Miso, marmalade, or muskrat?….

Ffolkes,

“Nature forms us for ourselves, not for others;
to be, not to seem.

~~ Michael de Montaigne ~~

~~ Essays, Book ii, Chap. xxxvii, ~~

old swan

Bar at the Old Swan, London

Hajime…. Of the nearly 80 hours I spent in London in 2013, many were spent in the public house you see pictured today at the top of this page. The Old Swan, established in 16something, was about as typical a pub as you’ll find anywhere in England. Since it was located about one block from my B&B in Kensington, I spent many a happy hour observing the day and night life of the Londoners who frequented the old pub. This morning, I chose the picture simply for the good memories it brings, of a trip I’d dreamed of my entire life.

Today, I appreciate the memories, as they are a welcome change from the OTHER memories recently flooding my brain, of other times and places that bring back an entirely different kind of memory, the kind that will drop one right into the morass of depression in a heartbeat. Bugger that today, as they would say in the Old Swan; I’ve got other plans. Since I do, why don’t I curtail this intro yet again, thus preventing further maudlin introspection, in favor of moving things along to their natural end. Sounds a bit more productive, as well as comfortable. Well, as close to comfortable as I get, these days….

Doing just that has become much easier, now I’ve managed to figure out all the toys in the Tardis. Since I have, I’m going to apply this one, which may be the most efficient one I’ve come across. It’s pretty simple, really, and works like this….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The pessimist complains about the wind;
The optimist expects it to change;
The realist adjusts the sails.”

~~ William Arthur Ward ~~

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clapton

The Man

By now, most of y’all have heard the sad news regarding Eric Clapton. He has begun to suffer from degenerative neuropathy, which will make it progressively more painful, and difficult to play his guitar. Since I’ve regarded him as the best player alive for most of his, and my life, this is bad news for all who appreciate good music, and those who play it with such heart and soul. Here is a mix of live cuts compiled by another fan of his, which I hope you enjoy as much as I will….

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Eric Clapton

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https://youtu.be/O_j9KEjrY4o?list=PLbw8R6g9XbgpA-Cig38RiV49hcdihzNc9

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Dont keep calm

Since I’m up a little late, here is a rant from the archives, on a subject important to ALL of us…. Still trying to get the message to those who need it….

From 6/14/2012:

“We shall never understand the natural environment until we see it as a living organism. Land can be healthy or sick, fertile or barren, rich or poor, lovingly nurtured or bled white. Our present attitudes and laws governing the ownership and use of land represent an abuse of the concept of private property…. Today you can murder land for private profit. You can leave the corpse for all to see and nobody calls the cops.” — Paul Brooks, The Pursuit of Wilderness (1971)

This statement is now over 50 years old, according to the attribution. From what I can see in the real world, it remains as true today as it was when uttered. We are killing our planet, or rather, we are killing ourselves, and making the planet suffer in the process. No matter how God-like we believe our powers to be, I don’t believe we can quite destroy a whole planet. But, we can sure make it a tough place to survive, and we are doing that rapidly…. I refer to to the World Clock once again….

http://www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock/env/

Why are we doing this to ourselves? I’m not the only citizen who is asking this question; there are actually millions of people like me who are aware of how bad things have gotten, and I’ve seen a lot of printed material on the subject. The problem is that nobody with any power to make changes to society at large is at all concerned with the problem, because A) They tend to deny it, as it doesn’t match their delusional view of reality, and B) They don’t care…..

The first reason, denial, is rooted in the avarice and selfishness of those who seek political and/or religious power. Their purpose in life is to “get” as much as they can, gathering resources, money, and power over others to their bosoms like a mother cradles her babe. This purpose keeps them focused on their own goals, and denial is the simplest way to deal with any ideas that are contrary to those goals. There is a popular saying these days, that I’ve heard many, many times, most often with a smile and a wink, to show that the person wants us to believe they are kidding, when they really are not…. that saying goes, “He who dies with the most toys, wins….” That’s America, all over….

