Fionella isn’t ready to cope….

Ffolkes,

“Mankind…
The public enemy’s not the man who speaks his mind.”

~~ Anthrax ~~

capuchin6

Can you tell me when the next shuttle blasts off for Mars?

This place is TOO crazy!

Image from SFGATE.com Pictures of the Day Feature, Thursday, 2012


Good morrow to you…. Due to circumstances completely within my control, I’m running late. This means nothing. Well, it does mean I’ll cheat again, but, other than that, you’d never know, unless I told you…. Hence. the warning, since we’re all about full disclosure around here…. Unless, of course, that would be silly…. Goodness knows we do that enough, as it is….

Shall we Pearl?

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

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Dont keep calm

    Today’s video choice is here, heralded with the ranting logo, to take up the slack due to no fresh rant…. Here is one of our favorite comedians, with a complete show of stand-up comedy, dealing with modern times…. I haven’t watched it yet, but, if he does stand-up as well, and as pointedly as his weekly show, it should be quite Carlinesque…. and, though I had to add that word to the Spell Check Dictionary, I don’t believe that will be true for the future…. Carlin’s name will go down in history as possibly the greatest social critic/comedian of his time…. The ultimate jester…. Enjoy, ffolkes….


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John Oliver

Terrifying Times

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About Hopi Indian Symbols

    As noted above, and, as the picture of Kokopelli indicates, (if you know me at all…)  there won’t be a fresh rant today…. Here instead are some pearls I’ve saved as potential openings for several rants; you’ll get the picture, I think….

“Art is a moral passion married to entertainment.  Moral passion without entertainment is propaganda, and entertainment without moral passion is television.” — Rita Mae Brown

“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

“One of the merits of democracy is quite obvious: it is perhaps the most charming form of government ever devised by man.  The reason is not far to seek.  It is based on propositions that are palpably not true — and what is not true, as everyone knows, is always immensely more fascinating and satisfying to the vast majority of men than what is true.” — H. L. Mencken

“Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.” — H. L. Mencken

“If you could print all the money you wanted, and steal all the money you wanted, couldn’t you manage to stay out of debt?” — Smart Bee

“Did you hear that the Dutch government gave Quayle 12 rare Rembrandt etchings? He’s already got four of them colored in.” — Random American comedian, 1990

“Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” — Buffalo Springfield

“The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.” — H. L. Mencken

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.  The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on Earth.
— Fedor Dostoevsky

Okay, that’s probably enough for you to get the idea we’re shooting for today…. As a small bonus, allow me to end this section with a perfectly appropriate critical comment from the man who codified most of the Proverbs to be found in the English-speaking world….

“This hitteth the nail on the head.”

~~ John Heywood (1597-1580) ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

    Today, we’ll go with two short, classic poems from our cultural past…. Two of my favorites, I might add….

The world is too much with us; late and soon

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune,
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
     
~~ William Wordsworth ~~

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I’m Nobody! Who are you?

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you- Nobody- Too?
Then there’s a pair of us?
Don’t tell! they’d advertise-you know!
How dreary-to be- Somebody!
How public-like a Frog-
To tell one’s name-the livelong June-
To an admiring Bog!

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


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Lao Tzu sez

    This picture, I think, is my absolute favorite pearl of wisdom, taken as a whole, virtual or otherwise… The picture, wonderfully conceived and executed, is a perfect graphic representation of the words of Lao Tzu, giving depth and color to the idea, making it even more powerful than the words can do alone…. Considering the lesson involved, as possibly the most powerful single idea humans have to learn in their entire life, that is saying a lot…. It states the entire concept in visual words… the Man, split apart by opposing forces within… the fiery power of the passions of the heart, versus the cool, cerebral, electric power of the reasoning mind….. bloody brilliant!…

Since I don’t have enough like this to construct an entire pearl, we’ll go with a regular style, old-school pearl, with lessons similar to, or a variation of this one…. It’s pretty deep, and can stand up to a lot of discussion; in fact, it has done so, for a very long time…. Let’s pearl, ffolkes….

“A sense of humor keen enough to show a man his own absurdities will keep him from the commission of all sins, or nearly all, save those that are worth committing.” — Samuel Butler

“Life, it turns out, is not a struggle; it’s a wiggle.” — Smart Bee

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

“Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of joy you must have somebody to divide it with.” — Mark Twain

“The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.” — Joan Borysenko

“Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it…. Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 29

“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” — Oscar Wilde

“Perhaps I know why it is man alone who laughs: He alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Hmm…. Given the nature of the beginning, the results of our search seem a bit… off. Off parameters anyway, and, it certainly didn’t exactly follow the line of inquiry suggested by Lao Tzu’s opening remarks, did it? Oh well, I suppose we’ll just have to call it a compendium of lesser known lessons about life, as presented to, and by, gigoid, the dubious…. I picked ’em, after all…. If it comes to that, I DO stand by each one of them; they all have been useful at one time or another in my life, to be sure….

So, there… and, so be it.

gigoid has spoken, as should be expected….

Oh, shush! Ah say, shush, boy!….

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Well, since it’s done, we won’t quibble. Instead, we’ll waffle, and make like a tree….. Yep, I’m outta here. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if nobody talks me out of it….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Dozer

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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Worshiping at the altar of self-mockery….

