Yesterday’s fog of pain has been dispelled, and this morning’s outlook on life is much improved, thankfully…. The application of copious quantities of heavy drugs has done the trick once more, and I am freed from the prison of pain, to march forth once more into the world, unbowed, and unafraid, to take up the gauntlet as thrown by those in power in our society, to bring my unique viewpoint, to join in the ongoing quest to find EVEN A LITTLE bloody common sense in the world…. This may sound as if I’m writing to make the title come true, but, no, it’s just what struck me, smack! right upside the head, as I sat to compose today’s missive….
I’ve learned, over the past two+ years, to allow my mind a bit of free rein, at the outset of each Pearl, to make the opening lines compelling, or at least, engaging…. I can’t say that it’s a particularly successful technique, but, it gets me going, as a general rule, so it suffices, and I am content with it, for the nonce…
You see, the biggest trouble in writing every day isn’t coming up with stuff to write about, it’s the little details, such as an engaging opening, or a cheerful closing, that will bring a reader back again, that determine the quality of a blog…. Well, that’s how I see it, anyway, and on this site, that’s all that really matters…. Out in the BBR, to try to balance the scales, I try NOT to be too egotistical, or assume too many prerogatives; the general sense of entitlement that MOST folks feel isn’t something I care to emulate…. But, here at ECR, it’s all MINE, and I can do with it as I wish….
That doesn’t mean I’m not aware of y’all, or that there may be times when I want to cater to public viewpoints…. More often, I just ignore what may be cute, or acceptable, and go for a poke in the eye, so don’t expect a lot of leeway in that…. Ffolkes who read my blog need to remember to put on their thinking caps, and be ready to heat them up; I’m not going to suffer fools any more than is absolutely necessary…. It’s a waste of my time, and tends to annoy me when I do, so, I’d rather just lay it out there, and let ffolkes deal with what I have to say, and not worry too much (or at all, for that matter….) about how people will react to it….. In other words, gigoid has spoken…. so be it…
Now, how did we get there? Boy, sometimes I’m not sure if there’s actually anyone driving this bus…. I find myself, all too often, starting off to write in one direction, then, in mid-paragraph, I’ll find myself 4 or 5 degrees away from whatever concept began the train of thought, into a completely different set of issues and/or ideas, with little connection to where it began…. SIGH….
I can’t say it’s a gift, but, it’s not exactly a curse, either, as it sometimes puts me right where I needed to go, whether I knew it or not…. Sort of a Zen cowboy sort of philosophizing technique, you know? Ah well, such is life in a daily blog…. What the hell, let’s get on with it….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“To spell out the obvious is often to call it in question” — Hoffer
While cruising through old Pearls, I found this little diatribe from early last year…. I think it’s appropriate for today’s beginning section, as it remains as valid today as the day I wrote it….
From February 2013:
I am an asshole. A jerk. A prick. A foul-mouthed, misbegotten excuse for a human being…. I am, as with most of my peers, a hypocrite, and deserving of permanent sentencing to the lowest pits of hell for my perfidy….. What, you might ask, prompted this outburst of severe, seemingly sincere self-denigration? Well, let me tell you….
Most of us, at some point or another, sit down from time to time to think about our actions, those we are considering, and those we have acted out in the past, to get some perspective on how those actions have conformed to our ethical and moral beliefs. In other words, we sit in self-judgment; whether we do so to praise or to chastise doesn’t matter, ultimately, as long as it is an honest appraisal, and we do not flinch from owning up to our baseness where it is found…..
This is why I am forced to curse myself…. Because I’m not a Catholic, or any other faith that espouses such mummery, (I don’t mean to pick on Catholics…. some of my best friends, etc….. 🙂 They’re just an example everyone knows about….)…. Any who, because I’m not of that Tribe, I don’t have the luxury of confessing to a priest, who would then reassure me that I am still one of the Chosen Ones, and send me on my way having learned nothing but a false sense of entitlement. I can’t just pass off what I may have done in my life to some faceless butthead in a dress, who, no doubt, has a great laugh at the expense of the penitent, when he and the other priests get together in the rectory for a few drinks, passing around all the latest tall tales and outtakes from the confessional booth…..