The second reason, indifference, was taught to these folks by the Christian religion. That’s right, religion is responsible, fully and completely, for most of what is wrong in today’s society. This statement will no doubt cause some consternation among those believers who are still buying into that shell game, but it is nonetheless true. It is difficult to build a rational institution when one’s beliefs are based on a basic untruth. More simply, false conclusions are the only possible result of beginning with a false assumption….

The common dogma [of fundamentalists] is fear of modern knowledge, inability to cope with the fast change in a scientific-technological society, and the real breakdown in apparent moral order in recent years That is why hate is the major fuel, fear is the cement of the movement, and superstitious ignorance is the best defence against the dangerous new knowledge. When you bring up arguments that cast serious doubts on their cherished beliefs you are not simply making a rhetorical point, you are threatening their whole Universe and their immortality. That provokes anger and quite frequently violence.” — G Gaia

What, you ask, is this false assumption? Well, I hate to be the one to break it to them, but hey, Mankind is NOT the top of the food chain. Mankind is NOT superior to the other animals, and plants, that live here with us. Mankind is NOT the “owner”, or the “steward”, or the “ruler” of this world. We are not the “Lords of Creation”, nor do we either deserve or actually possess the entitlement so many of our beloved ruling class feels, or claims. We are nothing more than a fortunate (for us) accident of Nature, no less than any other creature, but no more, for certain….

Here the free spirit of mankind, at length,
Throws its last fetters off; and who shall place
A limit to the giant’s unchained strength,
Or curb his swiftness in the forward race?

~~ William Cullen Bryant — The Ages, xxxiii ~~

It is unfortunate in the extreme that so many people believe this prideful boast! Being able to reason hasn’t improved our morality. Being able to imagine has not increased our empathy, or our compassion, though it should. As a species, looked at from an outside viewpoint, we are much less efficient as an animal than are almost any of the other animals we know of; dogs and cats are far superior morally, ethically, and operationally than are humans; I would add they are more intelligent as well, but the humans out there won’t believe that, even though it is obvious to me. I mean, who is feeding who here? Although still subject to the cruelty to which humans so often resort, dogs and cats control their humans pretty well, as a rule…..

“Dogs are animals that poop in public and you’re supposed to pick it up. After a week of doing this, you’ve got to ask yourself: Who’s the real master in this relationship?” — Anthony Griffin

All this goes back to the same old message that I’ve been sending out for years. If this species, Australopithecus modernus, does not make a change in it’s mental viewpoint, in our morality and how that makes us deal with the world, we’ll all be dead within 200 years. The planet will recover; all the poisons we’ve pumped into the environment will be neutralized, and the damage we’ve done will heal over time. But, we will be gone, if we don’t figure out how to change the whole way we deal with reality, from the top of society down…. I hate to be a cynic, but I don’t see it happening, and that is just sad…..

“Time destroys the speculations of man,
but it confirms the judgment of nature.”

~~ Cicero ~~

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Comedy_Tragedy

Off the proverbial cuff….

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

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

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

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

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

~~ gigoid ~~

4/30/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Further Notes on Life at Large

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“Put forth your effort
With no thought of gain.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~

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“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

~~ Walter Winchell ~~

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“Self-pity is the worst poverty.”

~~ Hazrat Inayat Khan (Sufi writer) ~~

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“He who boasts of his ancestry praises the merits of another.”

~~ Seneca ~~

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“Perseverance is more prevailing than violence;
and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together,
yield themselves up when taken little by little.”

~~ Plutarch — Life of Sertorius ~~

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“Education is not a preparation for life;
Education is life itself.”

~~ John Dewey ~~

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“Whatever you can lose, you should reckon of no account.”

~~ Publius Syrus — Maxim 191 ~~

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Knowledge is gained by learning; trust by doubt;
skill by practice; and love by love.”

~~ Thomas Szasz

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“What fools these mortals be.”

~~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca ~~

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Having submitted my usual outpouring of blather & nonsense, I shall forgo further torturous prattle, to bid thee adieu for another diurnal period. Little did we know, when we began, just how strange it would get, but, as they’re fond of saying downtown, what the hell? It’s finished, and, around here, that’s all that’s required. Well, we also try to do this each day…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; such is our lot, and we welcome it. Go figure….

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

Featured Image -- 8561

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Working in from the outer edge…..

