Just the fax, Sam….

Ffolkes,

“Solitude makes a wonderful mistress but a terrible wife.”

~~ Emerson ~~

3 moons over Vqllejo

Three Moons over Vallejo


Hajime…. Over the course of time, Pearls of Virtual Wisdom/Exploring Consensual Reality, as a blog, has evolved in structure and appearance, as I became more accustomed to using the WP platform, until settling on the five-sections for each subject we use today. In the past two or three months, it’s shown itself to be flexible enough for me to use even when I am not completely whole, either physically, or mentally. Thus my luck with serendipity is made clear once again, as I chose better than I knew. Thanks, Me!

Oh! That hurt! I should know better than to pat myself on the back; with my shoulder’s arthritis, such a movement comes with a high price in pain…. Oops. Ah well, even the simplest literary trick can be, well, tricky, eh? That will teach me not to try those sorts of literary shenanigans before I’ve started on my second cuppa; I just don’t have the chops until then to make it work as it should. Now I’m stuck here, talking in real time, exposing my own ignorance, again…. As we who have lived on the street are fond of saying in such situations, FUCK!

Oh, well, sorry if I’ve offended anyone. That particular venting vessel is one that has probably kept me off the WP Freshly Pressed list ever since I began…. It seems even ONE word that MIGHT be offensive will keep a post off that page, so, I’ve never been there, even if I was ever nominated (a fact of which I have absolutely no clue…. especially as it doesn’t matter, since it’ll never happen…. I refuse to edit for PC in any form…). I don’t care, as I don’t write for fame, or money, merely for sanity…. or as close to it as I can get….

All that being said, in such honest, if boring fashion, I suppose we can just get on with today’s mess, and probably be better off for it. I won’t even pretend Luigi, or Guido is here today, nor that we are off to anywhere other than my imagination and ego trips. That’s okay, too…. at least it’s real, which I find to be always a good thing to observe…. really, I do…. So, without further ado, or adon’t, we’ll be off to the nether portions of the blog for today…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“”There’s nothing an agnostic can’t do if he really doesn’t know whether he believes in anything or not.” — Monty Python

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IrishRovers2010

The Irish Rovers in 2010

Image from kpbs.org via Google Images


I hesitate to pull the covers of anyone, but, I remember listening to these lads when I was a lad myself. My parents had an album they enjoyed playing sometimes when I was young; I remember specifically listening to them, often during Christmas when relatives were over…. I still enjoy their music, so, here they are, for your enjoyment as well… If you don’t enjoy traditional Irish music, perhaps you’re ready for the ranting section….. Fair warning; you’d best be so. Ready, that is…. Section three can be a bit of a challenge if you’re not ready for it…… Why don’t you listen to the music while reading; it might help….

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The Irish Rovers

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Dont keep calm

   

“The shortest and surest way to live with honor in the world is to be in reality what we would appear to be; all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them.” — Socrates (BC 469-399)

In more modern language, the concepts Socrates has presented in this statement could be summarized thus: “The more you practice being honorable and real, the more real and honorable you become.” I’ve stated it thus, so simply, because, it seems to me, the modern person’s mind has not grasped the concept of virtue, or honor, or even reality, with any degree of actual understanding. This, of course, is just the way the people who govern the world, and those in their service, to wit: churches, politicians, lawyers, police, and military myrmidons, want the public to be, that is to say, as ignorant of their true nature as they can make them…..

Now, this sounds like a rant in the making, and, in the normal course of events, you’d be correct. But, I find myself exhausted, still, after my recent long physical ordeal; quite frankly, it’s all I can do in a day to write this blog. Any further activity is confined to keeping Leelu entertained, which takes up more time than one might think; she considers herself in training, and me to be her personal trainer. And, she’s really, really serious about it, so, whenever I pause in my typing, I find her sitting at my chair-side, mewling and crawling into my lap to ask me to play…. like right now….

Okay… I managed to distract her by opening her window, from where she can watch the birds and traffic on the street; it can keep her fascinated for a good twenty minutes, so, I’ll try to get this done before I’m once again summoned to throw crumpled paper about the house. We’ll sublimate my urge to purge my angst with a series of statements from various smart ffolkes, on the subject at hand, to wit, the Asininnies, and our Beloved Ruling Class, including the Dogma Dogs, the Highly Conditioned Uniformed Myrmidons, and the eternal butt of everyone’s favorite jokes, the scum of society, lawyers of practically every ilk…. Let’s see what Smart Bee comes up with today, shall we?…..

“The tank, the B-52, the fighter-bomber, the state controlled police and military are the weapons of dictatorship. The rifle is the weapon of democracy. Not for nothing was the revolver called an ‘equalizer’ Eqalite implies liberte. And always will. Let us hope our weapons are never needed — but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the  government — and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws.” — Edward Abbey (1927-1989)

(On a personal note, me, too, Ed….)

“A long and wicked life followed by five minutes of perfect grace gets you into Heaven. An equally long life of decent living and good works followed by one outburst of taking the name of the Lord in vain, then have a heart attack at that moment and be damned for eternity. Is that the system?” — Robert A. Heinlein

“I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes  of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey. I believe it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts… I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“– Bother!”, said Pooh, as he found a politician in his honey pot.” — Twisted Bee

“A professional politician is a professionally dishonorable man. In order to get anywhere near high office he has to make so many compromises and submit to so many humiliations that he becomes indistinguishable from a streetwalker.” — H.L. Mencken

“An honest politician is one who, when he is bought, will stay bought.” — Simon Cameron (1799-1889)

CORSAIR, n.  A politician of the seas. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant.” — Charles de Gaulle

“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)

“The doctor is to be feared more than the disease.” — Latin Proverb

Okay, so, it’s a little light on shots against Big Pharma, the AMA, etc…. the last one summarizes that issue quite well, I think…. Okay, off we go, to something a bit more entertaining…. Well, I think so….

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Comedy_Tragedy

    For those Gentle Readers from around the world, who may not know who Joe Friday is, allow me to explain…. Joe Friday was a character in a TV cop show, called Dragnet, which played here in the US in the 1950’s to 60’s. It was, I believe, the first cop show of its kind, fictional, but trying to portray true-to-life situations. The lead actor, whose name I forgot until now, was Jack Webb, and he had absolutely NO acting ability, at all. He played Joe Friday as an emotionless, flat-voiced asshole, (a rather prophetic portrayal, given that the biggest percentage of modern ‘cops’ are quite simply, ignorant assholes with a badge….), whose favorite and completely over-used phrase was “Just the facts, ma’am.”…. Hence, the title of today’s lament re: the illusion upon which Western society is based….

Joe Friday’s lament


Life is short, and though I’m odd, they say
it really doesn’t bother me
to realize there is no God, per se.

Though other folks will disagree
and tell me I’m wrong
I won’t believe it, with naught to see.

Liars called padre tell me, have humility,
and do as the authorities say,
then fondle little boys with facility.