Ffolkes,

“The man who fears no truths has nothing to fear from lies.” — Thomas Jefferson

10-9-2014 018

    I’m not altogether proud of this picture, obviously with good reason… It’s the best shot of the full moon I managed with my little Cool Pix camera, sitting on top of my walking stick to keep it steady as the moon rose over the trees…. It has kind of a hint of all that, the clouds, the trees, the moon… without ever quite bringing into enough clarity to make it compelling, other than as an exercise for the eye/brain imagery interface, to resolve the flaws when it gets into the brain, using our resident equivalent to Photoshop… sort of a Photoshop for the brain, so to speak… I suppose one could claim it is ‘mysterious’, but, that might imply one was TRYING to make it that way, which would be a lie….

According to Jefferson, then, I have naught to fear…. from truth, or lies…. Well, at least, in this instance, anyway….

Other than that, it serves only to anchor down the top of the page, after a very good quote, while, at the same time, yet, inadvertently, I assure you, providing material to fill the first paragraph…. SIGH…. I couldn’t have done it better if I’d actually tried, believe me or not. Oh, and, no worries if you don’t; believe me, that is….. I’m not very much offended by being misunderstood, even when that misunderstanding isn’t my fault, or doing; I just hit the miscreant with a brick, and go on about my business. So,as you see, as long as you put on the helmet we offered you at the door to the cabin, you’ll be fine. They (the helmets) are fully tested to be able to withstand much more than a mere brick wielded by an old man with arthritic hands & a grumpy disposition….

Golly, Wally, now what? The usual lack of creative material is currently holding sway in my brain, in spite of adequate morning ablution. This means it will get rantish later on (oops, I think I just coined another word, applicable to blogging…. rantish…. I like it…. It’s going in the dictionary….), but, it can’t be helped. I’m betting though, just the mere act of coining has distracted all of us enough we didn’t even notice how well the new word will fit well into a poem…. Spell Checker showed me several similar words that rhyme quite nicely, when I told it to add it to the list of acceptable words, one of which was an all-time favorite of mine, as it is another word that describes ME…. that word, of course, is dilettantish….

Okay, I’m going to be a nice guy…. I’ll stop here, without subjecting you to further early morning teasing. I know this hasn’t quite achieved the usual level of aggravation, to which y’all have become accustomed, but, we’ve got a ways to go, and I’m a bit tired this morning…. I guess opening that second bottle of John Daniel’s finest wasn’t a good idea, though, I must confess, it seemed like it at the time…. Of course, that was probably just the first bottle talking, but, hey, we listened, so, we have no excuses….. nor, are any offered, as my relationship with John is a private matter, between the two of us alone… and, I’m lying anyway, to prepare you for section one, where we will talk about our beloved ruling class; it’s best to give some warning, I think….

Of course, warning you gives you the chance to slip out, and just go on to the video section, but, hey, I’m required to make the attempt, if only for my own records, to cover my butt, which is hanging out quite attractively, don’t you think? I do…. But, whether or not the sight of my butt drives anyone away, we are going to go on with this, just because my dad taught me to finish whatever I start…. even the silly stuff….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Indecency, vulgarity, obscenity – these are strictly confined to man; he invented them. Among higher animals there is no trace of them. They hide nothing. They are not ashamed.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910) — Letters from the Earth (1905-1909)

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REVOLUTION, n.  In politics, an abrupt change in the form of misgovernment.  Specifically, in American history, the substitution of the rule of an Administration for that of a Ministry, whereby the welfare and happiness of the people were advanced a full half-inch. Revolutions are usually accompanied by a considerable effusion of blood, but are accounted worth it — this appraisement being made by beneficiaries whose blood had not the mischance to be shed.  The French revolution is of incalculable value to the Socialist of to-day; when he pulls the string actuating its bones its gestures are inexpressibly terrifying to gory tyrants suspected of fomenting law and order. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2014/oct/11/russell-brand-revolution-alienation-despair

Perfect timing; Russell Brand, the British comedian/shock jock/social critic, just released a new book, entitled, “Revolution”. The above link leads, not to the book, but to a reporter’s review of it, including comments from the author as to his motivation for writing it, and for now espousing revolution in the world, for realio-trulio, no foolin’, no bullshit…. which, as you might imagine, is a concept I can get behind in a New York minute (which, as you may know, lasts about a nanosecond…)…. Can I call ’em, or what?

I’ve been saying for a couple years that the Asininnies were getting so egregious in their looting of society, they’re not bothering to hide as much, and that this would eventually lead to revolution… Of course, I was the one making the suggestion, but, I also knew, and stated, that society was going to mirror my own reactions, and the idea of revolution would become more real as time went by. It had to happen, as history provides us with many examples of following the same path in previous centuries…. This has all happened before, ffolkes; the names have been changed, not to protect the innocent, but, just because new assholes are born every minute…

“The United States has entered an anti-intellectual phase in its history,  perhaps most clearly seen in our virtually thought-free political life.” — David Baltimore

And, WHY are the Asininnies so able to lie to the public so successfully? Well, because people, for the most part, and in the greatest number, are fools, easily led by the nose, and perfectly susceptible to manipulation, due to their gullibility…. They, the pundits and talking heads who get elected, KNOW this about people, and are shameless, and ruthless, in applying it as often as they can…. which is all the damn time, every damn day…

“If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.” — B.B. Franklin

I was glad to see that the movie about Edward Snowden is coming out; it will certainly add to the situation described above, i.e., it will provide that much more evidence of how the governments of this world have worked to subjugate and repress the general population, increase the wealth gap, and, steal as much as they can, while they can…. Below, you’ll find a link to a review of the film, a link to the trailer on You Tube, and a player to watch that trailer here, if you wish…. I hope everyone alive with two working neurons in their head will see this, for then, revolution would be assured….