Ffolkes,
“You tell Bupkes, either he’s there at six o’clock, in full clown regalia, nose and bicycle horn included, or I’m calling the guild, and he’ll never work another Mardi Gras in this town!” Everard Cross, who consistently won the neighborhood grouch award because he believed in living up to his name, growled his threat to the wife of Bupkes the Clown into the phone, then slammed it down hard enough to bounce.

At the top of his voice, he yelled out, “Honey, get me the Guildmaster on the phone; I need to roast a clown.” Picking up his well-chewed cigar from the ashtray, he chomped down on it and chewed. while he gazed with naturally beady eyes across the desk at his next victim, er, client…. “I hate clowns…” he thought, as he gazed at yet another smiling face surrounded by red curls, and the biggest red nose he’d ever seen….

Hmm…. Not too shabby for pre-coffee. It’s always a risk, trying to be coherent before that first sip or two of morning’s blood; I never know if my head will cooperate. It seems this morning, I caught it in a decent mood for once, and was able to finesse that out while the coffee was brewing. SIGH….. It is always a conundrum, though, to figure out if such smoothness so early is a good omen, or bad. It could turn either way, given the natural tendency around here toward unpredictability, so it’s a good idea to not commit oneself too early, lest one get shat upon…… not my favorite morning activity, you can bet…..

In fact, I have yet to find ANY activity in the morning that can be fully trusted to offer itself as omen for the day. Everything that happens seems to be fraught with potential for good or evil, and the final decision as to which isn’t apparent until the very last moment…. This can make the choice to continue, or to abort, anything I begin somewhat of a challenge, as you might guess.

It has gotten to the point that, lest Murphy completely take over my life, I refuse to make a decision about stuff like this, and sink into frozen inactivity. There is little else I can do some days, and if both of us are in a pissy mood, well, it can get ugly…… There have been days of late where not a damn thing moves or gets done until noon, or until one of us blinks. Fortunately, Murphy is bipolar, and can’t concentrate long enough to win at least half the time, so it evens out pretty well…. but, it’s a big pain having to go through that on a daily basis…

Ah well, I could lament the daily battles with the forces of nature for a long time, but, we DO have other stuff to accomplish today. I myself must go shopping for food, before there is no money left to do so, so it would no doubt serve me well to get started on today’s Pearl. Not that I want to be a toadie, and just cave in whenever someone tells me what I should be doing, even if it is logical. I’ll just stall around a moment here, and fill in with some extraneous verbiage that has nothing to do with anything at all, before I give in to the power of suggestion. If nothing else, that will fill in the rest of THIS paragraph, and make this a visually symmetrical intro…. one of our corollary goals…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“The secret of life is to appreciate the pleasure of being terribly deceived.” — Oscar Wilde

Oscar’s speech, and his grasp of the art of conversation, were legendary for showing wit along with intelligent insight. Often, with aphorisms like this one, that depth of insight became quite shiny….. It doesn’t seem like much, at first glance, but is actually quite good advice, though given with tongue firmly planted in cheek. In one simple sentence, he condemns modern society for its lack of integrity, and offers to mankind the only true way to be content with our lot…..

In this society, we, the people, are deceived on what is essentially an hourly basis, by our leaders, by our priests, by businesses, by the police, by each other for the sake of expedience; almost every minute of our lives we are being lied to by someone, especially if one watches a lot of TV. We have, culturally, become so inured to being lied to that we have come to assume it is not just okay, but is the only way to get ahead in life…. Sadly, this may be true…. The presence of honesty in human interaction has become so rare that most people just expect the lies, and learn to live with them per Oscar’s suggestion.

In its simplicity, and in its Zen-like attitude, what Oscar shared is very much Eastern in its outlook. It isn’t a common idea in Western culture to “go with the flow”, but rather to “fight on”; the concept of acceptance to deal with challenge is foreign to most of us raised under Christian standards. But, regardless of where one is raised, the lies are still out there, being used by those in power to confuse, distract, and manipulate the voting public, and I think we can count on them to continue in that vein for as long as it continues to work for them….

