A witch, a stitch, and three cracked cups….

“O frabjous day! Oh, joy! I am filled with exuberant good will! Come, join me in greeting this fabulous new day!……”

There…. we’ll see how that works….. I thought I’d try something a bit new and different today, since I’ve been complaining to myself so much about the intro section. These words, stolen piecemeal from a Dorothy L. Sayers novel, coupled with a bit of doggerel that was laying about in me head, have but one purpose, and that is to distract and confuse Murphy long enough for me to at least get started on this Pearl. I don’t know how it will work, but maybe if he sees that I’m already up, started writing, and in a good mood, he could get a bit discombobulated by my apparent cheerfulness. Just about anything is worth a shot, if it means less hassle from him in the long run…..

Gosh, it’s quiet…. I didn’t realize just how much ambient noise it adds to the background to have Murphy and the boys hanging about all the time. It’s so quiet I could hear myself thinking, a distinctly new feeling. So new, in fact, I don’t know how to deal with it, precisely. I feel kind of guilty at disturbing the peace; there is so little of it around here most of the time, it’s rather pleasant to not have the clamor and bustle ringing around my ears. It’s almost soothing…. and boring as hell. This calls for some music, I think….

Ah yes, you can’t beat Bonnie Raitt, for a bit of atmosphere and stimulation. Slick slide and blues guitar, gutsy, crystalline voice, red hair, and a beautiful smile…. Ah me, I’ve been lost in love for her for close to 40 years or more. When she lets her voice soar, such as in the song “Angel from Montgomery”, it sends chills up and down my spine, and there is nobody who can rip out your heart any faster than when she sings a song such as, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”…… Every time I hear it, I want to fall on my knees before her, and cry out “You don’t HAVE to MAKE me love you! I am yours forever!” Alas, she never hears me, and my fantasy fades again….

So much for unrequited love…. As we all do, I lived through my loss, and have come through the other side relatively unscathed by the hammer of love lost, or more accurately, love never found (a slight, but important distinction). It’s a hard loss, for sure, but, hey, I’ve always got her music to get me by….. A little time, one of her CD’s, a bottle of Jack, and the pain will eventually pass away, as it does in Time….. Of course, it all rushes back in, twice as bad, the next morning, along with the hangover, but, there is always a price for our healing….

Well, once again, I’ve managed to get through another intro section without really saying much of anything, at least nothing that could be construed as either significant, or even interesting. What can I say, it’s a gift…. Now that you have unwittingly fallen right into my trap, and consumed four and a half paragraphs of pseudo-literature before you even realized you were caught, we can get on with the normal (got to stop using that word!….It really doesn’t apply….) business of the day, for what it’s worth….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.” — Robert A. Heinlein

I had an idea, but it went away…. They do that sometimes. The idea was connected somehow to this quote from Bob Heinlein, and, as might be expected, was intended to serve as the springboard for yet another episode of raking Christianity, and religious institutions in general, over the coals. Since the clever concept I originally had has deserted me, I have absolutely no idea of where to go with this…. I mean, it’s a simple enough matter to turn it into a rant; I have no problem coming up with a newly sharpened stick to poke at the priesthood whenever needed, or merely wished for. But, having bellied up to that bar already this week, I hadn’t intended to go there…. Let’s see what happens now….

“And on the seventh day, while He was resting, He created snack cakes.  And He saw that they looked good, and He did bite into one, at which time he realized that they tasted like something that had been sitting on a shelf wrapped in cheap plastic for decades.  He had too much goop on His fingers to blast them into the void from which they had come, and therefore He drove them out until they had left the Promised Land and were stuck in a cheap, tacky display on the end of the aisle.” — Haagendasz 3, 12-15

While I am firmly convinced that this makes as much sense to me as it does to read in the Bible from, oh, say, the Book of Leviticus, or even Genesis, I am not sure it will make a proper ranting platform. I mean, it IS as easily proved as any of the real stuff in the Bible, and certainly holds the same amount of logic to its assertions. But, somehow, it just isn’t SERIOUS enough to soothe the ranting urge… No, we’ll just have to keep looking….

“One would like to stroke and caress human beings, but one dares not do so, because they bite.” — Vladimir Lenin

Ah, now THAT is a sentiment I can get behind. It shows deep insight into human nature, and in a small way, says something about how that nature is self-destructive. A fine little aphorism, but, not really suited for ranting, as it is so true and complete in itself….. We’ll keep looking….

“Forgive us, for we know not what we do.  Not that we CARE or anything.” — Smart Bee

Aha! Now, that’s the kind of pearl that can start off a grand rant! It’s a perfect perversion of the Christian insistence on keeping their believers buried deeply in ignorance and fear, and ironic enough to please the most discriminating of critics. I love the ending line; it’s just so….. Christian! At least, by every measure I’ve ever seen, it is…. Now, there are Christians out there, I’m certain, who will take some offense at that, but, I would ask them to stop a moment and think…. There, there, now, darlings, I know it hurts, but it will get better the more you do it….

“All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.” — Stendahl

See? I don’t discriminate!…. Now that your mind is loosened up a bit, so you won’t strain it, consider this…. In the Christian world, once one has been granted admittance to the group, becoming a member of the Church, how much effort do those members make to become better people? How much do they actually use the precepts of their dogma to influence their behavior BEFORE they act? How many of them actually try to weave the teachings of Jesus into the fabric of their lives?…. My own observations tell me the number is pretty small, compared to the whole…..