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/oct/11/citizenfour-review-snowden-vindicated-poitras-nsa-journalism

“He means well” is useless unless he does well.” — Plautus

As far as I can see, Mr. Snowden has done well….

At this point, I will show mercy…. I could easily rant for a while longer, but, to spare you further torment like that, I’ll finish off this section with a relatively short pearl, to take the rest of my shots at the Asininnies, wherever they might be….

“There is a great deal of human nature in people.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)

“The right to revolt has sources deep in our history.” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“And He shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” — Isaiah, Isaiah 2:4

(Gee, why does it NOT surprise me to see this, and to realize that, when it comes to government, they stopped paying attention to this sort of idea long ago?…. In fact, I’m fairly sure it has NEVER been tried….)

“Cops do it with nightsticks.” — Smart Bee

“The remedy in the United States is not less liberty but real liberty — an end to the brutal intolerance of churchly hooligans and flag-waving corporations and all the rest of the small but bloody despots who have made the word Americanism a synonym for coercion and legal crime.” — Archibald MacLeash (b. 1892)

“The price of liberty is, always has been, and always will be blood: the person who is not willing to die for his liberty has already lost it to the first scoundrel who is willing to risk dying to violate that person’s liberty. Are you free?” — Andrew Ford

That should do it….. So be it. gigoid has spoken….

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A great many people will never have heard of this artist, which is a shame, but, pretty much was the way he wanted it. Fred Neil was a legendary performer, not to the public, who only knew of him through two of his songs, which EVERYONE heard on the radio at one time…. Other than those, he produced only three albums, which never hit the mainstream….

But, among other artists, he was, and, is still regarded as one of the very best blues players/singers to ever live, with an incredibly creative talent on the guitar for making new melodies and riffs, and a voice that could rip out your heart with feeling…. The video is the best version of his most famous song, but, you can see more of his work, including all his albums, by following the link to the You Tube page…. Enjoy, ffolkes; if you haven’t heard him before, you are in for a huge treat… You especially must listen to his song, “The Dolphins”…. it is INCREDIBLE!…..

Fred Neil: Everybody’s Talkin’ At Me

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While searching for another poet, I came across this gem, which is new to me…. Since it also fits in with an ever-present theme here on ECR, I though it would go well, even if it’s a bit long…. It makes up for it with relevance….

Television

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

~~ Roald Dahl ~~


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To finish of today, Smart Bee came up with a seven-star pearl made up of some comments/observations regarding the bane of our existence as humans…. ourselves….

“And it shall some to pass that idiots shall roam the earth, and morons shall rule the masses.” — Smart Bee

“We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.” — George Bernard Shaw

“It’s not very pleasant in my corner of the world at three o’clock in the morning. But for people who like cold, wet, ugly bits it is something rather special.” — A.A. Milne’s Eyore

“When we talk of tomorrow, the gods laugh.” — Smart Bee

“The frightening thing is not dying, the frightening thing is not living.” — T-Bone Burnett

“Extinct is forever.” — A little reminder from Smart Bee

“A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” — Bob Edwards

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Here is your homework for tomorrow, ffolkes; as determined by SB, this will give you the best chance of surviving the night with your insanity intact…. Write an Essay: “Describe the universe in 500 words or less and name 2 examples.” I thought it would be a good addition to also have you explore one of your two examples (not this one), with proof of completion to be provided by a video recording of your trip…. If you need a camera, the equipment desk has a number of Go-Pro models for you to check out for use….

There…. I don’t believe I can do any more, or cause any more confusion, so, I may as well get on with the rest of today…. I hope y’all enjoyed today’s Pearl; it took some effort and thought, both of which I am currently in short supply….. and, no comments from the peanut gallery about always being in short supply of those products…. Do I insult you? Well, not directly, anyway…. I think it would be best if I just go now…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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!

À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

Honor is never for sale…..

Ffolkes,

It isn’t every day one can start off with live Dead before breakfast, or even coffee, and, for many, it might not be exactly their cup of tea, ( I know, mixing my beverages, if not my metaphors….) but, I find it to be a fine way to begin the day, especially when the tune being enjoyed is from a live concert, with a lively, jiving boogie beat, complete with extremely hot licks by one of rock’s greatest improvisational guitarists, one of the earliest virtuosos in that category…. the inimitable, and, sadly, now deceased, Jerry Garcia…. Ah, sublime!….

I guess I just pulled my covers again, as an aging, now aged, hippie, first indoctrinated in the philosophy of free love in 1968 in Berkeley, CA, and a multi-concert attendee at Dead shows….. I never went on the road with the Dead, following after them all over the country, as so many did, but, I’ve made my share of whoopee at their gatherings of the tribes, and don’t regret a single moment of the experience…..

It was a time of great hope in our country….. The passions of the day, and the concepts of liberty and personal freedom that were engendered among the young of our nation back then have been carried forth, and preserved, over time, until, today, the same people who protested the war in Vietnam are now out on the streets, protesting the most recent draconian actions of the government, which, in spite of our efforts, have grown over time to include the latest outrage, wherein they are spying on their own citizens, looking under every rock they can find, in their paranoid search for terrorists….