They also tell me to share the wealth
and give them a 10% tithe
so they don’t have get it by stealth.

So spare me the delusions, please
don’t bother with such a tale;
I’m nobody that needs such a tease.

Keep your fantasies under your hat
and out of my face;
I don’t need them, they’ll make me fat….. headed.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/6/2012


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“So then, these are the foundations, as they call them,
of all mixt bodies, and of all wonderful operations:
and whatsoever experiments they proved,
the causes hereof rested
(as they supposed)
and were to be found
in the Elements and their qualities.”

~~ Giambattista Della Porta ~~

~~ Natural Magick ~~

pearls_3


Today’s final old-school pearl is special. Why? Hell, I don’t know. It’s just the way it turned out. Those who are at all familiar with pearls here on ECR received a clue; there is seldom a quote above the picture in this section. Today, the statement from Natural Magick serves perfectly as both warning, and disclaimer…. Enjoy ffolkes, this will take your mind and turn it around so it looks you right in the eyes…. Are you ready to see?….

“All that we see or seem, “

is but a dream within a dream.

~~ Edgar Allen Poe ~~

~~ from “A Dream Within a Dream” ~~

~~~~~~~

“Are you the dreamer or just the dream?” — Alan Edgar Bee

~~~~~~~

“I do not want to die…
until I have faithfully made the most of my talent
 and cultivated the seed that was placed in me
 until the last small twig has grown.”

~~ Kathe Kollwitz ~~

~~~~~~~

“If a pessimist is always right, is he a realist?”

~~ Cynical Bee ~~

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“Fortune does not change men, it unmasks them.”

~~ Suzanne Necker ~~

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“In this world, you have to be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.
I spent years being smart.
I recommend pleasant.”

~~ Elwood P. Dowd ~~

~~ played by James Stewart in “Harvey” ~~

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“Silence is argument carried out by other means.”

~~ Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara (1928-1967) ~~

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“Loosen up; the unaimed arrow never misses.”

~~- Zen Bee ~~

~~~~~~~

“Here pigs will fly, lightning will strike twice,

hell will freeze over, and eventually,

things will get really interesting…”

~~ Prophetic Bee ~~


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It’s done. Whew! Boy, Leelu will be glad; she’s been staring holes through me for twenty minutes. I’d best just close this out, and be off to make it up to her…. I shall see y’all tomorrow, I would hope in good spirits, as I am these days, much more often. True freedom is the release from pain…. believe it. I’ll be back, as Hollywood’s favorite assbite has said more than once…. but, I won’t try to eradicate the human race….. Ta, then, luvs…..

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

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


		
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No, no, not the taffeta!….

Ffolkes,

“Courage is not the towering oak that sees storms come and go;

it is the fragile blossom that opens in the snow”

 — Alice M. Swaim

8-30-2014 003

    Today’s picture, which goes well with the opening pearl, is one of my own. The flower is one I found while out walking, picking this one to put on my hat for the day, as is my habit whenever I go out. When I got home, the gorgeous thing was still fresh and beautiful, so I laid it on the black surface of the couch, and took some shots of it, in addition to a couple others, including one of how it looked on the hat….. I am very pleased with this shot; the colors are both vivid and delicate at once, and the background black makes it almost glow… Not bad for an old curmudgeon, eh?

Now that my shoulder is back in the socket, after getting thrown out by patting myself so hard on the back, I think I can continue to type… not that it seems to make any difference in anything. It’s a good thing I don’t do this for money, or for self-promotion; I’d be starving, big time. I’m pretty sure the sobriety and deeply controversial nature of most of my ranting, along with the length of what I write, has been striking many of my usual readers with its repetitive qualities, such that not many are stopping in very often of late to read…. Oh, I’m getting readers, and have had some great dialogue in the comment section; just not a lot of traffic overall….

S’okay by me… I write to stay sane. I also figured out something the other day, as I sat one early evening, thinking about, well, stuff…. I do that a lot…. just sit, and think. Always have; it seems to provide me with the time alone in my head that I need to feel as if I’m keeping up with things in there; you know, sweeping out old bullshit, programming new stuff, planning for future events, examining new ideas and stuff learned for validity, truth, and/or flaws in reasoning, stuff like that…. If it were a computer (my head) you could call it file maintenance, or defragmentation, or maybe running a registry cleaning software program…

Any who, while sitting and thinking, I realized that the routine I’ve developed over the last three years has been my mind’s adaptation to retirement, which it accomplished in order to keep me young…. All my life, I had routines that I built to deal with the demands of life, all of which involved getting up early in the morning, to get a jump on the necessary thinking, organizing, and just plain waking up that can make the difference between a good day, and a bad one, no matter what kind of work I, or anyone, is involved in; good planning makes for good outcomes…. Now that I have no real reason to get up in the morning, my mind decided to give me one, and made it necessary for me to write….. otherwise, I would certainly have gone mad…. stark raving mad, rather than my current level of mild anxiety mixed with unpredictable, intermittent emotional fragility, easily handled…

So, my job now is to write each day, in order to keep the demons from staying too long, joining up with their mates, and giving me REAL problems to deal with… If in the process, I can write something that makes someone smile, or think, or burn with outrage, or fall on the floor laughing, then I’ll be content…. Money isn’t necessary to make me feel satisfaction; I get mine from a well-turned phrase, or an apt insult to someone who deserves more than I can hit them with…. it’s enough for me….

Why look! I’ve meandered and blathered again, mostly about stuff that means little to nothing, and have again arrived at a suitable jumping-off point just at the right moment, when I’d finished my egotistic drivel…. This means we don’t even need to use one of the emergency methods, though, we did go a bit long again…. S’fine…. it’ll all come out in the wash, right?

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!” — Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote

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Since the intro went so long, even without ranting, I’ll go old-school in this section, to try to keep from scaring anyone away this early…. Here is a pearl with parameters set to poke at our Beloved ruling class, and the public morality that allows them to keep on keepin’ on with their unruly shenanigans…. Hopefully, today, we’ll see some blood….

