonies you’ll hear are both from Wolfgang Mozart, the last two he wrote, considered two of his best. Together, they give us an hour of delightful noise, as fine as any ever produced by humans…. I hope you enjoy it….

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

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphonies 40 & 41

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

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

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

Dont keep calm

https://tormentingthemonkey.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/suicide-citizens-and-lethal-force/

Yesterday, after procrastinating a bit for a day or so, I finally checked out the post of an author/writer/poet/musician/scholar/curmudgeon/magician named Dean J. Baker. I am privileged to be able to call him friend, as I consider him one of the finest artistic souls of our generation. (As a side note of some personal satisfaction, I can safely say I know at least three such souls, none of whom are celebrities in the normal sense, but, are those who, in my more than normal experience, exhibit the qualities I know to be, in human terms, eternal… I guess that will need to be explained further, but, that can be for another time…. To return to reality, real-time…

I found, upon relieving the stress of procrastinating, a literary gem. I’m going to reproduce it today, but, you can read the original at the link above. Considering the recent news, and all the hullabaloo in the news regarding violence in society between the police and the public (which I’ll point out is a mask/metaphor for the true battle, between the narcissist sociopaths and the rational humanists, comprising the two most influential segments of the human bell curve….), this is both an extremely timely examination, as well as both exacting an indictment, and offering a potential direction to take…. I give you, Dean Baker….

tormonk1

Suicide Citizens, and Lethal Force

How stupid do you have to be to get shot by the Police?

Things are obvious. You get stopped. Stopped, not interrupted. Stopped by legal representatives of the Law who are empowered to shoot, and kill you.
They are not going to wait or hesitate to see if you have a gun, if you make a movement. They aren’t saying to themselves, ‘Hey, maybe this guy or girl is reaching for a gummi bear to alleviate their tension at being stopped, so maybe they won’t fire off a quick shot and if they do maybe I won’t get hit.’

Whether or not they’re mean themselves or generally helpful outside the situation has nothing to do with anything. You’re stopped, you stop.

Whether or not the situation dictates that they should shoot you a few more times once you’re down is a legitimate reason for a fast debate since there is reason from examples that they not only shoot to stop you from shooting them, but that they shoot to kill you.

But really, what kind of special retard do you have to be to move, shift, disobey directions meant to keep you safe, them safe, and prevent you from being shot?

Consider this: you likely have one or two .40 caliber guns pointed right at you. In less than five seconds, you can be dead. The news is full of unlawful victims, righteous shootings, and the use basically of lethal force.

Are you an idiot who cannot read? Are you blind that you cannot see these? Or maybe you climbed off the Special Bus that says ‘none of that real world stuff applies to me.’

Then consider the fact that on the side of the Police there is likely an assumption that you are half way intelligent, and/or aware.
And then you move..

Certainly the rules of, and teachings for, policing may need to be reviewed immediately – and more than casually.

I’m not in favor of getting shot, certainly. I detest the idea that people, stupid or not, are getting shot, resulting in trauma all around. What’s going to happen? A citizen-ruled committee that says we must trust that you are a well-intentioned person who may or may not have made an error, so we’ll wait to see.

Duh, no.

The entire idea of policing in regards to stops is to establish bona fides, or not.

The vulnerability rests in the fact that in this society there is a built-in idiot factor.
Doctors won’t inform on a colleague who may be doing irreparable harm. Schools won’t fire a teacher who likely ought to be taking, not teaching, classes. Bureaucracies employ idiots.

You know what I mean – you probably have a relative or friend you know who needs being replaced.

And cops won’t say yeh, some of us are true assholes who ought to be arrested because with their training and knowledge they’re more dangerous than some ignorant citizen.

Until that idiot factor is corrected you’re going to have wrong doing on both sides of the law.

The other side of that idiot factor is punishment that does not fit the crime.

When it’s light, there’s outrage. When it doesn’t exist, and seems to cater to authority, even greater outrage.

People do talk about justice, but make no mistake: there’s also a need for vengeance legally administered. The only real debate is on whether the degree is sufficient to satisfy the counter balanced requirement for justice and revenge combined.

And yes, there are morons who merely want their criminals to say they’re sorry. They’re all sorry they got caught, and those fools who require only acknowledgment are victims-in-waiting.