Of course, the spying began even before the Vietnam conflict; they were putting together files on us at the FBI in 1968, and before that, from 1960 to 1964, during the Free Speech Movement, that preceded the advent of the hippies, and free love…. The government, apparently during WWII sometime, decided that keeping secrets from the public was necessary, whereupon they began to consider themselves as above the law, not subject to the same requirements as the rest of us….. Troops began to go to Southeast Asia, to protect “American interests” there, which, when examined more closely, turned out to be our interests in the heroin trade, a trade that has flourished there for centuries…. About that time, the FBI began to spy on American citizens, looking to root out the “commies” amongst us….

That particular insight, first brought to light in the mid-1960’s, and made very public by the movie, Air America, in the 1970’s, was the beginning of the end of my blind, willing support of the government….. The idea that our elected officials were involved in protecting that industry was completely repugnant to me then, and remains so today, especially since it turned out that such involvement was only the surface of how much corruption, theft, and outright lying our politicians were engaging in, among other revelations, all of which convinced me of their complete lack of virtue, or honor…. They were hiding behind the flag of liberty and justice, using its precepts to engage in destructive, illegal acts that threatened their own people, and didn’t seem to care at all that what they were doing was diametrically opposed to all we have been taught to expect of our leaders….

Hmm…. I seem to have slipped into another early rant, brought on by nostalgia…. Well, that should pass, now that the Dead song is over…. I’ve switched over to the classical station’s stream online, and am now being soothed by J.S. Bach’s “Little Suite”, a familiar piece that never fails to please…. Dum ditty dum, dum ditty doo….. lovely!

Oops, I seem to have pulled another cover here…. Yep, I’m a longhair, and that includes my choices in music; I love classical music, especially that of Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach (all of them…. several of the Bach family wrote good stuff, not just Papa…. PDQ Bach wrote some pretty amazing pieces himself, as did J.S., Junior….) Any who, it’s nice to have a variety to listen to….

I started listening to the genre about 15 years ago, when I got tired of what was passing for rock and roll then, and found that I had discovered an entirely new universe of music to explore, most of which I’d never heard…. What a treasure trove that turned out to be….. Like any field of human endeavor, 90% of it is crap, (Sturgeon’s Law covers ALL human activity….), but, over time, the crap has been winnowed out, for the most part; what is left is some excellent music, and offers me uncounted hours of bliss…..

Well, now that I’ve blathered, and ranted, and just plain babbled about next to nothing, I think we should get on with the day’s dive, saving any further chattiness for any public contact I have to make today….. Yeah, that’s the ticket….

Shall we Pearl?…..

Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe

— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)
_____________________________

In this section today, you will find an old-school pearl, fresh as SB and I can make it….. I had intended to discuss a more sober, perhaps even significant subject, with every intention of allowing myself to rant thereon….. but, I’m feeling a bit under the weather, rant-wise, which means, basically that I’m not outraged enough at the moment to carry it off successfully…. So, I’ll go with my default in such instances, and let SB figure out something appropriate to the day, and the moment…. It should all be okay, and, if nothing else, you may congratulate yourselves on having dodged another bullet, metaphorically speaking, of course….

“Tip O’Neill is just like Congress; old, fat and out of control.” — J. LeBoutillier

“You can always get the truth from an American statesman after he has turned seventy, or given up all hope of the presidency.” — Wendell Phillips

“As a general rule, the freedom of any people can be judged by the volume of their laughter.” — Smart Bee

(Even the Google algorithm can’t find attribution for this, other than “Anonymous”…. hence, the attribution is given to SB, per ECR policy….)

“I believe I have no prejudices whatsoever.  All I need to know is that a man is a member of the human race.  That’s bad enough for me.” — Mark Twain

“The effectiveness of a politician varies in inverse proportion to his commitment to principle.” — Sam Shaffer

“Well, if crime fighters fight crime and fire fighters fight fire, what do freedom fighters fight? They never mention that part to us, do they?” — George Carlin

“The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes from being corrected.” — G. K. Chesterton, ILN, 4/19/24

Okay, so it turned into a rantish pearl in spite of all my precautions…. oh, well…. So, sue me…. or, if you’d care to just ignore it, we can go on to other things, and just chalk it up to experience…. Let’s do that, shall we? If nothing else, and like nothing else does, it will piss off the lawyers, which is ALWAYS a good thing….

“Great things can be reduced to small things, and small things can be reduced to nothing.” — Chinese Proverb
_____________________________

Since I don’t wish for anyone else to catch the blame for any of this, here is one of my older poems to fill up the necessary space, and time….

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

~~ gigoid ~~

_____________________________

How did y’all get so lucky? Here I am, already in section three, and still no rantable passions available to get me going…. One might gather the erroneous impression that I’m a wimp today…. I prefer to think of it as a temporary disinclination toward emotional excess, and let it go at that…. I mean, one can’t rant all the damn time, or one takes the chance of becoming entrenched in the same set of attitudes so common to that type of thinking epitomized by the dreaded Limbaugh, that bastion of all that is most ignorant and ugly about America….

I do try to save my outrage for things that have some social significance, hopefully of greater significance than my own prejudices; he doesn’t even bother to try to decide if anything that comes out of his mouth is significant; he only cares that someone listen to his drivel…. Ah well, let’s go in a totally different direction from that fool, and find some thoughts on Life from some of history’s more elegant thinkers….