I consider myself to be a morally upright person, and hope that my actions reflect that. But, I know for certain that, like every other human being who ever lived, I don’t always live up to those moral beliefs, and fall from grace on occasion…. If I were a less honest man, I’d say that there were mitigating, or at least explanatory reasons for my failures to hold to my own standards, but, if I tried that, my Dad would kick my ass from now until Thursday the next time I see him, so I’m not going to take that chance…. I take full responsibility for my actions, base and cruel as they were, and no one can hold me in lower regard than I do….
I had considered using this venue as a confessional, to air out my transgressions on the stage of reality, but, I don’t think that would be any more ethical than confessing to a priest…. Confession may make a difference to the penitent, by absolving him/her from any lingering guilt that could adversely affect them (i.e., they feel better about themselves after receiving absolution…), but, in truth, it doesn’t mean a damn thing, as nothing is done to balance the scale, in a karmic sense, especially for whatever creature or person that was the victim of the cruelty. The only act that would mean anything would be for the perpetrator to use the experience to motivate them to two things….
One, to try to repair whatever hurt or pain they have caused another creature…. man, animal, doesn’t matter…. They don’t deserve to be victimized, no matter their form, and ALL one can do, to fix any harm they have caused, is the least they should do…. Second, use the experience as motivation to make a change in themselves, to act with greater understanding, greater compassion, and greater control over themselves and their feelings…. which is what guilt is all about, right?…. The difference is that, when one confesses to a priest, and receives absolution, then there is no motivation to make any changes in their actions…. They know that none is necessary;they can relieve themselves of any guilt they may feel by confessing, so why bother?
On the other hand, when one assumes the responsibility for their own actions, the guilt doesn’t go away…. I will never forgive myself for some of the things that I’ve done in my life (nor will I share them in any attempt to gain forgiveness from anyone else…. it’s none of their fucking business….)(Besides, that whole confessional thing just sounds too much like a blackmail scheme…. the people who confess are sure putting their fate trustingly into the hands of those priests, aren’t they?). That simple fact is what keeps me from falling into the same ethical trap I did when I lost my cool, and acted without thinking, or took my feelings out on innocent bystanders….. Not going to happen again, a sentiment which, I’m sure, is NOT what you can expect from any confessors, after a confession….
You will note that there are no pearls associated with this discussion…. That’s because I am such an asshole, none was needed to stimulate me into spilling my guts, so to speak…. Besides, I couldn’t find a proper pearl for the beginning of such a somber subject by the time I was ready to write about it…. But, Murphy must have enjoyed the way I dissed myself, because I found these two, which, together, make a good closer for this subject…. Think of them as bookends….
“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts
Boy, that hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it?….. I’ve got these two quotes reversed in the order in which they make the most sense, but, given the state of things here, that isn’t surprising, is it…. This is the one that probably should go at the front of this piece, so, just put it there in your mind, okay? Thanks…..
“We tell lies when we are afraid, . . . afraid of what we don’t know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us. But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.” — Tad Williams, Spoken by Dr. Morgenes, To Green Angel Tower (part of — Memory, Sorrow and Thorn)
Today’s poem is one I might have used in the past, but, I don’t care….. It’s so good, here ’tis again…..
This was the land’s end: the last fingers, knuckled and rheumatic,
Cramped on nothing. Black
Admonitory cliffs, and the sea exploding
With no bottom, or anything on the other side of it,
Whitened by the faces of the drowned.
Now it is only gloomy, a dump of rocks —-
Leftover soldiers from old, messy wars.
The sea cannons into their ear, but they don’t budge.
Other rocks hide their grudges under the water.
The cliffs are edged with trefoils, stars and bells
Such as fingers might embroider, close to death,
Almost too small for the mists to bother with.
The mists are part of the ancient paraphernalia —-
Souls, rolled in the doom-noise of the sea.
They bruise the rocks out of existence, then resurrect them.
They go up without hope, like sighs.
I walk among them, and they stuff my mouth with cotton.
When they free me, I am beaded with tears.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is striding toward the horizon,
Her marble skirts blown back in two pink wings.
A marble sailor kneels at her foot distractedly, and at his foot
A peasant woman in black
Is praying to the monument of the sailor praying.
Our Lady of the Shipwrecked is three times life size,
Her lips sweet with divinity.