So, maybe it is time to look at what Oscar said as a challenge, rather than advice. Perhaps, if the public began to NOT accept the lies, but began to question those in authority, to demand that the truth be told, then maybe there is a chance for us to survive the coming collapse….. Maybe…. it may already be too late….

I read an interesting article the other day, and I use the word ‘interesting’ in its most dangerous sense, as is common in Eastern culture, where being wished an “interesting life” is a curse…. The article made this statement, to wit: the climate is not changing. It has changed…… In other words, the moment that the environmentalists have been fearing for years has arrived, and we have reached a point of no return.

The millions of tons of particulate matter (“pollution”) we have been pumping into the air for the last 100 years has reached a point where irreversible changes in the balance of the planetary ecosystem have been made, and the climate, which has just begun to alter its centuries-old patterns, will now continue to grow more unpredictable, and more violently destructive than has ever been seen before in history. These changes are not going to stop, and in fact, will worsen over time…. and, I am unhappy to report, this is not fear-mongering, this is not speculation, this is not a lie…. this is demonstrable fact.  See for yourself, here:

http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks/worldclock/

I am so pissed off about this that I am going to have to stop this pearl right here; I’m already trembling from the jolt of adrenaline the anger stimulated in me. Those in power over society have ignored the warnings that scientists and environmentalists have issued for decades, and their intransigence is now going to kill all of us, slowly and with great pain for many, as life on this planet becomes more and more of a challenge, to live, nay,  just to survive.

There is only one reason this is happening, and that is the FACT that the Beloved Ruling Class has, for centuries, lied and cheated the rest of humanity, and have arranged matters so that they are the only ones who are truly comfortable… most of humanity has to struggle to obtain just enough of the resources being hoarded to live in hunger, barely able to survive.

Bah! I am incensed, and can hardly contain my rage…. It makes me want to go out and start….. well, I started to say “killing”,  referring to the members of the BRC, but, on second thought, killing is too good for them. I think I’d rather keep them alive, but make them suffer, just as much as they have made others suffer their entire lives….. It’s time, ffolkes, for humanity to step up, and boot the assholes out…. They are killing us, and I think it is about time we did something to return the favor, don’t you?….. Think about, but don’t take long, because it’s already too late…..

“If I had a Q-TIP, I could prevent th’collapse of NEGOTIATIONS!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Rare gift! but oh what gift to fools avails!” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book x, Line 29
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Conversations Among The Ruins

Through portico of my elegant house you stalk
With your wild furies, disturbing garlands of fruit
And the fabulous lutes and peacocks, rending the net
Of all decorum which holds the whirlwind back.
Now, rich order of walls is fallen; rooks croak
Above the appalling ruin; in bleak light
Of your stormy eye, magic takes flight
Like a daunted witch, quitting castle when real days break.

Fractured pillars frame prospects of rock;
While you stand heroic in coat and tie, I sit
Composed in Grecian tunic and psyche-knot,
Rooted to your black look, the play turned tragic:
Which such blight wrought on our bankrupt estate,

What ceremony of words can patch the havoc?

~~ Sylvia Plath
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“The only end of writing is to enable the readers better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.” — Samuel Johnson

I have to agree with Sam on this one; this is a very nice way to look at writing, and a fair and complete description as well. If I can do either one of these things for, or to, my readers, I would consider what I wrote to be a success, no matter how many ‘Likes’ it got…. In that same vein, I’d like to take a moment today to shout out a big THANK YOU to all the ffolkes who have stopped in to read what I write, and especially to those who have commented, hit the ‘Like’ button, or otherwise let me know they were there…. or even if not, Thanks!

Two days ago, I posted my 600th blog, and, in a serendipitous occurrence, had my 200th and 201st followers come on board the same day. I was rather jazzed, as you may imagine….. Even though I what I write, I write for myself, as a form of therapy, it is nice to hear that other ffolkes, and folks, are enjoying what I’ve written enough to either comment, Like, or Follow.

I write to get all the crap out of my head, that, if left there, would fester until it spilled out on some unsuspecting citizen, and that is uncomfortable for both of us.  Rather than have to struggle internally all day to keep from biting people, I write, and get most of the angst and bitterness, that dealing with the world creates, out… I am a firm believer in “Better out than in….”  Hopefully, what I am writing will be enjoyed by somebody, whether for the humor, the attempted insight, the truth, or the bozoid tendencies, I don’t much care, as long as it doesn’t hurt anybody’s feelings….