“The meaning of life is that it stops.” — Franz Kafka

“Where life is more terrible than death, it is then the truest valor to dare to live.” — Thomas Browne

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 (c.1571-1631) — Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624) “Meditation XVII”

“It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good advice is absolutely fatal.” — Oscar Wilde

“[…] For all our conceits about being the center of the universe, we live in a routine planet of a humdrum star stuck away in an obscure corner […] on an unexceptional galaxy which is one of about 100 billion galaxies. […] That is the fundamental fact of the universe we inhabit, and it is very good for us to understand that.” — Carl Sagan

“Don’t try to have the last word. You might get it.” — Lazarus Long

I would like to have it noted that I took great care in the construction of this Pearl, editing the inclusions numerous times before coming up with this seven-star grouping…. which, I believe, is one of the best pearls ever…. Really, it’s damn fine stuff, ffolkes, so, please, pay heed…. Then, when you’ve finished that, remember this ……

“Never underestimate the importance of a cheap laugh.” — Plucky Duck

Okay, so I could have said that more elegantly…. how’s this?…..

“A little nonsense, now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl
_____________________________

It’s been a long road to this juncture, and I feel every step it has taken to get here….. Let’s see what we picked up along the way….. I am compelled by honesty to admit that it isn’t bad…. at least, not so’s you’d notice, anyway…. It’s certainly long enough for a Pearl; I guess, given my feelings about out versus in, we’ll leave it as it is, and just pretend that I know what I’m about….. If you bought ANY of that, well, thanks…..

😆

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


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

gigoid

dozer3

Sovereign protocols might polish that up….

Ffolkes,
That was quite an experience…. I just sat here and wrote a poem, which you will find in the usual poetry section below….. It is without a doubt the most fluid piece of poetry I’ve ever written, as well as the fastest…. as I note below, it flowed out in about five minutes while I was waiting for my coffee this morning. Quite cathartic, and, if I do say so myself, just a little bit off the beaten path, in comparison with most of the stuff you will see here, or anywhere else…. My beliefs may not be the most crystal clear, but they are strongly held, and not lightly dismissed, as they tend to be based solely on facts (hence the title of the poem, which speaks to the iconic line from the show… “just the facts, ma’am”….)

Now, I know the poem isn’t main stream, by any stretch of the imagination…. and, if I were to look at it, (which I seem to be doing…) it isn’t designed, or likely, to convince a lot of folks to listen to me, as it goes against the grain of about, oh, 96% of the rest of humanity, and what they believe to be true about reality. You can call me controversial, you can call me a fool, you can call me Ishmael…. just don’t call me late for dinner, or call me to proselytize, because I HATE that….

I already know that what I’ve written there won’t be appreciated by a lot of folks, unless there are a few ffolkes out there who happen to agree, or at least are willing to hold two ideas in their heads at once without imploding, or needing to believe them both.

But, I’ve decided I don’t much care anymore…. at least, not to the extent of making me keep quiet. I’ve always  been hesitant to argue with religious folks, mainly because they tend to get so vehement in the defense of their dogma; I don’t like to be responsible for raising other folk’s blood pressure.

Now that I’m older, and beyond that sort of habit of avoidance, I don’t mind putting my own beliefs out there, so people can have something to talk about that will challenge their minds, instead of softening it into mush, as is the intent behind most dogma….. “Mental oatmeal’ is how I refer to dogma in my own head, because it’s chock full of delusional fiber that is a fast-acting stool softener for mental constipation, turning one’s mind right into soft crap….

“The more we are proud that the Bethlehem story is plain enough to be understood by the shepherds, and almost by the sheep, the more do we let ourselves go, in dark and gorgeous imaginative frescoes or pageants about the mystery and majesty of the Three Magian Kings.” — G. K. Chesterton, Christendom in Dublin, Ch.3

It seems that just trying to explain the poem is turning this into a mini-rant, and I’ve been trying to avoid that in the intro section, apparently without much success…. Ah well, what can I say? Ranting seems to just come naturally these days, and it certainly helps to keep the word count up…. It also seems to make the intro section grow into something more than a mere introduction each day, instead, becoming a wild growth of abundant verbiage that threatens to take over the entire blog….. and no weed-whacker in sight….

Well, you know what this means, don’t you? It means that I can no longer stretch out this section, and have to get to work… Sheesh, almost an hour, just to begin… oh well, I got a poem out of it, and even though it isn’t one that will win any literary prizes, it was enough to provide me with a bucket full of material to get started today…. I’ll take it…. Shall we Pearl?…..

From vulgar bounds with brave disorder part,
And snatch a grace beyond the reach of art.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part i, Line 152
__________________________________

“Yow!  I want to mail a bronzed artichoke to Nicaragua!” — Zippy the Pinhead

As previously noted, we like our nonsense around here…. This one from Zippy is particularly nonsensical, and will serve nicely as a segue into a discussion of the value there is in engaging in nonsensical behavior on occasion. A lot of folks, and even some ffolkes, might think there isn’t a lot to say on the subject, but, they don’t know me, do they? Having spent much of the last two years honing that very skill, to wit: propounding at length on subjects of little meaning, I think we can turn this into quite a nice little pearl, one that will shine even in the dark…. or maybe not… Why don’t we just go ahead, and see what happens, eh?….