She does not hear what the sailor or the peasant is saying —-
She is in love with the beautiful formlessness of the sea.
Gull-colored laces flap in the sea drafts
Beside the postcard stalls.
The peasants anchor them with conches. One is told:
“These are the pretty trinkets the sea hides,
Little shells made up into necklaces and toy ladies.
They do not come from the Bay of the Dead down there,
But from another place, tropical and blue,
We have never been to.
These are our crêpes. Eat them before they blow cold.”
~~ Sylvia Plath ~~
This pearl will be displayed in the new format I’ve been working on as a change of scene around here…. These are headlines from SFGATE, a news web site I use as an average news collector, as it tends to display a fairly even grouping of the world’s and nation’s news, without TOO much bias, though certainly not without any…. The headlines I’ve included below, viewed as a big picture, are, as we can see, downright fucking crazy in how they portray the insanity so prevalent in today’s society…. Here then are more indications we are currently living through Heinlein’s “Crazy Years” here in America…. My comments, as always, are parenthesized for clarity….
(I’m pretty sure I don’t need to make too many comments about this guy, or about how typically asinine he is, in as he cluelessly exhibits not only his selfishness, but, also his stupidity in public, without any idea of how ridiculous he sounds or appears to others….. “New car smell?” As the justification for running over a pedestrian? I suppose, in one way, it’s a perfect example of both the corruption so prevalent, and of the lack of any sort of system of ethics at play, in the lawyers who took the case to bring suit, as well as in the sense of entitlement that the average American asshole feels, to think that they can escape any consequences for their actions by finding a loophole in a law, or some weird psychiatric justification for acts that were at best, stupid, and at worst, deliberately, carelessly, and, feloniously, ignorant….)
(Again, no comment is necessary to make any clearer how sick our society has become, when there are people in the world who can actually perform these kinds of acts, without any compassion, or any connection to how another person feels…. I didn’t read the article, as I’ve seen its like too often to need to put myself through that again… I already know, having dealt with them for many years, the depths to which the human psyche can sink in its pain and reaction to a lifetime of abuse by the world…. It still doesn’t excuse any of it, or justify it, to understand why it happens…. But, it sure does make me want to go out, buy a gun, and start picking off some of the names, on my own personal list of those the world would be better off without….)
(More comedy from Russia and their current dictator, Vlad “Glad Impaler” Putin, trying to convince the world that hey, nothing wrong here, move along, nothing to see…. when, in fact, almost everything the world is seeing in Sochi points up another issue that the Soviet government has screwed up in its repressive attempts to maintain the status quo….. which, after all, is the ultimate purpose of any dictatorship, or essentially fascist government…. or ANY government, for that matter…. Democratic, Republic, Monarchic, no matter what form government takes, its bottom line priority is to maintain the status quo, to ensure the people stay out of the government’s way as they plunder, steal, and cheat…. The video to which the article refers is merely the latest symptom that shows exactly how the world’s society at large, and, Russian society in particular, is falling apart at the seams…..)
(Whoops, gosh, look here! A stock trader cheated! A bank(er) was involved, a large, shadowy, amorphous corporation was involved, a government agency screwed up their job, a rich businessman profited, and the poor scapegoat is the only one to go to jail…. Have we seen this story before? Isn’t this a rather familiar scenario over the last, oh, 120 years or so? Why, yes, yes, I believe that’s so…. I can remember seeing stories exactly like this one 50 years ago, back in the 50’s and 60’s, as well as many from history that would be classed as clones of this one…. But, the media has to present each one as if it is some sort of big surprise…. SIGH…. It’s almost too easy for me, when they act this stupid….)
(Oh, right, this one…. This is SO STUPID!!!! So stupid, it caused me to go momentarily insane, with my fingers flashing out four exclamation points without conscious control, just to vent my frustration…. You know, it’s completely possible that commenting on this story could turn into a rant….
The Republican Party has become a conglomeration of some of the stupidest, most hidebound fools I’ve ever witnessed, even in American politics, and remember…. I was there when we had both Spiro Agnew and Richard Nixon to push around, so, I KNOW about corrupt, greedy, amoral politicians….. This current group in the House, and the Senate, as well as spread throughout all the state’s houses of political machinery (chicanery?), are among the stupidest and most viciously ignorant that I’ve ever seen….