As for incidents where there are a group of police and one antagonist with a knife, I would think citizens would say ok, disarm the crazy, although from recent reports the Police would say, screw that, kill them.

Citizens would hope that their Police would make an effort to beanbag, taser, or beat the perpetrator. Not simply shoot, then shoot again when they are down as has happened too many times.

If a citizen can defend against such a crazy by shooting them, where’s the difference between them and the Police who do the same if they are in a group?

That sounds and looks like Police rules, not law.

Cops ought to have greater and more useful methods and manners of dealing with the wild ones, most especially if they are contained by being surrounded, or trapped in a vehicle unable to get out because they’re surrounded.

Otherwise, let’s admit to a truth: if you have a knife, and may or may not be crazy, and there is a group of Police around you, rather than finding a way to disarm you, they will kill you instead – all the talk and persuasion is a false idea of Police work when the end result is no different from what a citizen can accomplish.

Let’s at least recognize the idiot factor so changes can be effected, even if it would be stupid to assume people will alter their inclinations.

And as for the retard instigators who are merely glorifying themselves – establishing the fact that they need an authority to rebel against – know that they are simply the other side of authority, without the empowerment, and without the knowledge and practical applications, and thus even more dangerous than what they protest.

Where are they before any incidents? Are they stupid, waiting for a mess to occur before they channel their outrage when it’s more than likely it won’t be organized and thus effective at change? At most that is intellectually lazy and at least it’s a passive violence. Are they really self-servingly waiting for an excuse to exact a self-righteous rage, and thus not to be taken seriously?

However, if they choose the proper channels, establish a grouping of citizens to establish a fair protest against unfair rules and rulings, then to challenge authorities afterwards is as legitimate as the method in which this nation was founded.

Don’t be a tool of the media which enflames for its own end.

Nor the billionaires who fund movements for their own selfish reasons: which are never to the good of the individual citizen. You’re being manipulated by the self-righteous who are getting paid.

©Dean J. Baker

You can purchase Dean’s Books here:

https://deanjbaker.wordpress.com/awards/all-print-books-links/

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

Comedy_Tragedy

“Poetry is what gets lost in translation.” — Robert Frost

Placidly falling in amber waves: old friends

Whiskey, oh, whiskey, I’d forgotten thy balm,
thy loving spread of lassitude, and nature’s own calm.
Misery and pain flee in squalid disorganization,
leaving mirth, happily embraced, in just consolation.

James, old friend, thou has not abandoned me at all,
steadfast and loyal, ever ready to answer my softest call.
Ephemeral illusions of normality come at your instigation
blessed moments of peaceful joy, sans vilification.

Gasps of coherence pound at the door to conscious thought,
muffled explosive memories of battles already fought.
Malleable as the changeable airs of time and circumstance
plaintive calls to reason stand not a single, honest chance.

Sober again, reality’s cold reign brings a new day
ringing in old changes in a new-fashioned way.
To know true freedom’s release from our everyday pain
Is worth a bit of headache, even in the cold, pouring rain.

~~ gigoid, two sheets to the wind, and back ~~

“You will find poetry nowhere, unless you bring some with you.” — Joseph Joubert

12/2/2012

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

pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Simple Truths

*********

“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

~~ Berra’s Law ~~

~~ Yogi Berra [Brooklyn Dodger’s Catcher & Major League Philosopher] ~~

*********

“Be not afraid of going slowly; be only afraid of standing still.”

~~ Chinese Proverb~~

*********

“Safety is on the shore, but the pearl is in the ocean.”

~~ Chinese Proverb ~~

*********

“The character of human life,
like the character of the human condition,
like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”:
the inseparable mixture of good and evil,
the true and false, the creative and destructive forces —
both individual and social.”

~~ Paul Tillich ~~

*********

“If there is no wind, row.”

~~ Latin Proverb ~~

*********

“Remember that what pulls the strings is the force hidden within;
there lies the power to persuade, there the life,
–there, if one must speak out, the real man.”

~~ Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, x, 38 ~~

*********

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

~~ Confucius (551-479 BC) ~~

*********

“Costing not less than everything. “

~~ T.S. Eliot ~~

*********

“Love;
While you have life to give
Live;
While you have love to give.”