Now, to begin, let me point out that the concept of nonsense, by the structure of the word itself, gives us a clue as to where its value lies… it is composed of two parts, “non” a prefix indicating negative state, and “sense”, in this form meaning perception, or ordered perception, more accurately (it makes good sense….). This tells us that the word ‘nonsense’, as the direct antonym for ‘sense’, supplies the balance that the universe demands from every part of its makeup….

“As a professional humorist, I often get letters from readers who are interested in the basic nature of humor.  “What kind of a sick perverted disgusting person are you,” these letters typically ask, “that you make jokes about setting fire to a goat?” … — Dave Barry, “Why Humor is Funny”

Everything in the universe exists in duality, as we have explored previously; this duality is directly related to our own set of perceptive abilities, which operate solely by noting the presence or absence of certain forms of matter, or energy manifestation (light, sound, etc….) We see because our eyes note the presence and absence of light waves. We hear the moments of sound between the moments of silence…. It all exists in duality, and that is how we perceive it, for that is what gives the universe its balance, and allows it to produce life, and matter, and all that we are a part of in this grand landscape of wonder….

But, the human mind is subtle, and recognizes the subtlety of the universe…. Thus, when we are confronted with seriousness for a long period of time, our nature demands something as balance, and we slip over into the nonsense mode in the privacy of our minds, to provide some relief from the somber nature of much of what is created by the hand of Man…. Goodness knows, after I am forced, or trapped, into listening to the prattling of fools about laws, or dogma, or some such asinine bureaucratic folderol, a bit of Zippy, or Wacko, or Pooh’s evil twin can always make me smile, and get through the boredom with greater equanimity….. or, as much as I ever can summon in those situations…..

“A little nonsense now and then,
is cherished by the wisest men.”

— Willie Wonka

Willie knew this little fact about the universe well, thanks to Roald Dahl, whom we can thank for his contribution to literature of quite a bit of nonsense, written with great style and verve, and not a little sarcasm. This little couplet springs up in my mind on many occasions when I am confronted by some piece of societal sobriety, and reminds me to take what I’m seeing or hearing with a big dose of salt, and maybe some Cholula’s hot sauce to spice it up. What the hell, it can’t hurt…. Can it? You tell me…..

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

Before reading the following, I must ask anyone with strong religious faith to put on their thinking caps, turn off their sense of outrage, and turn up their tolerance a few notches….. It probably isn’t a justification, but as explanation, let me note that I wrote this in approximately five minutes this morning, while waiting for the coffee to finish brewing…. So, take it with a grain or two of salt, as it was created pre-consumption of life’s blood, and I can’t speak for it, other than to say it is mine…. and, as far as I can see, it’s consistent, if a bit grumpy….

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
__________________________________

I started the day with oddness, so it seems appropriate to keep on the path I’ve chosen for the day…. The following pearls all dropped into my lap, so to speak, as I cruised through Smart Bee this morning…. As is my wont, I allowed my subconscious to choose which ones I should keep, and these five are what it picked…. For the life of me, I cannot see very much that ties it all together into a single idea, but, hey, I’m just the driver here…. I suppose, all in all, it could be considered another comment on oddness, or at least, learning to live in that state comfortably….

“The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.” — Edith Sitwell

“The First Amendment does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the talk is not `dangerous’. It does not say that there is freedom of expression provided the utterance has no tendency to subvert. It does not put free speech and freedom of the press in the category of housing, sanitation, hours of work, factory conditions, and the like, and make it subject to regulation for the public good. Nor does it permit legislative restraint of freedom of expression so long as the regulation does not offend due process. All notions of regulation or restraint by government are absent from the First Amendment. For it says in words that are unambiguous, `Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.'” — Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, 1958

“Als das Kind noch Kind war, gab es diese Fragen: Warum bin ich mich, und warum nicht dich?  Warum bin ich hier, und warum nicht dort? — Rainer Maria Rilke
(“When the child was a child, there were these questions: Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there?”)

“Morality is simply the attitude we adopt to people we personally dislike.” — Oscar Wilde

“Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.” — Very Smart Bee

Now, THAT is a sentiment I can get behind…. even if I have to push….
__________________________________

Most days here on ECR, I would, at this point, comment on the day’s work…. Today has already proved to be odd in both structure and content, so I’m not going to bother with any critique…. I’ve read it through for typos and basic sense, but can’t quite grasp any piece of it solidly enough to begin to analyze it…. but, that might just be my normal state of confusion at this point in the day.

Whichever the case may be, I’m declaring it done, as I can’t see myself trying to do it over at this point…. Just as well, I suppose…. I’m going to toss it out there and see what happens, and hope that my strangeness isn’t so strong as to drive anyone away permanently…. 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

Betwixt perilous ideological sideboards….

Ffolkes,
Asleep, I lay dreaming I was awake. Now, awake, I sit dreaming I am asleep. Which is true? Am I awake, and dreaming, or am I asleep, dreaming of being awake? How does one tell, when there are no external sources of evidence to check against reality? If awake, am I really asleep, dreaming? And if I am dreaming, what is real? I confess to being confused….. at this hour, with no one about to whom I can appeal for a different view, the edge between reality and dream becomes somewhat indistinct….. It is most likely a good thing that I don’t weird out at weird stuff, or I would definitely be feeling thoroughly weirded out….. but, since I start from weird, it’s all good. I’ll just sip a bit more of this fine coffee, and wait until reality adjusts itself to a bit more clarified state….. no worries!