This particular set of idiots involved in this article are perhaps some of the most egregiously ignorant of the lot, and show the extent of how much the conservative mind has turned to mush over time, especially when dealing with issues that are, essentially, non-partisan in nature…. It seems to me that finding the most balanced people to be judges, or attorney general types, would benefit BOTH sides, more so than choosing biased people, who only make things worse for everyone…. Of course, I’m not stupid, I have no investment in pursuing my own agenda in this issue, nor do I desire to use the issue for any political gain, so, perhaps that would color my perceptions…. I certainly hope so….
Please note, I am certain, and have seen proof of the fact, that the Democrats are no brighter, in toto, or even, on average, but, somehow, they don’t seem to publicly stick their foot in it quite so frequently as the GOP pundits. I can’t blame the media for that, entirely, as they obviously have no more claim to intelligent design in their actions than do the politicians. Each of the political parties that dominate this country’s bureaucracy (it long ago ceased to function as anything else….) feels the media favors the other; that’s a typical reaction for a creature that suffers from paranoia, and the political scenario attracts schizophrenics like flowers draw bees…. (Actually, it would be more accurate to say that politics attracts the psychopathically insane like shit draws flies….. but, I won’t say that….) (Oh…. whoops….)
Nonetheless, it seems to me that BOTH of the parties that are currently ensconced in the halls of Congress in Washington have been taken over by a bunch of really, really selfish, more than stupid in their deliberate ignorance, rich, white, old men, with the random woman, African-American, Asian-American, and Latin-American tokens there to provide proof of our “diversity”…. No overt LGBT’s yet, publicly….
The funny thing about those politicians of color or gender…. when they talk, they SOUND EXACTLY like a rich, white, stupid old man, no matter whether they are young, female, black, yellow, or brown…. Next time Ted Cruz puts out a sound bite on TV, close your eyes and listen…. He will not be distinguishable from any of his peers…. Note also, the terms to describe the token members of Congress deliberately set them apart as being ‘different’ Americans than the others, don’t they? They sure do, and that’s just fine with the old white dudes, as if provides camouflage for their inherent racism and bigotry, making them appear as if they welcome the input from those parts of society THEY DON’T REALIZE ARE NOW THE MAJORITY!…..
It’s too bad, really, and frustrating for those of us who can understand what is going on…. Intelligence is the only factor in our makeup that enhances our chances to survive, especially in the oncoming crisis in the environment of our planet…. These idiots are continually, and continuously, displaying behavior that is counter-productive to that survival…. and they don’t even have the wit to know it. In fact, most of them are so insanely wrapped up in pursuing their own agenda they refuse to even listen to anything that doesn’t fit in with their own preconceived misconceptions….. Idiots, every one of them….
Okay, that’s enough…. I could conceivably spend a very long time at this…. I’ve got a long litany of complaints about government, and those who indulge in that particular vice…. But, I’m getting worked up, and that’s making me tense, and that makes my back hurt…. So, for my health, I’m calling a halt to this rant…. (For my health…. right…. Can you see my skeptical expression?….) Since the entire rant, short as it may be, is in parentheses, I can do that without any permits, or even any hand signals….
gigoid has spoken…. So be it…..)
“When I think over what I have said, I envy dumb people.” — Seneca
Well, you know what they say…. Ignorance is bliss…..
Well, this Pearl turned into an epic…. and high time, too, if I say so myself….. That’s a joke…. 😆
I’ve noted very light traffic of late on my site, so it’s fortunate I don’t really care one way or the other about the size of my readership…. I kind of hope this one gets some traffic, though, as it says some stuff that would be good for most Americans to hear, whether they want to or not….
That said, let me thank all my regular readers, people I consider as friends now after a long time of exchanged information, and shared emotion…. that’s part of friendship, right? Right…. Any who, I’m happy you’re my friends, (both of you…) (Joke….), 🙄
I do hope all who read what I write enjoy it, and are inspired to use their own “little grey cells” for more than just finding food and shelter…. But, then, I also wish for world peace, so, I’m accustomed to having my wishes denied by reality…. SIGH….. See ya…..
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,
I just sits.