~~ Piet Hiem ~~

*********

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

Thankfully, this came together well, in spite of my hung over state, and the ubiquitous threat of Murphy hanging about. To show my appreciation in the most relevant way, I’ll end it now, here. I will, however, be back tomorrow to torment, er, try this again. See ya, ffolkes; take that as you will….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Advertisements

Nothing like boiled mutton….

Ffolkes,

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains
I looked to the children, I drank from the fountain
There’s more than one answer to these questions
pointing me in a crooked line.
The less I seek my source for some definitive
The closer I am to fine.

~~ the Indigo Girls ~`

~~ Closer to Fine ~~

Most-Photogenic-Dog-9 Lin Tranhs Chuppy

Chuppy and friend

Image by Jessica Trinh, as posted by adollyciousirony at:

http://allaboutlemon.com/2015/06/28/chuppy-the-most-photogenic-dog-2/

with more pictures here:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jessicachuppy/


Good morrow, my fine, fuzzy ffolkes…. No, I have no idea why I sound so chipper today, but, hey, it’s better than the usual curmudgeonly sarcasm, don’t you think? Well, I don’t, so, screw it… Let’s get on with this, okay? Don’t ask, so I won’t have to break the mood, right? No worries, just the usual morning visit from The Murph, may his nards forever freeze…

Shall we Pearl?

“He who is most slow in making a promise, is the most faithful in the performance of it.” — Rousseau

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

BigAjzLgT (2)

    Since I’m late, and lazy, we’ll go with some old BBC TV…. Here is an old Sherlock Holmes story, with a good, meaty story, though with some REALLY bad acting displayed in two instances in this episode…. Ladies and bozos, I give you, Sherlock….


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

The Solitary Cyclist

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

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

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


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

lao

    I am late, (did mention I’m late again?….), so, I’ll have to sublimate yet again…. Today, let’s go with a bit of philosophy, of sorts…. Works for me.

From 8/16/2012:

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” — Lao-Tzu

Water…. the power of water is unmatched over time; just ask the Grand Canyon. Water ties us to the universe; our physical make-up depends on it for survival, as well as mere existence. It is so soft, and yielding, yet cannot be destroyed at all; one can only cause it to change form, from ice, to water, to steam, all of which hold the same properties as the middle state, though slightly differently interpreted. Most important, to the scholar’s mind, is its nature…. emulating its spirit, becoming like water, is the goal of almost all meditation practice, as well as a goal of the martial artist….

“My writing is like a ten gallon spring.  It can issue from the ground anywhere at all.  On smooth ground it rushes swiftly on and covers a thousand li in a single day without difficulty.  When it twists and turns among mountains and rocks, it fits its form to things it meets: unknowable. What can be known is, it always goes where it must go, always stops where it cannot help stopping — nothing else. More than that, even I cannot know.” — Su Shih

One of the most powerful of concepts in martial arts is the emulation of water. The student is taught to learn how to move like water, to move with the rhythm of the universe as energy flows from one point to another. One of the most valuable techniques I’ve seen to teach this lesson is one where the student stands in a balanced stance, one foot forward; the arms are held in front of the body, as if holding a large ball. The student then moves his weight from the back foot to the front foot, then back again, while moving the ball in a slow circle, pushed away when moving forward, and brought back when the weight shifts to the rear….

The trick to learn is to be like the tide, accepting the water as it flows in to its highest point, then moving with it as it irresistibly flows back into the sea, as the weight moves to the front foot. A smooth shifting of the weight, and finding the correct rhythm teaches both balance, and strength, and the power of moving like water…. Learning to use gravity as an ally, instead of a limitation, gives one an unimaginable advantage over one who does not know how to do so….

In addition to the physical lessons that water has to teach us, it also provides the intellect with a subject of study, to find the nature of water in its most real state. Learning the nature of water brings us closer to an understanding of all nature, and how we may fit into it with the most beneficial attitudes. The path of least resistance, followed by water as it flows downhill, teaches us to learn to find the same path for ourselves. The immutability of water teaches us how to resist changes to our nature, while remaining in touch with those parts of the universe that are within all of us…. And the flexibility of water teaches us to remain flexible ourselves, to learn to recognize when it is time to be ice, when it is time to be steam, and when it is time to flow like water in its normal state…..

Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”

Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”

Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”

Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”

Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”

Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things  unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not  seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”

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

Comedy_Tragedy

Serendipity Morning

My mind wants to fly,
   my soul wants to hold close, the source,
strong, the moments of time;
   each as precious as golden thread,
binding together such elements of longing desire.

Love hovers, always patient,
   seeking the open heart,
reaching for the promise of tomorrow…..
   only for one, only for now, only what is real….
Dreaming, the morning calls,
   heavy with mordant belief,
replete, and eternally alive…..

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 4/1/2013.

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

buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    Okay…. We made it this far, but, SB is being snarky; we’re going back into the archives, so, gird your grids for a big one!…. Enjoy….

From 8/18/2012:

The following is an old-school pearl, with a specific thought in mind for you to deduce….. For the sake of everyone’s blood pressure, that specific thought will be revealed at the end…. I don’t usually provide such answers, but, today, I thought I’d give a treat, just ’cause I’m a nice guy…. Really, I am……

Child:  “Supreme Being, why is there evil in the world?”
Supreme Being (Sir John Gielgud in a Savile Row suit): “Oh, dear, I can’t remember, exactly. . . something to do with free will, I believe.”

— Terry Gilliam, _The Time Bandits_

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.

~~ A.A. Milne ~~


“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” — Oscar Wilde

“SANTA CLAUS comes down a FIRE ESCAPE wearing bright  blue LEG WARMERS.  He scrubs the POPE with a mild soap or detergent for 15 minutes, starring JANE FONDA!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

You may be asking yourself at this point, just what have I gotten myself into? Well, relax, it’s no big deal….. all of the foregoing is intended to lead you to the following….. which WILL be on the quiz…..

An it harms none, do what thou will.

~~ Wiccan Credo ~~


Alternate answer, also correct:

There’s little in taking or giving,
   There’s little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
      Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
 The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
      And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
    And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle —
  Would you kindly direct me to hell?

~~ Dorothy Parker ~~


“Birth, school, work, death.  About sums it up, I think.” — Smart Bee

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

It seems, in spite of all I could do, it’s done, well before I had any feeling of being in control…. Ah, well, I guess tomorrow is another day, and, since we’re done, I’ll just pretend it never happened…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; I promise, I’ll do better….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Have the mango smoothies been certified yet?….

Ffolkes,
Dark, out-of-focus images of lava filled volcanoes, steaming rivers flowing down their sides, against a backdrop of a smoky sunset of unimaginable color and beauty, float around in my mind’s eye, with no concomitant tales of interest attached, making me wonder yet again just what it is that makes me want to do this again. Each morning, I stare at the blank page before me, and let my mind assume a trance-like state, while it searches through the inner realm for yet another fresh way to begin, only to find mere remnants of ideas once fully formed, or abandoned phrases that have no connection to anything real.

Somewhere inside me is a lake of material, waiting to be written; I can feel it, and often catch glimpses out of the corner of my eye, before it flashes off into the vast, unknown reaches of my mind, where I never willingly go, knowing it will be safe there until ready to flow out onto a page…. A lot of what I write is spontaneous, at least in the sense that I don’t decide beforehand what subject is to be explored. Instead, I let Smart Bee, or some random thought, dictate the choice of material, having found long ago that I am more likely to come up with something interesting that way. When I decide beforehand, I feel like I’m back in school, writing a paper on a given subject, with the length and style pretty well fixed, and not amenable to alteration. It’s probably not a particularly efficient method, but it works for me, most of the time….

“If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.” — The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger, 1951

But, it does make it hard each day to come up with an intro, (especially when J.D. has already written the ultimate version of this kind of opening, one that denies normalcy)…. and it just occurred to me that y’all are probably getting tired of hearing that. I wish I didn’t whine about it so often…. a statement that occurs to me to be just about as dumb as anything I’ve ever come up with…. If I didn’t do it, I wouldn’t have to whine about it… If I didn’t whine about it, I probably wouldn’t do it as often… Any way one looks at it, whining about it just exacerbates the issue, and makes it into something significant, instead of the minor issue it ought to be…..