There are times when I do wish I wasn’t so strange, in relation to the rest of humanity. (No, no, don’t bother to argue…. I know I’m strange, and there’s no need to try to keep from hurting my feelings about it… I accepted it long ago, and now it’s just another part of me that other folks need to deal with…. at their own risk….) Not that I don’t like being strange; there are distinct advantages to having other people think twice about approaching, much less about asking for favors, or “just a moment of your time”.

No, it’s just that it can make it really hard sometimes to write anything people will look at twice. My words, as indicated by the first paragraph, can touch up against weirdness at the drop of a cliche, and it is getting to be an onerous task to edit such weirdness when I’m already feeling strange, such as this morning.

I’m guessing it’s just another little memo gram from reality, reminding me that any perks I may enjoy, due to my inner oddness, are always going to be counterbalanced by an appropriate kick in the ass, and there is no sense or benefit in either trying to avoid any such boots, or in complaining about them. Hence, I’ll just shrug my shoulders, offer a sheepish grin, and move on…..

One section of yesterday’s Pearl was a discussion on the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. I don’t need to go over that again (not after approximately 800 fairly passionate words….), but did wish to note the usual Murphy effect that accompanies much of what I write…. some time after publishing, I found the following pearl, which, as is obvious, is a perfect summary of the concluding portion of my thoughts yesterday. To keep Murphy happy, (always a good policy with that particular force of Nature), I include it now…..

“I believe everybody in the world should have guns. Citizens should have bazookas and rocket launchers too. I believe that all citizens should have their weapons of choice. However, I also believe that only I should have the ammunition. Because frankly, I wouldn’t trust the rest of the goobers with anything more dangerous than string.” — Scott Adams

That seems to cover it…. let’s go Pearling, ‘kay? ‘Kay!….. Kowabunga!…..
___________________________________

During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

Obviously proving he was part of the minority…. Mr. Stevenson was perhaps the last truly rational man to ran for the highest office our country offers. I’ve seen a number of articles about that campaign, and it’s clear in my mind that his very rationality is what gave the election to the other candidate. He made every attempt he could to try to engage the minds of Americans, naively, as it turns out. His opponent, Eisenhower, just mostly kept his mouth shut and let his slogans speak for him, such as “I like Ike!”, and other such intellectual standards, that appealed directly to the American public’s misplaced sense of national pride.

After four years of post-Korean war economic boom, it wasn’t hard for the Republicans to rest on their laurels, firmly attached to the coattails of a war hero…. There was, and still is, no place on the political scene in this country for rationality, obviously, as Ike and his ilk won in a landslide….

So much for the opportunity to see what a “thinking man’s president” might be able to accomplish…. The chances of such a man being elected today are even slimmer, considering that those candidates who can be the most sly, underhanded, and completely dishonest are those who catch the eye, and the votes, of the great unwashed, uneducated masses that now comprise the voting public…..

“It has been said that man is a rational animal.  All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
___________________________________

FOLLY, n.  That “gift and faculty divine” whose creative and controlling energy inspires Man’s mind, guides his actions and adorns his life.

Folly! although Erasmus praised thee once
In a thick volume, and all authors known,
If not thy glory yet thy power have shown,
Deign to take homage from thy son who hunts
Through all thy maze his brothers, fool and dunce,
To mend their lives and to sustain his own,
However feebly be his arrows thrown,

Howe’er each hide the flying weapons blunts.
All-Father Folly! be it mine to raise,
With lusty lung, here on his western strand
With all thine offspring thronged from every land,
Thyself inspiring me, the song of praise.
And if too weak, I’ll hire, to help me bawl,
Dick Watson Gilder, gravest of us all.

— Aramis Loto Frope — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Perhaps it is a result of having learned to see around corners at an early age, or that silly prophecy made by that supposed witch who scared my mother a week after I was born.  Perhaps it has to do with spending so many hours and days of my intellectual formative years with my nose buried in a book, generally one that made me a familiar inhabitant of the sleaziest, most disreputable spacer’s dives in every far corner of our Galaxy, surrounded by grizzled old first mates from a dilapidated freighter out of the Pleiades, and a motley group of aliens of all descriptions.

I could probably blame it on being the middle child of five, with a neurotic, if perfectly lovable mother, balanced by a perfectly stable father, and four siblings who had no clue how to deal with me.  Or, it could have been the daily ingestion of frozen, processed vegetables so common on our dinner table during the 50’s and 60’s; as it turns out, the benefits of the vegetables were pretty much nullified by the process of preserving and preparing them for consumption. Who knew?

Whatever the root cause may have been, Folly has long been a fascinating area of study for me, and its influence on my life at large has been extensive. My first attempts at blogging, via email since 1998, then via SFGATE since 2011, were known as “Gigoid’s Folly”, and that was almost used as the title for this blog, as well. But, not wishing to tread, even peripherally, on the estate privileges of Robert Heinlein, even out of respect, I left it at “gigoid” with the subtitle, “Exploring consensual reality” as a tip of the cap to Murphy, and Mother Nature’s fondness for him…..