Well, wait, that isn’t true…. If a reader happens to be a priest/preacher, a politician, or another of those I consider to be part of the BRC and those shadowy corporate icons who run the world from behind the scenes, well, then I hope what I write makes you very nervous. If it hurts your feelings, well, I would consider that a good thing, if only because you still have feelings that can be hurt….. As the first of today’s pearls indicated, I’m rather perturbed at the actions of that group of people, and couldn’t give a shit about how my thoughts affect them, as long as it is negatively… The worse the better, as far as I’m concerned….

As for everyone else who comes by, just be aware that, ultimately, everything I say here is truth. I won’t say I’m not human, and that I don’t occasionally lie…. I do, just like everyone else alive.  Sometimes it can be for expedience, to save myself trouble, such as telling someone I don’t have a cigarette, when I do… More importantly, I will sometimes lie to spare someone’s feelings, and if that upsets the gods of karma, well, so be it… I don’t like to hurt people…. and to me, that can justify a small lie, at least on a temporary basis… Maybe that’s morally weak, but, hey, I’m just a romantic bozo, and can’t help the way I feel…. I can change it, and I do, but, the initial feelings are pretty well spontaneous combustion, and not subject to that sort of control…. But, that is all out in the Big Blue Room…. everything I put down here is the truth, as I know it, so you can count on that…..

So, while I’m doing drone work here, I’ll explain the word ‘ffolkes’…. I use that word, with that spelling, to indicate the people who read this blog, or receive the daily email of the blog, or know me, or know of me…. ‘folks’ is everybody else…… This is an easy way to keep track of the whom to which I may be referring…. and isn’t that a grammatical and syntactical gem?  What I mean is, it makes it more intimate, as to me, ffolkes are my friends, while folks are strangers…. ffolkes possess a brain, and aren’t afraid to use it, while folks tend to sit on theirs….. ffolkes can use logic as a scalpel, folks use it as a hammer. I think that will give you the drift…. I spell it that way for two reasons… one, because I can, and two, because I like it….  🙂

There is probably a legal limit to the number of paragraphs one is allowed to use to just fuck around and say nothing much, but, I don’t ever seem to reach it, no matter how much I ramble and prattle on… Here we have now seven of them, all with very little to confer that could be construed as real  information. Hopefully, y’all will know now what I mean by “ffolkes”, and I hope it gives you the same warm feeling it does me, to know that you are in a friendly environment, where you may find acceptance, respect, love, and compassion, right alongside the viciously sarcastic curmudgeonry I aim at the BRC and their myrmidons…..

Since I’m uncertain as to whether I have enough left to fill in one more past this one, to make a cosmically balanced nine paragraphs, I will settle for eight, and the solid foundation it implies…. For some strange reason, whenever I think of eight, I get a visual image of Pont Neuf potatoes, nicely golden brown… What does that mean?…. Ah well, there are some mysteries we are destined never to solve, I guess….. Housekeeping done, and remember ffolkes, I love you all, and hope your life proceeds according to your dreams…..

Were I so tall to reach the pole,
Or grasp the ocean with my span,
I must be measured by my soul:
The mind ‘s the standard of the man.

— Isaac Watts (1674-1748) — Horae Lyricae, Book ii, False Greatness
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I’ll take it…. I performed the best type of proofing, by walking away for ten minutes, then reading it from scratch…. A tiny bit of polish, a stray thought or two added in, and it’s well-nigh perfect, as such things go (Remember that phrase, please; it could be important if this ever becomes a legal issue…) …. It is, therefore, officially done…. I’ve got a lot to do today, so, I’ll wish you a productive diurnal activity period, sometimes known as a g’day, and get on with it….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

How much for a self-portrait?

Ffolkes,
If the weather here in California this spring is any indication, global warming is developing nicely. Rain, a couple days of sunshine, clouds, now more rain… the pattern is nothing like what I’ve seen in this state for the last 60 some years that I’ve lived here…. Oh, I’ve been elsewhere, all over the US in fact, but I’ve never lived elsewhere for long without returning to the left coast.