Hmm…. it also occurs to me that I am approaching this in a manner that guarantees the issue won’t die, an event which is anathema to me…. Why am I doing this to myself? I am forced to admit, I believe my sub-, or un-, conscious mind seems to have set up a situation here where I am continually set up to fail, at least in my own eyes, and THAT is unacceptable! The world, and the assholes who have set themselves up as the BRC, fuck me in the ass on a daily basis, just like they do everyone, and doing it to myself is NOT what I’d call intelligent…. So, it stops here….

No more whining about intros… no more angst about blank pages…. no more bullshit cop-outs relating how hard it is to come up with ideas on a daily basis, and make them interesting, to boot. It’s the same issue every day, and all this repetitive fooferaw is getting on my nerves, so, I’m done with it…. I know it doesn’t help this particular Pearl, but, in the future, you can look forward to an intro section that doesn’t complain, that doesn’t serve cheese, with or without whine, one that doesn’t drag on forever before getting on with the show…. In deference to that glorious future…. Shall we Pearl?…..

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Having discovered within myself exactly how much such ambiguity can affect our lives, I feel compelled to add that one must learn to use that ambiguity, to balance its overall effect on us, with competence, confidence, and steadfast aplomb, else it will use us, instead….
__________________________________

“Truth needs no flowers of speech.” — Alexander Pope

What immediately comes to mind when I look at this, is an image of a politician, mouth open, spewing out lie after lie, couched in flowery terms designed to draw in the listener with sweet, colorful little statements of intent, that have no relation at all to what is real, or what they will actually do. The more flowery a speech one hears from one of these pundits, the more you can be assured that all of it is lies. It is a time tested method of fooling the public…. tell them what they WANT to hear, and they will fall right into line…. Tell them what they don’t wish to hear, and they will mill around in confusion, and go through immense contortions to keep from using their minds, or making their own decisions, and, most importantly to them, it will make them uncomfortable, and fractious…..

My mind is almost automatically inclined to rant when I see a line such as this, and I’m always willing to take a few shots at the BRC, politicians, AND/OR any of their myrmidons and/or supporters, comprised of the mass of humanity that prefers to NOT use their brains for anything other than figuring out how to use the remote control, or sitting on. But, I slept a bit late today, and I’m feeling a bit lazy, at the moment, anyway, so I’m going to depend on SB to come up with an old-school pearl that will poke a stick or two into the eyes of the assholes who most deserve it….. SB is usually pretty good at that, so, let’s see what’s what….

“Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them!” — Albert Einstein

“History is always written wrong, and so always needs to be rewritten. …What is interesting is brought forward as if it had been central and efficacious in the march of events, and harmonies are turned into causes. Kings and generals are endowed with motives appropriate to what the historian values in their actions; plans are imputed to them prophetic of their actual achievements, while the thoughts that really preoccupied them remain buried in absolute oblivion.” — George Santayana, The Life of Reason:  Reason in Science, 1918

BIBLE  A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is of course generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“A tough lesson in life that one has to learn is that not everybody wishes you well.” — Dan Rather

“Who does not see that the same authority which can establish Christianity, in exclusion of all other religions, may establish with the same ease any particular sect of Christians, in exclusion of all other sects?” — James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance

“And unextinguish’d laughter shakes the skies.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Iliad of Homer, Book i, Line 771

Ffolkes, I just can’t make it any plainer than that…..
__________________________________

This is a reprint of a poem I used some time ago…. It’s being reused because, a) it’s bloody brilliant, and b) it kind of fits in with the mood for today…. and those are all I need to justify it to myself, as I know the poetry buffs out there will enjoy it, for the genius it is….

Witch Burning

In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.

It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.

If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.

Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

__________________________________

In keeping with today’s themes, which are, respectively, Truth, and Madness…. (what else?), I submit the following, an excerpt from the archives, from early 2012, comprised of two short pearls, one a short indictment re: the spread of religious dogma, and one short but telling list of woes currently present in Reality…. If nothing else, they’re in color…. Oh, right, that’s only if you have the correct software… never mind, just read on, you’ll understand….
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

Now, if that isn’t a scary thought, I know nothing of fear; I assure you, however, fear is an old friend, with whom I am quite familiar, in all its guises. Now, to give credit where it is due, I suppose it must be noted that, from the standpoint of someone of Mr. Graham’s ilk, this is a very powerful statement of belief; it has all the proper elements for that particular delusional thought process (if one may stretch the definition of ‘thought process’ just a bit).