Folly remains a big part of the process of pearling, and Pearling; if that isn’t obvious, I’m doing something wrong. It has been for me a boon companion throughout my life, ever a contrast and strong defense against the powers of darkness and ignorance, always to be trusted to coax a smile out of me, often in the deepest moments of my despair. If it were not for my Folly, and the humor it infuses into my daily existence, I most likely would have bitten somebody, hard, long before now….  I can only be grateful, and proclaim, “May I and my Folly never part ways, throughout all of my days!”……

“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Willie Wonka (Roald Dahl)
___________________________________

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour!
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Twelfth Night
— Act i, Sc. 1

I’ve been pretty clear in past posts in expressing my lack of enthusiasm for most of Will Shakespeare’s work. To my mind, the greatest part of what he wrote is overblown, heavy with excess imagery and verbiage, and even in the time in which it was first written and performed, must have been a pain to follow just by listening…. sorry, but that’s what I think.

But, at the same time, I can acknowledge, as well, that he was an excellent word smith, and did occasionally write material that is far beyond anything else of its time, or of any time. His sonnets hit that nail squarely more often than his plays, in my opinion, but there are exceptions…. this is one of them.

These few lines of verse possess that timeless beauty that is the hallmark of genius, beauty so great that one can not merely see it in these lines, but is surrounded by beauty that floods every sense. Far be it from me to fail to acknowledge such genius…. I’m no Shakespeare, nor do I consider myself either infallible, nor a critic, but I know what I like, and I like this, a lot…..
___________________________________

“I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off.  so I ran over and said “stop! don’t do it!”  “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.  I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”  He said, “Like what?”  I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?”  He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too!  Are you Christian or Buddhist?”  He said, “Christian.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Catholic or Protestant?”  He said, “Protestant.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”  He said, “Baptist!”  I said, “Wow!  Me too!  Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” He said, “Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”  I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.” — Emo Phillips

(Whew! Whoever transcribed this for the database where I found it was really lazy. They didn’t bother to capitalize the “I’s” or any of the Church names, so I had to go through and put them all in; it’s much clearer to read now, and looks a bit more refined…. but I didn’t change any words, just added capitals, just so you know…..)

Although I had a feeling as to where this would end up, I read it through to the end, and sure enough, it’s worth a full read, just to get to the punch line. My immediate thought was, “What a perfect statement of modern religious philosophy in America!”   🙂

Not trusting my original reaction, I put it down here, then prepared some breakfast, and consumed said comestibles, before coming back to look it over after some inner percolation. It’s still valid, and it still makes me smile, so it stays. No need to embellish any further, either, as I think it pretty well says it all…. Ignorance and bigotry are alive and well, and living in the Mid-West….. in a house, together…..
___________________________________

Visions of Absolute Truth and Beauty; The Tragedy of Severus Snape

The character of Severus Snape, as revealed in the seven novels that comprise the epic creation by J. K. Rowling, (which I choose to entitle Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of The Infinite Magic of  Love, hopefully with her approval and blessing) is, in my less than humble opinion, destined to become, if not synonymous, at least analogous, with those of Cryano de Bergerac, John Smith the Puritan, or the man from Tale of Two Cities, whose name escapes me (suffering functional disparity as I am from early onset Alzheimer’s, and the subsequent prophylactic application of sour mash bourbon), who said, “It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.” Sounds a little sappy for gigoid, doesn’t it? Well, you know what? I am completely and utterly serious…..

As I do not know Ms. Rowling, other than through her writing, and her public persona, which is carefully controlled, relatively speaking, I cannot say if it was her intent to create a character of such power that he would be forever enshrined amid the most famous of the heroic willing victims of tragedy in literary history. It is moot, anyway, because she has done so….

Here is a man who spent his entire life enduring unrequited love, love that, in his mind, could have been his, had he chosen differently. Yet, knowing that he could never have his deepest desire without destroying that which he loved, he still acted with honor to do all he could to keep the object of his obsession safe, to honor her and the love he felt, even after her death, and in defiance of the threat of his own death. 

He braved the wrath of the most terrifying of villains for almost 20 years, betraying that master of evil at every turn, to do what he could only hold as his Duty; he did this, knowing full well that in the end, he would have to kill the only man in the world who trusted him, and that he would die because of it. And, he knew as well, that his sacrifice would never be known to anyone but the son of the man he most envied in life, the son that might have been his…..

I’ve read a lot of what may be termed as classical literature, and in all that I’ve read, I have never found a character who fit the mold of the tragic hero any better, or more deserved the title of nobility it implies. Though flawed and miserable, Snape makes the hard choices, correctly, at the most critical junctures of his life, all for love of his Lily.

As Dumbledore exclaims when he sees the Patronus that Snape produces, a doe, identical to that of Lily, the only other human being he has ever loved,  “Lily! After all this time?”  Snape merely replies, “Always….”   Now, that is a hero, flawed and unlikeable as he is….. a hero that will go down in history, along with many of the characters from this series of books that will one day certainly be called “classics”……
___________________________________

Not a bad lineup…. personal foibles made light of to begin, with a bit of housekeeping, a taste of political irony, a touch of whimsy, Shakespeare, a dip into religious humor and more irony, and a discussion of literary archetypes in modern and classical writing. I think we’ve approached the demarcation between reality and esoterica quite adeptly, without completely crossing over where the border guards might hassle us about returning to our regularly scheduled activities here in Reality…… that should definitely make an impression. On whom, I couldn’t say, but, hey, I’ll take it…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!