There are just too many advantages, both in terms of weather, and in terms of availability of whatever climate or land configuration one wishes. Mountains, seacoast, desert, valleys, rivers, urban, rural, rain forest, oak forest, any type of geographic formation one could wish for is all within four hours drive from anywhere in the state.

So, I’ve always come back here to stay, even though I love seeing far-away places, and learning about the people who live there. It is one of the reasons I want to travel now that I’m retired, and as soon as I can secure my full retirement from the Feds (bless their pointy little heads), I’ll be off. But, for the nonce, I am stuck here, and the weather is NOT acting normally. Usually by mid- to late-April, the weather is so gorgeous one wonders that the entire world doesn’t move here to enjoy it.

Global warming is real. No matter who you listen to, or what statistics you may see that say otherwise, (and those statistics would either be missing important pieces, or made up of fantasy numbers straight out of someone’s head) it is a process that began some years ago, and is being continuously augmented and strengthened by society’s refusal to stop pumping crap into the air.

In one of my earliest blogs I published a link to a site called “World Clock”. On this site is simply a counting program, that counts several key factors in the overpopulation and pollution arenas. One face shows the population of the world, counting off how many are born each second; one can get dizzy very quickly by watching how fast the numbers change. Another face shows how much CO2 is being pumped into the air each second by the industrial sources and by automobiles. It is astounding how many TONS of carbon dioxide is going into the air, as I type.

If you wish to see it, here is the link:   

http://www.poodwaddle.com/applets/worldclock.swf

So, any who, the point of all this was not to get into a rant on global warming, though it is easy for me to do; it was merely to point out that once again, I’ll be stuck indoors on what would normally be a great day at this time of the year. But, thanks to the effects of global warming and over-population, I’ll be right here, typing and reading away, and wishing I could go for a walk without freezing…. in April, in California…. it’s disheartening to say the least…. Ah well, let us Pearl…..
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“Perhaps we are wiser, less selfish and more far-seeing than we were two hundred years ago. But we are still imperfectly all these good things, and since the turn of the century it has been remarked that neither wisdom nor virtue have increased as rapidly as the need for both.” — Joseph Wood Krutch

Mr. Pollyanna Krutch makes a really dumb statement first, but redeems himself with the last line. To make the assertion that today’s society is morally or ethically advanced over what we have been in the past is absurd, and that is being kind. If he sees any such thing in society, it is only a result of having so many more people wandering around butting into everything that it SEEMS like there is more tolerance and more ethical behavior amongst the common members of our culture. The percentage of such folks certainly has NOT grown over the past, nor could he quote any source of data to support that idea (I know, I’ve looked for it…).

Nonetheless, he turns his gaffe around by making the last statement, which is perfectly true. Neither wisdom nor virtue in society has grown, at all, at all…. in fact, the number of incidents that hit the news every day would indicate quite the opposite, to anyone viewing it dispassionately. In fact, in light of the proven theory of how society is becoming LESS intelligent over time (proven mathematically, in previous Pearls, so please don’t make me go through that proof again… it’s just arithmetic, and anyone can perform the basic computation of the data), it would seem to be rather obvious that the amount of wisdom and virtue has decreased over time, and in the case of society today, both of them seem to be absent entirely.

At this point I could start providing examples of how I come to this conclusion, but I’d rather go on to the next pearl, so I will merely refer the Gentle Reader to today’s headlines, where I am sure ample evidence of my supposition is provided, gratis. It shouldn’t take too long, and is probably a more convincing argument than any I could write.