“Americans like to talk about (or be told about) Democracy but, when put to the test, usually find it to be an ‘inconvenience.’ We have opted instead for an authoritarian system *disguised* as a Democracy.  We pay through the nose for an enormous joke-of-a-government, let it push us around, and then wonder how all those assholes got in there.” — Frank Zappa

“A man that expects to train lobsters to fly in a year is called a lunatic and is locked up. But a man that thinks people can be turned into angels by legislation is called a reformer and allowed to walk free.” — Mr. Dooly

“A pig ate his fill of acorns under an oak tree and then started to root around the tree.  A crow remarked, `You should not do this.  If you lay bare the roots, the tree will wither and die.’ `Let it die,’ said the pig.  `Who cares so long as there are acorns?'” — Smart Bee

“Nothing links man to man like the frequent passage from hand to hand of cash.” — Walter Sickert (1860-1942)

“And the Clinton administration launched an attack on people in Texas because those people were religious nuts with guns.  Hell, this country was FOUNDED by religious nuts with guns!” — P. J. O’Rourke

“Sure we’ll have Fascism, but it will come disguised as Americanism.” — Huey P. Long

“Instead of giving money to found colleges to promote learning, why don’t they pass a constitutional amendment prohibiting anybody from learning anything?   If it works as good as the Prohibition one did, why, in five years we would have the smartest race of people on earth.” — Will Rogers

Not too shabby at all; there’s some sharp sticks in there, ffolkes…. hope they caught one of the bastards right in the eye….. I love starting the day with some good red, American politician blood flowing…. It keeps all of us on our toes to see that shocking red color, and to know it’s our own fault if we let it continue this way…. Besides, they breed like flies, and there’s always another one ready to step into the old one’s shoes, bloody or not…. Sometimes, I swear, shooting politicians is like trying to stem the tide…..

Oops…. sorry, all you folks over there at the NSA…. I used the words “shoot” and “politician” in the same sentence; it’s a figure of speech. We’re only shooting insults, not bullets…. Bloody idiots…..

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Here is another new poem, just bled out yesterday, that speaks for itself….

Retrospective, defined in folly….

Yesterday
I wrote a poem.

It bled out of my head,
like I’d been struck with
an axe,
right through the artery,
in the neck,
spraying blood around
everywhere,
like a pulsing garden hose….

It hurt, at first,
then came the feeling,

of quick relief,
of timeless beauty,
 
of pain avenged,
of lust aroused,

of outrage aflame,
of deep compassion,

of endless empathy,
of truest love….

Now it’s gone, cast away
like pearls before twine.

(Grin…)

You thought
I was going to call you
a pig,
didn’t you?

Hah!

Well, you’re not.
You’re a person.

I know, because
you’re reading this poem…
if that’s what it is.
I think it is,
so,
maybe it is.

Or, maybe,
it will be,
someday, when it
grows up,
and learns to rhyme.
Whew…
Just in time…..

That’s all.
Reality often sucks wind,
y’know?

S’okay, though….
It keeps us busy,
and out of some of the
mischief,
so much part
of our
nature.

We all can do
only what we
do.

Or, don’t.

Two sides, one coin.

~~ gigoid ~~


Hmm…. well, that was…. is…. something different, for sure, and for certain….

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“I was brought up in the other service; but I knew from the first that the Devil was my natural master and captain and friend.  I saw that he was in the right, and that the world cringed to his conqueror only from fear.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), “The Devil’s Disciple”

It is possible, if one reads with intelligent absorption, and open perception, to hear the echoes of sardonicism in Shaw’s words; for my own part, I can almost SEE his tongue, firmly lodged in cheek, while he wrote this, struggling with all his might not to burst out into maniacal laughter….. This may have been the single most satisfying phrase anyone has ever had the fortune to write; it pokes the entire Western culture, with its overbearing elitism, its incredible arrogance, its pompous, stuffy demeanor, and its sheer insane insistence on basing an entire society based on a set of delusions fostered upon them by insane fanatics with no other morality than the dictates of their own perverted fears of the unknown, right in the proverbial eye….

It’s wonderfully antagonistic, too… I like that. Shaw had a lot of fun with this one, for, by it’s nature, his contention sets itself up in direct opposition to every point of morality favored by those in Christian society; since his own philosophical structure is NOT based on delusions, it is simple for him to see, and point to all the nonsense in the dogma that is supposed to act as the guide for his behavior…. which only enrages them, as they have no hold on him, or any way to shut him up, without showing themselves as the lying, or at least, misguided fools they are….

Now, I could discuss (rant about) this for a long time, and would enjoy every moment. It’s great fun to think up ways to annoy those hidebound dinosaurs; it IS a bit dishonorable, as it is not very nice to engage in battles of wit with unarmed opponents, but, then, I’ve never been very nice… not about this. But, in hopes of luring perhaps a few of my readers back, I’ll use this opportunity to reproduce an old-old-old school pearl, first posted here on 10/31/2011, when the entire Pearl of Virtual Wisdom was an old-school format…. So, what you will now see is the whole Pearl from that date….. Enjoy, it’s a good one…..

Ffolkes,

Due to circumstances that are completely within my control, I have  lot to do today, so I will be using the old format for this morning’s offering, with just a short intro, and then some mighty fine virtual food for thought. Between fighting off depression, scratching for change, and juggling creditors, I have neglected my homework, which only hurts me, so there ya go. I sleep a lot, probably because when I’m asleep, I feel more in control of my life.

Pitiful, isn’t it? Ah well, life is Change, and this situation too shall pass in time. I’ve procrastinated almost as far as I can with the homework, though I’m sure I’ll come up with at least one or two ways to put it off before I actually get to it. I’m creative in that respect, if in no other…….any who, here are today’s Pearls, all of which can be found in Category “Finest Kind Stuff”………

“To be “matter of fact” about the world is to blunder into fantasy…. and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“All the knowledge in the world is not wisdom”. — Albert Einstein

“Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can’t see them.” — Steve Ely

(Sound familiar? Has a certain Tea Party ring to it, no?…..)

You ‘d scarce expect one of my age
To speak in public on the stage;
And if I chance to fall below
Demosthenes or Cicero,
Don’t view me with a critic’s eye,
But pass my imperfections by.
Large streams from little fountains flow,
Tall oaks from little acorns grow.

~~ David Everett ~~
 (1769-1813)
 — Lines written for a School Declamation —


The wages of sin are high but you get your money’s worth. — Smart Bee

“Please come home with me…  I have Tylenol!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Well, there you go, Ollie, another fine mess…..and in Technicolor too!  Y’all take care out there…..

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With this Pearl, I declare this blog officially back to relative normalcy; up at the usual time, finished at an appropriate hour, and posted before 7 AM…. I’ll take it.  In fact, I’ll take it as it is, and be done with it for today…. I’ll see you mañana, amigos…..

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!


Historically, it’s all a wash…..

Ffolkes,
History is being made today. It’s not major history, just minor history…but significant to me. One year ago, on August 11, 2011, I wrote the first Pearl of Virtual Wisdom ever posted on WordPress. I had been publishing them on the social network site at SFGATE, for about 4 to 6 months, (I forget when I started there….), when I heard about WordPress, and came to check it out.

Publishing a blog is as simple as they say it is, and I have enjoyed learning their system, though not as thoroughly as I’d like. But, then, nothing I do is capable of being done as thoroughly as I would like it to be, not anymore. My ever-present back and hip pain makes sure of that…. In spite of this handicap, I have managed to publish a post every day, with numerous occasions of posting more than one, usually when I re-blog someone else’s work…. not bad for an old fart with flat feet and flatulence, eh?