Christians make a big fuss about making sure that it is understood how compassionate and forgiving Jesus is/was, and meant for all his followers to be; then they go and drop bombs on a bunch of short brown people, because those people aren’t Christian…. Oh, the stories and fantasies given in justification always point to some other reason, but the bottom line is, because those other people are “heathens”, they aren’t entitled to any of that compassion or forgiveness. Only their co-members are entitled to consideration as something other than dirt…..

What often makes me the angriest when I see this behavior is the outrage expressed by those self-appointed Chosen Ones when their entitlement is challenged in pieces such as this one. The entire weight of the Church is often called into play to respond to any criticisms leveled against it in public, much like a dragon protects its stolen gold, reacting with fire and destruction to any perceived threats. It pisses me off because their manipulation of others, and their stated wish to be of service, is all based on LIES and hypocrisy, delivered with a smarmy smile that just says to me, “Snake!”, and makes me want to look around for a shovel to pound it with….

If an article in a newspaper that is critical of the Church is widely read, there will be, guaranteed, a fire-storm of heated responses from the Church’s mouthpieces, all heaping abuse, and accusations of discrimination against the critics. The making of such accusations is the typical, almost knee-jerk response of the Church whenever it is called to task for its shortcomings; they learned long ago that the best way to distract the membership from the truth of any criticisms is to make their own false accusations in return, but louder, and for a longer time…. They know that any lie, repeated loudly and repeatedly, will be accepted as truth, especially by their members, who are already predisposed (read: brainwashed…) to believe whatever the preachers/priests tell them….

“Ignorance can be compounded, made denser, until the light of our spirits is smothered.” — Deng Ming-Dao

I’ve given up arguing with the faithful; it’s a pastime that is endlessly amusing, but ultimately saddening. Kind of like the frustration of wrestling with a pig; you just get dirty, and the pig likes it….. It is hard for me to watch people continually make the choice to be ignorant, to be cowards, afraid to face the universe on its own terms, always preferring to allow other people, with fewer scruples than they possess, tell them what they should think, and how they should live. Trying to get most folks to see reason is much like banging one’s forehead against a brick wall…. not terribly amusing, and the blood is hard on one’s clothing, as well as the insult to the forehead….. Since I’m not a fool, I have ceased trying to get them to see beyond their own misapprehensions, and just use what I see as fodder for these posts….. Less frustrating, to be sure, if no less depressing….

I seem to have ranted myself into a corner again; I don’t see a way to continue this without becoming either vitriolic, or boring (some might say “more” boring…. all I can say to them is “thptttttt!”….); I’d guess it’s probably too late to avoid being rude. Since there is still some ways to go before we can call it a day, I think I’ll close this off, and go in search of an appropriate poem for the day…. As a final word of caution and warning, in the unending struggle against ignorance, let me leave you with these….

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” — John Stuart Mill

“All a man can betray is his conscience.” — Joseph Conrad

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

Walt Whitman

“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” — Noam Chomsky

Funny, isn’t it, how such statements, easily identified as being valid right up to the present day, are completely ignored by the mainstream public, and the media? I mean, it isn’t surprising that the politicians themselves would try to ignore this; that is, after all, their primary line of defense against criticism of any kind. But, it seems to me that the general public might be interested in at least seeing some of the evidence being used to justify the assertion, and that the media, as the ostensible responsible journalists they are supposed to be, would be all over that evidence to ascertain how much of it is valid. It isn’t an accusation that is made lightly, I think, and my own take on it is that it is perfectly true, given what I know of the Nuremberg Trials after WWII….

Now, this may seem like it is leading into another rant, this time on politics, and that would be a very astute observation…. usually. I’m a bit fagged out, though, having had quite a battle yesterday and last night with my back pain, which apparently is going to continue into today. I really do try not to let my pain keep me from doing what I want to do, but there are times when it just sort of ignores everything I want, and says, “Nope, here you go…. have some misery for a while….” It’s making it a bit difficult to think clearly, and to stay on track…

So, I’m going to switch horses right here in mid-stream, and turn this toward the old school…. Here are the pearls I could find this morning on the subject of our Beloved Ruling Class, bless their tiny little minds, and their tinier hearts…..

“”Beware the [lobbyist], my son, the jaws that bite, the claws that snatch” (with thanks to Lewis Carroll).  No matter how noble the cause or well meaning its professional advocates, lobbyists are still paid to get results.  They’re subject to errors in judgment, shortcomings in motives, and most of them don’t even vote in your district.” — Pierre S. du Pont

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual & silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison, Virginia Convention, 1788

“Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either.” — Gore Vidal

“There are two main periods in which your elected representatives to the legislature do not do any business. One is before the election and the other is after the election.” — Smart Bee

It may have been the wrong decision to turn this over to my subconscious mind; the rant above took less time than finding that last pearl…. ah well, it finally got to the point where I can tie it all off with this, and wish you a safe and joyous day out there in the real world….

“Once harm has been done, even a fool understands it” — Homer

Wow…. that turned into an epic, and somewhat of an ordeal. Let’s see how it came out, in toto…..  Hang on, be back in a few moments….  Not too bad, all in all… A bit of polish here, a bit of clarification there, and it’s good to go…. Well, it’s done, anyway. Y’all are the final judges of how it came out, so, I’ll turn it over to your tender ministrations…. be gentle with me, okay?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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