It is based purely on assumption, with no hint of anything resembling direct evidence. It implies omnipotence, displays deified arrogance, identifies a source for guilt, and encourages a fear of death. It vagueness allows the moral ambiguity necessary for the complete abrogation of personal responsibility for one’s actions. And, like all such proclamations of this nature, its very words indicate a complete and utter dislike for humans, both individually, and as a species.

My immediate and forceful response to this was “Then you, and God, need to get a Life! If y’all have nothing better to do in your copious free time than to try to shove this kind of crap into people’s minds, then you need to find a new activities director for the imaginary cruise you are on…. or find some better drugs.”  But, that’s just me…..

(Oops…. I think I just heresied on several important religions…..)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conscious is when you are aware of something and conscience is when you wish you weren’t. — Smart Bee (Anonymous, by any other name, smells as sweet…)

Insane politicians (is there another kind?). Human trafficking. Racism. Bigotry. Child abuse. Spousal abuse. Slavery. Crack cocaine, heroin, morphine, or other drug abuse. War on crime. War on women. Televangelists. Fundamentalist zealots. National Security Agency. FBI. CIA. Untold trillions of dollars of national debt.  Genetically modified food. Military Industrial Complex. The 1%/99% Society. Taxes. Global warming. Air pollution. The oceans are dying. Terrorism. Nuclear accidents. Massive global weather changes. Ozone depletion. Overpopulation. AIDS. Mutating viruses. The Bohemian Club. Reaganomics. Nationalism. Elitism. Illuminati Conspiracy. Women’s reproductive rights. Bill of Rights (or rather, loss of same). War on the US Constitution.  Rampant ignorance. Lawyers. Priests. Rabbis. Imams.  Puppy mills. Wall Street. Corporate personhood. The IRS. Insane politicians. (Did I say that already? Well, it deserves mentioning twice….)  Rising incidence of halitosis.

Except for the last, which is more of a personal foible, I’d say that’s a fairly extensive, and mostly complete, list of stuff I am aware of that I wish I weren’t; and it all came right off the top of my head, no research.  It certainly keeps my sense of outrage in good shape….. which is why we all need to practice the following sentiment at every opportunity…. otherwise, we are all going to be up Shit Creek without a paddle, proverbial or otherwise…..

“Speak out. You’ve got to speak out against the madness.” — Steven Stills
__________________________________

Well there you go…. This is what happens when I’m allowed to dress myself, I guess…. Let’s see how it looks in the mirror….  Wow… it’s like a vampire, nothing shows at all…. I suppose that’s my usual morning alteration of consciousness kicking in, but, just in case it isn’t, try to ignore any parts that are showing signs of infection, okay…. And that’s all I’m required to say, according to public health regulations, so I’d best draw this to a rapid close, and catch that last train out of town, before the authorities show up for a late breakfast interrogation….  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

Emerald green tofu makes better ballast…..

Ffolkes,
All attempts to establish routine are now considered futile; only random acts that resist routine will be allowed. And damn! I wish I could find a comfortable chair in which to sit…. Yes, I know that sounds stilted and pompous, but grammar is grammar, so whattya gonna do?

Any who, back to routine, or lack thereof….. Waking in the middle of the night, sobbing over a dream, is not what I’d call conducive to making a routine. It took me an hour, and two or four solid shots to get back to a state where I could fall asleep again, and consequently gave me a late start this morning…..SIGH…. (That’s a west-county Irish sigh, a long full breath, and slow exhale, accompanied by a sorrowful expression and a sad shake of the head….)

I should probably be getting used to this randomness in my life; not having to work, or to spend any significant time worrying about what other folks need or want, is both the greatest perk, and the most stinging curse of retirement. The outer world no longer has a say in when I do something, or even what I do. I make my own schedule, and thus have no one to blame if it doesn’t suit me…. which, I’m sure you can see, is a reflection of that blessing/curse relationship. Ah well, such is life….