In view of this anniversary, I am very……. wow, surprisingly, relieved is the right word. I guess I wasn’t sure I could write every day, while still keeping it good enough to suit me, and this definitely destroys that fear. Getting it done each day has required some discipline, which I can see is good for staying young when retired. The biggest reason people give up when they get old is they don’t want to make the effort to stay connected to living; it all seems so hard after a while. Writing every day has kept my mind sharp, and gives me plenty of reason to look forward.

As a bonus, interacting with the other WordPress authors gives me human contact, that, given my lack of ability to get around, or go out, has turned out to be extremely important. The people I’ve met on WP have been friendly, supportive, and have definitely kept me entertained, with as many different approaches to life as there are blogs. Every day, on many of the blogs I follow, I find wonderful poetry, beautiful imagery, and quite a few interesting viewpoints. I only wish my physical challenges didn’t make it so hard to spend a lot of time reading those blogs…..

Any who, we’d best get to today’s Pearl; as has previously been proven, I could ramble on here for a long time…. I hope you enjoy today’s effort, it is the anniversary version, and will get my best effort…. Shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“If the average man is made in God’s image, then such a man as Beethoven or Aristotle is plainly superior to God.” — H. L. Mencken

Ah, curmudgeons….. ya gotta love ’em…. Here is a statement typical of the kind I like to choose for these pearls. Short, succinct in its message, and sure to be, or to generate, controversy, the real meat in a curmudgeon’s diet. For a statement such as this, it is always helpful to point out, for those readers who may disagree vehemently, there is much more tangible evidence of no supernatural beings, than there is for the concept of an omnipotent God….. it gets them going every time…. I am reminded of the quote from Carl Sagan, which has been seen here before, but remains as valid as ever… to wit:

“…Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I haven’t ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it. There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can’t be perfect of course; you may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46

Tongue firmly in cheek, Carl issued a very painful spanking to the faith-based crowd, and did so in a caring, gentle, almost sarcastic way…. I love the little dig at the end; it is an insult, but a very gentle one…. Gentle sarcasm seems to work better with that crowd, which makes sense, as they are often completely unwilling to even listen to the evidence that disproves their beliefs, or at the minimum, puts those beliefs  into the “highly unlikely” category. The priestly hierarchies do not encourage independent thought, as those who engage in it usually don’t last long as members of the congregation. To a priest, the perfect believer never questions what they are taught, accepting whatever the authorities say as truth…..

In addition to this area of brainwashing, the priests and preachers show themselves to be in complete collusion with the beloved ruling class, always teaching their constituents to respect authority, and submit…. “render unto Caesar what is Ceasar’s”, you know? Which kind of gives away the whole conspiracy, as we haven’t had any Caesar’s to deal with for over two millennia, yet the saying remains fresh in the language, used all the time.

Between the priestly hierarchies and the beloved ruling class, your average Joe Schmoe never stands a chance…. it is only those whose minds reject such teaching, that do not submit, who are able to put aside the attempted brainwash, and continue to think for themselves…..

Now, in today’s society, we have a new threat to our freedom. The current presumptive candidate for the Republican nomination for President has shown himself to be one of the faith-based crowd, and is firmly on the side of the priestly hierarchies. He sees no danger in this mixing and melding of Church and State, and is completely unaware of his own unsuitability for the office of the Presidency.

It has been said, more than once, by more than one person, that the best sort of President is one who just says what he is told to say, and signs the bills that come before him without examining them at all. His advisers, who could just as easily be called his masters, will tell him what to say, and what to sign. Mitt Romney is just that sort of person…. he is so happy to be counted among the rich and famous that he will literally say and/or do ANYTHING to get elected. He hasn’t a clue as to why, or how he got so far, but he doesn’t believe he did it by cheating, by lying, and by completely giving up his humanity to make money (his real God….)…. but, that is exactly what he did….

So, you decide, ffolkes. Do we want someone in the White House who hasn’t had a creative, or even independent, thought in his head since he was nine years old? Do we want a President who makes his decisions based on Mormon religious principles? Do we want a man in office who has NEVER held a real job, and has absolutely no idea how his whole existence is an insult to the veterans who protect this country, and the people who work so hard to just get by? Do we want a man who tells a lie with every other breath, not just with a straight face, but with no conscience whatsoever? Do we want a puppet of the corporations and bankers in charge of the economy? I can answer NO to all of those questions…. how about you?…..
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All Things will Die

All things will die

Clearly the blue river chimes in its flowing

Under my eye;
Warmly and broadly the south winds are blowing

Over the sky.
One after another the white clouds are fleeting;
Every heart this May morning in joyance is beating

Full merrily;
Yet all things must die.
The stream will cease to flow;
The wind will cease to blow;
The clouds will cease to fleet;
The heart will cease to beat;
For all things must die.
All things must die.
Spring will come never more.
O, vanity!
Death waits at the door.
See! our friends are all forsaking
The wine and the merrymaking.
We are call’d–we must go.
Laid low, very low,
In the dark we must lie.
The merry glees are still;
The voice of the bird
Shall no more be heard,
Nor the wind on the hill.
O, misery!
Hark! death is calling
While I speak to ye,
The jaw is falling,
The red cheek paling,
The strong limbs failing;
Ice with the warm blood mixing;
The eyeballs fixing.
Nine times goes the passing bell:
Ye merry souls, farewell.
The old earth
Had a birth,
As all men know,
Long ago.
And the old earth must die.
So let the warm winds range,
And the blue wave beat the shore;
For even and morn
Ye will never see
Thro’ eternity.
All things were born.
Ye will come never more,
For all things must die.

Alfred Lord Tennyson

And there you have it…. truth in motion…. not particularly uplifting, but true, nonetheless, for that…. Enjoy!
___________________________________

A year has gone by
draped in melancholy tears
A mere stitch in time

gigoid
___________________________________

Well, there you have it; the anniversary issue of gigoid’s Pearls of Virtual Wisdom. It might be a good time to restate the disclaimer….

“Pearls of Virtual Wisdom are not to be confused with real wisdom; gigoid declines any responsibility for any and/or all attempts to use them as such. When it comes to dealing with Consensual Reality, you are on your own…… and that is as it should be.”

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!

Critical differences of filigree….

Ffolkes,
Perspective…. one of our most valuable perceptive qualities. The perspective from which one views any piece of information can determine not only the importance of the data, but how one processes it. Now that I have some degree of perspective on the events of yesterday, during my adventures out in the Big Blue Room, I can see why yesterday’s Pearl seemed to flow so smoothly onto the page….. Murphy was once again at work, lulling me into complacency, and setting me up for the roller-coaster ride to come….

As a matter of fact, no, I don’t have a life. — Smart Bee

Without going into details, which were hard enough to consider as they occurred, let’s just say that Mr. Irish Fatalist spent much of the afternoon hanging about my vicinity, directing traffic, so to speak, making sure that only the most frustrating and annoying people approached me, and only the laziest, most indifferent office drones weren’t getting their work done because they were gossiping too long. He also made sure that the bureaucracy I was dealing with followed its insane regulations to the letter, thereby bringing the entire system to a crashing halt every few minutes…. The net result was a no-doubt entertaining four hours for Murphy, and the same amount of sheer frustration and mounting pain for me…. quite a party…..