Tell you what…. you go check out the news today, and if you find some evidence that society is getting wiser, or more ethical or virtuous, bring it up in the comments section below, and we can discuss the matter further….. meantime, we will be going on to the next egregious societal anomaly….. which usually isn’t hard to find…..
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A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow in the morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
— T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

This poem really doesn’t need much discussion. In and of itself, it is a classic work of art, and few intelligent people would argue the fact. I have included it not only for that reason, but because it fit so well with what is written just above. Eliot’s vision here is incredibly prophetic, in my mind, and whenever I read it, pictures flash across my inner eye, of nuclear wasteland (photos of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are prominent), of foamy lake waters with dead fish floating around the rocks, of the yellow air so common in Los Angeles. He saw it all coming, and brought us fear, in a handful of dust…..
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“Power, like the diamond, dazzles the beholder, and also the wearer; it dignifies meanness; to what is contemptible, it gives authority; to what is low, exaltation.” — unattributed in Smart Bee

I wish I knew who wrote this, and I may google it later to try to find out. For now, it serves to address what struck me when I read it. First, it is absolutely true, especially if speaking of power over other people, and there are far too many obvious examples for me to bother listing them all, as you can see them all over the news. What struck me is the realization that all of these people who seek, and assume, power over others, do so out of their deepest fears, and their unwillingness to deal with that fear, which is also known as cowardice.

That is correct. Cowardice and fear are what motivate our leaders, every damn one of them, and I don’t care how often you may point out how much courage it takes to put oneself at the apex, because that is just a bullshit lie told to you by those self-same cowards to cover up their gratuitous lack of morals or ethics.

It takes courage to face one’s fear. It doesn’t take courage to pull the wool over the eyes of people who hand them the woolen cap to use. Only a person who fears that much could ever bring themselves to even contemplate the actions of those in power; and only cowardice could explain how such people carry out the dishonorable acts that are listed every day in the news.

“We create an environment where it is alright to hate, to steal, to cheat, and to lie if we dress it up with symbols of respectability, dignity and love.” — Whitney Moore, Jr.

I find it ironic to consider the degree to which people will go to NOT look at this concept, at how hard they will squirm and struggle to find some reason to trust these cowardly assholes who are actively ripping off the public. Instead, society marches on, happily content to ignore all the signs that the folks to whom they are entrusting the keys to the public treasury are bending them over and taking them from behind at every opportunity. I mean, it’s hard to believe, since I’ve never seen any Vaseline used in these rapes…. but, I guess the denial being employed extends even to their pain….

“I think the next four years we should try it with no President.” — Dana Fradon
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“Strange, because they are so frankly and hysterically insane — like all dreams: a God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who could have made every one of them happy, yet never made a single happy one; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; who gave his angels eternal happiness unearned, yet required his other children to earn it; who gave his angels painless lives, yet cursed his other children with biting miseries and maladies of mind and body; who mouths justice and invented hell — mouths mercy and invented hell — mouths Golden Rules, and forgiveness multiplied by seventy times seven, and invented hell; who frowns
upon crimes, yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally, with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain, _The Mysterious Stranger_

No discussion needed here…. I’ll just point out the author, and fade into the background so his words speak for themselves…… My only comment is, “Damn straight!”  I never could figure out why an omnipotent entity would even WANT to be worshiped…. I certainly wouldn’t, and I’m not even partially omnipotent….
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“Beware the fury of a patient man.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Absalom and Achitophel, Part i, Line 1005

I’m not sure why I was compelled to include this pearl today. Originally I had intended it to be an ending quote for a pearl of a different nature, but then I thought I’d use it like this….

I would suggest to those who are in power today in this country, and, for that matter, around the world, that they should probably pay close attention to what they may perpetrate on the mostly unsuspecting public in the near future. I give this suggestion only in the spirit of fairness, one which they are not particularly invested in displaying on a regular basis. Nonetheless, I am informing them that not all of the public is unaware of their chicanery, and the patience of these folks is wearing pretty thin.

I can say this because I am one of them, and I am just about done putting up with all the bullshit they are perpetrating on the rest of us, and very close to doing something about it myself. What shape those actions may take is as yet undetermined, but they may rest assured, they will not like it at all….  Just sayin’……

Fair warning……
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Well, this turned out to be an interesting group…. as always, I never know when I begin exactly where I’ll end up, and today is no exception. But, as it is said, the journey is more important than the destination, so I am content, for the journey was fun… for me, anyway. Only you can judge your take on that…. So, with today’s Pearl a fait accompli, I now bid thee a good day, and hope that all will be well in your little corner of reality, at least for the day…. 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!