Since I’m late, and will be later, given the upcoming events this morning, we should get to the searching portion of the process, as it is the most time-consuming part. So…. shall we Pearl? Anything has got to be better than what has been happening thus far…..

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao-Tzu, Tao Teh Ching
___________________________________

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. — Old Testament — Job i, 21

I don’t know if it actually was Job who first said this particular phrase, but, given what God eventually did to him, all on a bet with Satan, it could have been…. If so, it goes to show, one shouldn’t go too long in the desert sun without finding some shade….

Here we have a statement that purports to provide reason for worship, a justification of why we should bow our heads in prayer to the heavens…. in short it says, “God is unpredictable, and omnipotent; it makes good sense to kowtow to Him…. he likes appeasement.” Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. We are theoretically in the power of a mad God, one who will fuck with his creation at the drop of a hat, just to entertain himself and the Devil over a wager.

He put Job through some outrageous times…. boils, plagues, genocide, hordes of locusts, deformity, God really did a number on Job, trying to see if his mind-conditioning would hold…. Since, according to the story, Job did hold out, and suffered all he did at God’s hand, and still wouldn’t curse him, we see that it did hold fast. What a dolt he must have been! No, I meant Job, but you may be right…. God surely acted like a dickhead in this one….

Sorry, but along about the third time God took everything away from me (had I been his chosen target instead of that stubborn boob, Job…), I would have started trying to figure out some way to fire back a few warning rounds, just to let Him know I’d had enough of that kind of treatment. A certain amount of leeway should be given, of course, but nobody gets more than three, I don’t care who they think they are…. By the act of persecution of Job, in my mind, He gave up any rights to worship, or even belief…. and He ought to know that, as he made me the way I am (according to the theory as given in Genesis).

I’d make this piece longer, but I think I’ve probably offended the Christians out there enough for one day…. also, the next section is a great poem, by my favorite poet, and I’d as soon you read it all, long as it is…. onward…..
___________________________________

This poem is rather long…. but I hope you read it all; it’s a great follow to the previous pearl, and well worth the time it takes….. enjoy!

A Tale Of The Thirteenth Floor

The hands of the clock were reaching high
In an old midtown hotel;
I name no name, but its sordid fame
Is table talk in hell.
I name no name, but hell’s own flame
Illumes the lobby garish,
A gilded snare just off Times Square
For the maidens of the parish.

The revolving door swept the grimy floor
Like a crinoline grotesque,
And a lowly bum from an ancient slum
Crept furtively past the desk.
His footsteps sift into the lift
As a knife in the sheath is slipped,
Stealthy and swift into the lift
As a vampire into a crypt.

Old Maxie, the elevator boy,
Was reading an ode by Shelley,
But he dropped the ode as it were a toad
When the gun jammed into his belly.
There came a whisper as soft as mud
In the bed of an old canal:
“Take me up to the suite of Pinball Pete,
The rat who betrayed my gal.”

The lift doth rise with groans and sighs
Like a duchess for the waltz,
Then in middle shaft, like a duchess daft,
It changes its mind and halts.
The bum bites lip as the landlocked ship
Doth neither fall nor rise,
But Maxie the elevator boy
Regards him with burning eyes.
“First, to explore the thirteenth floor,”
Says Maxie, “would be wise.”

Quoth the bum, “There is moss on your double cross,
I have been this way before,
I have cased the joint at every point,
And there is no thirteenth floor.
The architect he skipped direct
From twelve unto fourteen,
There is twelve below and fourteen above,
And nothing in between,
For the vermin who dwell in this hotel
Could never abide thirteen.”

Said Max, “Thirteen, that floor obscene,
Is hidden from human sight;
But once a year it doth appear,
On this Walpurgis Night.
Ere you peril your soul in murderer’s role,
Heed those who sinned of yore;
The path they trod led away from God,
And onto the thirteenth floor,
Where those they slew, a grisly crew,
Reproach them forevermore.

“We are higher than twelve and below fourteen,”
Said Maxie to the bum,
“And the sickening draft that taints the shaft
Is a whiff of kingdom come.
The sickening draft that taints the shaft
Blows through the devil’s door!”
And he squashed the latch like a fungus patch,
And revealed the thirteenth floor.