It’s your right to be stupid, but it doesn’t mean you should be. — Smart Bee

With the perspective that today brings, I can slough off the emotional detritus that resulted from the day’s events, though it’s a bit harder to throw off the stiffness that being up on my feet for so many hours brings. With that perspective, I can look back and assign a whole different value to what took place yesterday. I did accomplish all I set out to do when I left the house, so all in all, the day can be considered a win….and that’s a good thing. So, I’ll just leave yesterday where it belongs… in the past, and we will proceed into another day, a bit late (like about four hours late… I was tired….), but relatively unbowed. I think, given the state of current affairs, I should go Pearl now….. it’s the only thing that can save me at this point…

“There is no comfort without pain; thus we define salvation through suffering.” — Cato
___________________________________

The Laboratory-Ancien Régime

I.
Now that I, tying thy glass mask tightly,
May gaze thro’ these faint smokes curling whitely,
As thou pliest thy trade in this devil’s-smithy—
Which is the poison to poison her, prithee?

II.
He is with her, and they know that I know
Where they are, what they do: they believe my tears flow
While they laugh, laugh at me, at me fled to the drear
Empty church, to pray God in, for them!—I am here.

III
Grind away, moisten and mash up thy paste,
Pound at thy powder,—I am not in haste!
Better sit thus, and observe thy strange things,
Than go where men wait me and dance at the King’s.

IV
That in the mortar—you call it a gum?
Ah, the brave tree whence such gold oozings come!
And yonder soft phial, the exquisite blue,
Sure to taste sweetly,—is that poison too?

V
Had I but all of them, thee and thy treasures,
What a wild crowd of invisible pleasures!
To carry pure death in an earring, a casket,
A signet, a fan-mount, a filigree basket!

VI
Soon, at the King’s, a mere lozenge to give,
And Pauline should have just thirty minutes to live!
But to light a pastile, and Elise, with her head
And her breast and her arms and her hands, should drop dead!

VII
Quick—is it finished? The colour’s too grim!
Why not soft like the phial’s, enticing and dim?
Let it brighten her drink, let her turn it and stir,
And try it and taste, ere she fix and prefer!

VIII
What a drop! She’s not little, no minion like me!
That’s why she ensnared him: this never will free
The soul from those masculine eyes,—Say, “no!”
To that pulse’s magnificent come-and-go.

IX
For only last night, as they whispered, I brought
My own eyes to bear on her so, that I thought
Could I keep them one half minute fixed, she would fall
Shriveled; she fell not; yet this does it all!

X
Not that I bid you spare her the pain;
Let death be felt and the proof remain:
Brand, burn up, bite into its grace—
He is sure to remember her dying face!

XI
Is it done? Take my mask off! Nay, be not morose;
It kills her, and this prevents seeing it close;
The delicate droplet, my whole fortune’s fee!
If it hurts her, beside, can it ever hurt me?

XII
Now, take all my jewels, gorge gold to your fill,
You may kiss me, old man, on my mouth if you will!
But brush this dust off me, lest horror it brings
Ere I know it—next moment I dance at the King’s!

Robert Browning

Riding other people’s roller coasters through their heads can be fun!…..
___________________________________

There are those who claim that magic is like the tide; that it swells  and fades over the surface of the earth, collecting in concentrated pools here and there, almost disappearing from other spots, leaving them parched for wonder. There are also those who believe that if you stick your fingers up your nose and blow, it will increase your  intelligence. — “The Teachings of Ebenezum, Volume VII”

Whether we are atheist, agnostic, faithful, or dogmatic, the one idea that all can agree on is that the ONLY real power that a person has in this Universe is the power of choice. Religionists will admit that “free will” is the property of mankind; it makes them nervous, but it’s right there in the Bible, so they have to accept it, by their own rules. Those of us who prefer to decide for ourselves about such matters still must yield to natural law, to which the concept of choice is certainly subject. Thus it can be used as a point of reference upon which to base discussion between the differing parties…. Not that it ever does, since, being people, they’re all stubborn as a wood post, and generally find some other reason to get miffed about, thereby avoiding having their assumptions tested….

“Whatever we cannot easily understand we call God; this saves much wear and tear on the brain tissues.” — Edward Abbey

It is this tendency, this stubborn refusal to change, that is the bane of my existence. I have no real prejudice against stupid people; stupidity itself is incurable, and, in its own way, can be charming. But, its concomitant companion, ignorance, is a matter of choice, and is  therefore unforgivable. One cannot help not being able to learn quickly or well, but one can still learn. To my way of looking at the world, between two sins, that of pre-marital sex, (labeled so by virtually every Christian sect….), and that of choosing to be ignorant, the latter is by far of greater harm, morally, ethically, and culturally.

“It’s your right to be stupid, but it doesn’t mean you should be, or have to be.” — Smart Bee

“My momma says stupid is as stupid does.” — Forrest Gump

This is where choice is so important…. In order to NOT concede the illogic of refusing to learn from new sources of information (rather than trusting only one source that never changes), one must choose. In order to NOT see the harm being caused by that refusal, one must choose. In order to NOT admit to hatred, prejudice, bigotry, and elitism, one must choose. And all those choices are, at their core, selfish, vain, ethically and morally bankrupt, and, ultimately, cowardly. To choose to be ignorant is to choose self over others, to choose avarice over compassion, and to choose hatred over tolerance. The most zealous believers even believe that their ignorance is what makes them special…. It does, actually… especially stupid…

“No man is an Island, entire of it self; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.” — John Donne  — Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624)

We all have heard the above line “No man is an island”…. if you haven’t, well, I really can’t say much other than “what planet have you been visiting?”…  🙂   It’s been discussed to death, and I’m not going to do so here…. I’m just going to use it to finish out this thought re: stupidity vs. ignorance…. Essentially, each of us is a part of the tapestry that is Life…. a thread, if you will, in the complex, colorful, agonizingly beautiful, and painfully ugly picture of the world that hangs on the wall of the Universe.

My purpose in Life is to learn enough to make my part of the picture all it can possibly be; it seems to me my duty, as well as my pleasure (or pain, in turns…). I can’t see the point in making the picture look all the same, or all one color, or all one kind of building…. that is too limited for me. Choosing to limit what one sees in Life is, to me, ignorant…. not stupid, because stupid can learn…. but deliberately ignorant, which goes beyond stupid, into the land of the insane….

“If you live your life out of memory, you live out of your history. That’s what once was. If you live out of your imagination, you live out of your potential. That’s what can be.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________    As promised in an earlier Pearl, more pictures! This one was found on Facebook, posted by my friend Patrick, who posts a LOT of really cool stuff he finds on the Net. I especially like this one, aside from the obvious cute factor, for the absolute accuracy it displays regarding the nature of the adolescent feline. He’s just doing his thing….