It was cheap cigars like lurid scars
That glowed in the rancid gloom,
The murk was a-boil with fusel oil
And the reek of stale perfume.
And round and round there dragged and wound
A loathsome conga chain,
The square and the hep in slow lock step,
The slayer and the slain.
(For the souls of the victims ascend on high,
But their bodies below remain.)

The clean souls fly to their home in the sky,
But their bodies remain below
To pursue the Cain who each has slain
And harry him to and fro.
When life is extinct each corpse is linked
To its gibbering murderer,
As a chicken is bound with wire around
The neck of a killer cur.

Handcuffed to Hate come Doctor Waite
(He tastes the poison now),
And Ruth and Judd and a head of blood
With horns upon its brow.
Up sashays Nan with her feathery fan
From Floradora bright;
She never hung for Caesar Young
But she’s dancing with him tonight.

Here’s the bulging hip and the foam-flecked lip
Of the mad dog, Vincent Coll,
And over there that ill-met pair,
Becker and Rosenthal,
Here’s Legs and Dutch and a dozen such
Of braggart bullies and brutes,
And each one bends ‘neath the weight of friends
Who are wearing concrete suits.

Now the damned make way for the double-damned
Who emerge with shuffling pace
From the nightmare zone of persons unknown,
With neither name nor face.
And poor Dot King to one doth cling,
Joined in a ghastly jig,
While Elwell doth jape at a goblin shape
And tickle it with his wig.

See Rothstein pass like breath on a glass,
The original Black Sox kid;
He riffles the pack, riding piggyback
On the killer whose name he hid.
And smeared like brine on a slavering swine,
Starr Faithful, once so fair,
Drawn from the sea to her debauchee,
With the salt sand in her hair.

And still they come, and from the bum
The icy sweat doth spray;
His white lips scream as in a dream,
“For God’s sake, let’s away!
If ever I meet with Pinball Pete
I will not seek his gore,
Lest a treadmill grim I must trudge with him
On the hideous thirteenth floor.”

“For you I rejoice,” said Maxie’s voice,
“And I bid you go in peace,
But I am late for a dancing date
That nevermore will cease.
So remember, friend, as your way you wend,
That it would have happened to you,
But I turned the heat on Pinball Pete;
You see – I had a daughter, too!”

The bum reached out and he tried to shout,
But the door in his face was slammed,
And silent as stone he rode down alone
From the floor of the double-damned.

Ogden Nash
___________________________________

The following is an old-school pearl, with a specific thought in mind for you to deduce….. for the sake of everyone’s blood pressure, that specific thought will be revealed at the end…. I don’t usually, but thought I’d give a treat, just ’cause I’m a nice guy…. really, I am……

Child:  “Supreme Being, why is there evil in the world?”
Supreme Being (Sir John Gielgud in a Savile Row suit): “Oh, dear, I can’t remember, exactly. . . something to do with free will, I believe.”
— Terry Gilliam, _The Time Bandits_

“The character of human life, like the character of the human condition, like the character of all life, is “ambiguity”: the inseparable mixture of good and evil, the true and false, the creative and destructive forces — both individual and social.” — Paul Tillich

Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.
— A.A. Milne

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“Truth, in the matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.” — Oscar Wilde

“SANTA CLAUS comes down a FIRE ESCAPE wearing bright  blue LEG WARMERS.  He scrubs the POPE with a mild soap or detergent for 15 minutes, starring JANE FONDA!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

You may be asking yourself at this point, just what have I gotten myself into? Well, relax, it’s no big deal….. all of the foregoing is intended to lead you to the following….. which WILL be on the quiz…..

An it harms none, do what thou will. — Wiccan Credo

Alternate answer, also correct:

There’s little in taking or giving,
There’s little in water or wine:
This living, this living, this living,
Was never a project of mine.
Oh, hard is the struggle, and sparse is
The gain of the one at the top,
For art is a form of catharsis,
And love is a permanent flop,
And work is the province of cattle,
And rest’s for a clam in a shell,
So I’m thinking of throwing the battle —
Would you kindly direct me to hell?

— Dorothy Parker

“Birth, school, work, death.  About sums it up, I think.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________

For a rush job, this didn’t come out too badly…. it will have to do, anyway, so let’s get on with it….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you……

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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!