How is that relevant today? It’s like this…. this blog, it seems, is now my thing….. It’s what I do, to be who and what I am now. Part of that, in fact, a large part, has been to write about my thoughts on religion, politics, and other subjects that I won’t discuss with people as a general rule, at least not face to face. This is, of course, a result of having learned, like most ffolkes, that discussing those first two subjects often leads to conflict, and isn’t worth the effort on a risk vs. gain basis. One can easily lose friends and alienate people in short order by making (unpopular or oppositional ) opinions known. This reluctance to talk about preachers & pundits in conversation, I’ve found, though a good policy for interpersonal relationships in general, has a deleterious effect on my sense of honesty…. Hence, Pearls of Virtual Wisdom….

I’d like to make something clear here… I write a lot of stuff that is critical of the Christian churches, and don’t always take the time to make clear that I am speaking of the institutions, not necessarily the people who are part of those institutions. Or more specifically, I am speaking about those who administrate, or operate, the institutions, and not about the people who attend the church itself. The difference between those two sets of people is significant, and large. Those who run the churches do so out of motives vastly different from those who attend the services; their intent resembles more that of a politician than a supplicant. Many who come to church do so out of their own need for meaning in their lives, hoping to find compassion and support. Those who run the church do so because the money is good, and the work is easy; and many come to find escape from having to think for themselves….

I would estimate that of the total number of people in the world who consider themselves to be Christians, about 35% are people who actually try to live their lives as would Christ have done, with compassion and service to others. I find that these ffolkes are embarrassed by the other 65%, who are in it for whatever they can get from it, or for the solace they find in being sheep, part of a group that is special, because they are the only ones going to heaven….

Religions have done some good in history, but even the good they do is ill-advised, as it usually serves the purposes of the beloved ruling class, more than it serves to provide succor and relief to the poor. The ignorance and prejudices that most religions foster have caused far more damage, in producing cultural mistrust, in advocating wars, than any of the good they have done. It is this against which I rail, not against the people who try to live up to the most excellent, if not universally flexible, teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. The people who become preachers, priests, imams, or any other title for a religious leader, come from the same group of people who produce politicians, corporate magnates, and the others in the human herd that prey on the rest of us…..

Personally, I don’t consider myself to be omniscient, so I can’t claim to be qualified to define an entity who is so by definition; neither do I consider any other human being qualified to do so. I have my opinions, of course, and others are welcome to theirs; but they are just opinions, and have no other bearing on reality. I so wish that people could understand that delicate, subtle, difference. But, as long as there are folks who insist on having their opinion “rule the roost”, I guess I’ll have stuff to write about…. good for me, not so much for them….   🙂
___________________________________

There you have it. The straight word, straight from the somewhat feverish mind of gigoid on a Saturday morning…. Such as it is, so shall it be…. I have spoken. 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!

Zero is a hard row to hoe……

Ffolkes,
Having decided to forgo the usual nonsense, there will be no introductory section this morning. Yesterday’s near-disastrous hijacking of my keyboard has put me on edge, security-wise, and I think it is best if I just leave this section out, and go right into today’s dive….. oh. Wait. Hmm…… this is already an intro, isn’t it? Well, so much for that idea….

Well, since I can’t say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”, I guess I’ll just have to say, “WTF?”  (See? I AM capable of tact….. I could have spelled it out, couldn’t I?…. all part of the service…..) The latter is more honest, at base, and expresses my normal state of mind in the morning much more accurately. I’m finding that displaying such personal foibles is preferable to humanity’s normal policy of insisting all is well, everything is fine, nothing to see here, move along….. if nothing else, it garners more sympathy votes, which, though demeaning to accept, nonetheless help to stuff the ballot box. Cheating is, after all, the American Way…… if you doubt that, you really need to pay more attention…..

I’m not sure exactly what all that has to do with pearl diving; it sounded more as if I were just clearing my throat, mentally speaking, and really doesn’t say much of anything at all. Well, the last line is pretty pointed, but I didn’t jab very hard with it, so it doesn’t really count. At this point, once again, it would most likely be our best course of action to run to the end of the dock, and just dive in…. it would probably put the best end to a bad start, and may even save lives….. on that note, we are outta here….. let’s Pearl, like we did last summer…..
___________________________________

Ralph Barbieri fired as radio announcer at station KNBR in San Francisco, 4/10/2012…. link to article:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/11/SP8G1O1SLU.DTL

I first heard Mr. Barbieri’s voice around 1984, when he first joined KNBR and the SF Bay Area sports scene. I have to say, right off the bat, his voice grates on my ear like fingernails across a chalkboard; there is a reason he has always been known as “Razor Voice Ralph”. It has always stood as an obstacle for me to listen to him for very long, as my nerve endings just start to vibrate along with his voice after a few minutes.

However, that being said, I also must add that I have always admired his work, in spite of his delivery. From the start of his career, he asked the tough questions, and never settled for a fluff answer from anyone, big star or not. If he believed in something, he was a passionate crusader for that cause, as indicated by his campaign to keep the Giants in SF when the team was considering a move to Florida. His involvement was a big part of the success of that campaign, during which he was tireless, making his love of sports, and particularly the Giants, plain for all to see. He always prepared and researched thoroughly, and was expert in almost any sport’s details. Though his voice and rough-hewn personality were difficult to ignore, he nonetheless remains a stalwart and professional example of a competent, and popular, sports reporter, for that is what he really is.

Ralph was fired in a manner with which I can empathize very closely. It took my employer about 15 minutes to accomplish what his company did with him in 7, but the net results were identical, right down to the blocked voice mail. I did manage to rate an escort off-grounds by hospital police rather than management, so I guess that is one small difference. Otherwise, me and Ralph, we’re twins on this….. so, I know somewhat of what he feels right now. Given that knowledge I must commend his reasoned initial public response; I’m afraid that, given his media exposure quotient, I would have been a lot more forceful in my response to such chicanery, and would no doubt have caused my lawyer no end of wincing and wringing of hands at my inflammatory public ranting.

But, the saddest part of the whole affair that I found was in the comments section after the article on SFGATE, wherein readers have the opportunity to sound off on the news articles on the site. One has to register to comment, but it’s free, so they have a pretty huge online community that comments on EVERYTHING.  I spent a little time after my initial comment, which kind of paralleled what I wrote just above, reading over some of the other comments.

I was shocked, to say the least, by the number of responses that were not merely sympathetic to the company that did the firing, but actually expressed outright glee at what had been perpetrated on Ralph by a company where he proved his value over 28 years. In only three pages I viewed to to gather some numbers, the responses that were viciously petty toward Ralph, or merely resigned at the company’s behavior, were approximately 65-75% of the total number I saw….. it was absolutely astounding how many calloused, uncaring ignoramuses had spoken up to display their complete lack of humanity.

“Nadie tiene mas imaginacion que la realidad.” — Miguel de Unamuno, “El Espejo de la Muerte”, 1941

It isn’t often I’m prompted, or stimulated, to write several hundred words on a sports story. I’m a fan, yes, but it isn’t a big time-consumer in my life, just an occasional trip into vicarious thrills and fond memories of bygone days. But the sheer number of petty, self-absorbed, even downright vicious responses was a surprise to me. Yes, me, the complete cynic when it comes to human stupidity and bigotry. But even I had no idea that the state of public morality had fallen into so deep a pit as is indicated in the responses to this issue, one of no particular cosmic or even national significance.

I am now going to excuse myself, and go finish drawing up my plans for what I’m going to do when civilization comes to a crashing halt…. I have a sinking feeling I don’t have as much time to get ready as I had previously believed…. so, I’d best get to it…. I suggest you think seriously about following my lead on this. We may not have a lot of time left….. if this is any indication, very little at all…..
___________________________________

“I like Wagner’s music better than any other music. It is so loud that one can talk the whole time without people hearing what one says. That is a great advantage.” — Oscar Wilde

It’s been quite a while since these pages were blessed by a visit from Oscar; he is, and shall ever be, one of my favorite historical and literary figures, not only for the wit and charm of the verse in which he spoke, and wrote, but for the very picture of Life he painted with his every act. It was a picture of defiant genius, of incredible beauty and charm, a picture of towering intellect faced by the mundane restrictions of a repressed society. He was a man of the Twenty-first century as far as his ideas and his outlook, trapped and miserable in the Nineteenth century, completely misunderstood by all but those who flocked around him, ever anxious for any part of his charm and attention.

On this subject, i.e., opera, I have to side with Oscar. I love music, and just about all types. There are few genres that I don’t particularly care for, but the one I care for the least is opera. Strange actually, because I love classical music very much, and find the human voice to be perhaps the most compelling instrument mankind has ever produced. But, most of what I’ve heard in the operatic genre produces in me the same sort of reaction described here by Mssr. Wilde.

I have listened to a lot of it; I try to be fair before forming an opinion. But the majority of what I’ve heard was obscure, complicated beyond necessity, and in general, enough to induce sleep in a bipolar roadrunner in his manic phase, or, alternately, more than enough to keep one awake when we desperately want to be asleep…..

Oh, even opera has its high points. The aria that played in the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”, when the hero took over the warden’s office, and played it over the loudspeakers, is a stunning piece of music; that voice would raise the dead with such power and beauty. A couple of others come to mind as well, like one of the arias sung by the female lead in Aida.

Mostly, though, it all sounds like what my old pal Noah would sometimes sing when he particularly liked what Tom and I were playing on our guitars (Noah was my dog, for those who haven’t stopped in before; he was very social, and loved to join in whatever was going on….). Enthusiastic, but not particularly gripping, to be nice about it. Sorry, but that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth. As far as I’m concerned, we could lose every opera recording ever made, and I wouldn’t be troubled over it at all, at all…..
___________________________________

“You’ve got the brain of a four-year-old boy, and I bet he was glad to get rid of it.” — Groucho Marx

Perfect! I have found the exactly right comment to make to my list…. you know, the list. The one we all have….. the one where we put the names of those folks in the public eye who continuously make comments that curl your hair, and cause you to run and make sure your ammo is dry. The folks who, every time they open their mouth to spew, make us wish for a return to the good old days of the Inquisition. The ones who speak out every day and prove the old adage about never opening one’s mouth to provide proof of being a fool.

So, the next time I am confronted with one of these pimples on the face of society, I will have the perfect opening line….. In the spirit of indulgence of whimsy, I will now display the first 6 names on my list of folks the world would do better to fit with a permanent mouth plug….

Ann Coulter (to my mind, no amount of verbal abuse would ever be enough for this one; it would take a lot to balance all the vitriol she has spewed on some quite nice folks…..)
Rush Limbaugh (rapidly losing his grip on reality, which was never very strong….)
Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney (the new spokesperson for Flip-Flops…..)
Pat Robertson (a familiar voice on these pages…)
Michelle Bachman (Minnesota Mickey’s been less prominently featured of late, but continues to amaze with her chutzpah….)
Sara Palin (One word….. weasel…..)

There…. I feel better now, though it was a struggle to confine the list to six names; there are a lot of folks who make a strong case for their inclusion. For now though, I’ll just bask in the glow of thinking how much fun it would be to give one them Groucho’s razor sharp barb…..

“I am treated as evil by those who feel persecuted because they are not allowed to force me to believe as they do.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________

“Beware the man of one book.” — St. Thomas Aquinas

Possibly one of the most ironic statements ever made, yet the irony of it is never a subject of discussion. I can understand why those of a dogmatic nature would be leery of examining such an already, in their eyes, controversial sentiment, as it puts the lie to their entire system of belief. But one would think that those not as severely hampered in their thinking might have noted the irony, and wondered about it enough to say so aloud. But, I can’t think of a single instance of this; though I cannot claim perfect knowledge of religious philosophical works, I have read pretty widely, and have never come across anything that hinted at such a novel idea.

Where is the irony, you ask? Well, to me, it’s pretty clear…. here is a statement that warns against those who would place all of their faith and trust into what is included in only one source. But, the statement is made BY a man who was a high-ranking member of the church of his time (well, they did canonize him…). And the church of which he was such a valued member is the same one that puts the Bible on a pedestal as the only book Mankind needs, or should want, to provide the answers to all of their questions.

In short, St. Thomas was blaspheming the choir, rather than preaching to it. Sometimes I’m surprised that the Pope of the time of St. Thomas didn’t de-canonize the lad for his arrogance. Kind of gives one a clue as to what God wants, doesn’t it? If that is your thing…. Me, I’m going to go read a book….
___________________________________

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini

Whew! I guess that settles the question in everyone’s mind as to whether or not this process of creating the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom, that we engage in every day here at gigoid’s blog, can be called Art. Or even art. Sr. Fellini can, I think, be considered as enough of an artist to warrant an opinion, and according to him, this is art, if not Art. So, I guess that makes me an autobiographer, in a weird sort of way…. hmm. Well, it’s not what I had thought I’d be, but I guess it will do….. I have to say, it is nice to know that my efforts here are, if nothing else, not a complete affront to the sensibilities of the Muses…. I can always offer them pearls……
___________________________________

GASP! I have reached the ostensible final segment of today’s offering, and just noticed there is no poetry! Can’t have that…..

All I know of Love
is that Love is all there is.
–Emily Dickinson

There… I feel better now. I’d have hated to start the day with a gaffe like that. But, it worked out well, as Emily is a fitting close to any day’s work. It’s Friday the 13th out there, and it’s always a good day for us Scorpios, so I’m going to go do something unusual today… I’m going out of town for a while to visit a friend.

I’ve been stuck here in my house for about oh, five months or so, and I’m looking forward to surrounding myself with some different colored walls for a time….. plus, my friend and I will no doubt take some time to play some music, so it will be a day of sheer pleasure for me…. music, change of scene, and clean laundry, all in one shot. A good day in the neighborhood, to be sure…..  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Momentous moments in ferret rescue….

Ffolkes,
I know that many of you out there in Readerville have the same fondness for ferrets as I do; what’s not to like, right? Playful, friendly and cuddly, save those moments of viciousness and insane hyperactivity that are such a charming part of their nature. Wonderful varmint control experts, aside from their tendency to leave half-eaten carcasses around the living room. And in those bad times when the fish aren’t biting, they make a great casserole with some garlic, macaroni, and some lovely Pinot Noir…..

Only joking, of course…. they taste terrible! Besides, there’s too much money in training them for ferret-legging contests over in Wales; a well-trained legging ferret will bring in cash for years to come, every six months, or more often in recessions. It’s a limited market, I have to admit, but consistent once one is well-established as a respected trainer….. nothing like a vicious, hyperactive ferret in the pants to create that shopping frenzy in the Welsh economy…..

On a lighter note, there were only 30 emails this morning; is everyone on vacation? It’s too early for school to be out, and I didn’t hear of any widespread Internet outages….. I guess the ghosts of inspiration are refusing to manifest; maybe we should put out a saucer of milk or something?….. ah, screw it…let’s go Pearl…..
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“All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain.  Hence that common opinion seems to be very true, “the rich man is unjust, or the heir to an unjust one.” Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, than by his predecessor.” — St. Jerome (340?-420)

So, it seems that the problems we are facing in today’s society are not new. Not when it is clear from this little pearl from St. Jerome that we are not the first society in history to make note of the gap between the two ends of the fiscal scale. Let’s see, 2012 minus 420 = 1592, which means that the state we are now observing has been present and worsening for more than a millennium and a half, without any significant changes in the interim period to indicate improvement. In fact, all the evidence leads one to the unfortunate conclusion that those who are at the top of the heap, so to speak, have solidified and enhanced their own positions, while allowing the rest of the world to fall ever further behind in its ability to command the resources at hand.

It makes one wonder, (well, it makes me wonder, anyway) why there have not been more social uprisings than history describes…. the only answer I can find any evidence for is that those in power have learned how to maintain the status quo without the rest of humanity being aware of their machinations; if it was common knowledge just how oppressive and callously indifferent the rich are to the rest of us, there wouldn’t be enough of them left to bury……

Me, I’m hoping for a new renaissance among the downtrodden, a new awareness of their subordinate position created by the Internet’s unlimited store of information, a new factor, one that was never before available to the general masses. There is a critical flash point to human interactions, just like in nuclear fission; when critical mass is achieved (in this case, critical mass is increased by social awareness) the explosion is more powerful than can be simply imagined, (witness our own Revolutionary War, and more recently, the Arab Spring…) and the face of Reality itself will assume a brand-new configuration, one that promises to be at the least very different, if not completely rational….. I expect it will get ugly for a while, but ultimately, things should be a lot better for everyone, not just the privileged few…..
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“Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are dead.” — Aldous Huxley (1904-1963)

Strange, isn’t it? People seem to regard this tendency in themselves, and others, with suspicion and mistrust; I see most everyone alive spending an inordinate amount of time attempting to INCREASE consistency in their lives, to make everything just so, predictably consistent, without surprises to mess up the tranquility that a good set of blinders provides. Rather than embracing the wondrous flexibility, diversity, and delightful unpredictability of Life, they stifle their impulses, refuse to acknowledge changes staring them in the face, and in general, try to surround themselves with a cocoon of denial regarding most of Life’s most bountiful experiences.

The hard part for me in watching this in other folks is asking “Why?” (Of course, we all know asking “Why” is a fruitless pastime; the Universe has consistently (one raised brow….) refused to answer this question since the beginning of Time…). Really, though, I just don’t get it….. people prefer dark to light; they make the choice to avoid thinking, about anything of importance or relevance to their own existence, just because it feels like hard work (they never get that the more they think, the easier it gets…. sheesh!), or because Grandma said it was evil….. either excuse seems to be acceptable to them. Rather than taking a chance on happiness, they prefer to embrace their fear and denial, telling themselves that happiness is a lie, an illusion, a tool of the devil. If God had wanted us to be happy, he would have given us a sense of humor…. oh, wait, he did, didn’t he? Well, I guess that’s just one more sign of God’s inconsistency….. Strange, isn’t it?…..

A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe. — our old friend, Anonymous
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“A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” — Ingrid Bergman

What a lovely thought! …. I don’t think I want to clutter this up with a long discussion. This is more the kind of thing you want to close your eyes and consider for a moment, then put away the good feeling and the little smile that graced your face for a moment, and get on with the day, a little lighter of heart…. just a little gift from the universe, no charge…..
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Ill habits gather by unseen degrees,–
As brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas.
— John Dryden (1631-1700) — Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book xv, The Worship of Aesculapius, Line 155

Here we have a short example of exactly the reason I like poetry so much….. In a mere two lines, whether part of a greater piece, or standing alone, this couplet demonstrates beautiful command of language, powerful imagery, and a deep understanding of human nature. No one who reads this, and lets it enter into their basic world-view, can avoid gaining both a life-long tool against sloth and ignorance, and a wider degree of comprehension of all men and women, while concurrently increasing their store of value experiences, and their appreciation of beauty in all its guises. Win-win, in every sense of the phrase…. and tasty, too!…..
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GNU, n.  An animal of South Africa, which in its domesticated state resembles a horse, a buffalo and a stag.  In its wild condition it is something like a thunderbolt, an earthquake and a cyclone.

A hunter from Kew caught a distant view
Of a peacefully meditative gnu,
And he said:  “I’ll pursue, and my hands imbrue
In its blood at a closer interview.”
But that beast did ensue and the hunter it threw
O’er the top of a palm that adjacent grew;
And he said as he flew:  “It is well I withdrew
Ere, losing my temper, I wickedly slew
That really meritorious gnu.”
Jarn Leffer

— Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

🙂   Even serious, sober types such as myself in Pearl mode just wanna have fun……
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Today’s Pearl of Virtual Wisdom has been brought to you by a Grant from the International Foundation for Fostering Social Unrest and Fomenting Revolution Among the Avant-Garde (Grant Parker, if you must know; an old friend and co-conspirator). Any questions, comments, or critical remarks are the sole responsibility of the Reader, and will be cheerfully received in the first two instances, and cheerfully ignored in the case of the latter. Should you find yourself, while ingesting this material, seized by an irrational desire to get naked and dance, feel free. Just be sure to take videos, and share with the rest of us…… it’s only fair, I showed you mine…..

My supply of witty remarks and pointed inferences is getting a bit low, so we will leave you now, to go henceforth into the day, ever vigilant for signs of Truth, Justice, and Beauty….. May the Source be with you…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!