“Cut it out”, he said, sharply….

Ffolkes,

“To live only for some future goal is shallow.
It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top.

~~ Robert M. Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” ~~

Transamerica bldg

San Francisco Skyline from the ferry….

Hajime…. Today’s Pearl is getting posted rather late, according to my self-imposed deadline. Due partially to the half-hour of cat hammock time for which I was enlisted, just as I sat to compose the intro, as well as to the ongoing evolution of my personal diurnal habits (I awoke later than is commonly the case), I can offer no excuses, only explanations. Such is the life of a self-denigrating curmudgeon, when engaging in the purging of privately held insanity; I just figure, hey, it could be worse. In fact, it could be a LOT worse…. Trust me on this; it has done so in the past, and, shall do so again, I’m sure…

But, we’ll avoid falling into the self-indulgent, yet, somehow charming, habits in which we generally engage, by simply ignoring any possible implications to be found, & getting on with what may yet turn into something worthwhile. Not that we’ll hold out any hope for such; I can figure odds as well as the next guy, & those odds are NOT in our favor should we choose to fall into the trap of denial. Instead, I’ll nod my head sagely, mutter what sounds like some sort of incantation, & further distract you with a loud noise from off-stage…. Don’t let it throw ya; it’s only a recording, not a real explosion….

Can you tell I’m struggling here? No? Well, I am. Moreover, I’m tired of it, and have decided to quit trying to turn this into anything worthwhile, & just get on with the rest of today’s show, such as it is. All the elements are in place. so, I guess it’s time to go see they get into the proper alignment. Perhaps I can save this in the closing section; hard to tell, but, I think my chances may improve further down the page. Worth a shot, eh? Let’s see if this button will work….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Against boredom, even the gods themselves struggle in vain.”

~~ Friedrich Nietzsche ~~

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.”

~~ Ellen Parr ~~

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

I’ve used this compilation previously, as it is over 3 hours of most excellent music, beginning with one of my personal favorites, to wit: one of the Brandenburg Concertos by Bach. I hope it starts your day as well as it starts mine…. Abondanza!….

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

Sharing the Wealth

Lucky are we who live with some adversity,
Such strife to bear leaves us strong and free.
Time is no better spent at a fine university
Teaching us the kind of person we wish to be.

We humans are such contrary creatures
Life lived in ease is our fondest intent.
New perceptions are our strongest features
Learning to cope with troubles we cannot prevent.

Lessons we learn at Trouble’s bent knee
Stay on top in the bag of tools we carry.
Knowledge so earned can keep us free
On our long, strange trip to Charon’s ferry.

Pain is the least favorite of our teachers
Yet such powerful lessons stay forever and a day.
No matter how life presents its features
Strength of will equals what life sends our way.

T’is well to consider such time-tested tools,
To carry them with us as we travel through Life.
Events are less likely to show us as fools,
as we deal with Reality, where peril is rife.

~~ gigoid ~~

11/14/2012

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Hidden in plain sight….

*******

“How are things?
Just as they are.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

********

“Happy is he who can give himself up.”

~~Naguib Mahfouz ~~

*******

“To walk, we have to learn to lean forward,
lose our balance and begin to fall.
We let go constantly of the previous stability,
falling all the time,
trusting that we will find a succession of new stabilities with each step.
Our experience of the past, and of those dear to us,
is not lost at all, but remains richly within us.”

~~ Robin Skynner,  British psychotherapist ~~

*******

“In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain.”

~~ George Szell ~~

*******

“When a man takes an oath, Meg,
he’s holding his own self in his hands, like water.
And if he opens his fingers,
then he needn’t hope to find himself again.”

~~ Robert Bolt, “A Man For All Seasons” ~~

*******

“We cannot live only for ourselves.
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men;
and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads,
our actions run as causes,
and they come back to us as effects.”

~~ Herman Melville ~~

*******

“Ah said, pay attention, boy!”

~~ Foghorn Leghorn ~~

*******

***************************************

In the words of Hassan, the Moor, played so well by Morgan Freeman in the Robin Hood movie, “I have fulfilled my vow.” It’s done, & damn!, I’m glad. This one gave me fits, & I’m more than content to let it go, & try again tomorrow. Perhaps, should fate grace us, I shall see you then. Until then, be well, and as strange as you can be…. I will, you can be sure….

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 -- 13793

À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Indications of future relevance….

Ffolkes,

“Love withers under constraint:
its very essence is liberty:
it is compatible neither with obedience, jealousy, nor fear.

~~ Percy Bysshe Shelley ~~

pink bush

Bursting with summer color….

Hajime…. The area of the world in which I reside, northern California, is currently experiencing an intense wave of heat. Yesterday, it reached 97ºF (36ºC) in the little seaside town where I hang, which put both Leelu and I into a state much akin to comatose. At 9 PM it was still 90º, so, sleeping was somewhat problematic. We survived, though, if uncomfortably. Since the coming week is predicted to be even hotter (Wow! But, climate change is a myth, right?), I’m considering spending it sitting in a tub of cool water….

If I were less empathetic, I’d turn on the fan for Leelu, & go find an air-conditioned place to hang for a while. But, that would be rather rude, making my familiar go through that alone. She’d live; her species evolved in the desert, & she’s well adapted, instinctively knowing how to deal with such temperatures, by, mostly, not moving. But, I’d feel guilty the whole time, knowing I was being selfish….If she liked to swim, I’d have her join me in the tub, but, though water fascinates her, it isn’t enough to make her want to immerse herself in it; she shares the usual cat philosophy, which prompts them to mostly refrain from having much to do with it, unless thirsty, or watching it run….

There, I think that should be enough chatty conversation for one day. I’m glad I got it all out at once; it’ll save time later, not having to meet the quota. Since I reached this plateau rather quickly, showing an unprecedented degree of efficiency for 5 AM, I’ll use the empathy I possess, what little of it there may be, to issue an order to cease & desist, with the additional hope my fingers get the message, before haring off into another tangential paragraph. To ensure compliance, I’ll resort to trickery. Look! Over there! Isn’t that Elvis?….. Okay, so, it’s just Leelu. It got us here, didn’t it? Sheesh… So much for trying something new….

Shall we Pearl?….

If six turned out to be nine, I don’t mind.

~~ Jimi Hendrix ~~

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royalty-free-clip-art-vector-logos-of-black-and-orange-floral-acoustic-guitars-by-seamartini-graphics-6573

Though not, technically, late, yet, I’m feeling the pressure of deadline; probably it’s just my own, (well, not probably; ’tis undoubtedly mine…). In such cases, when I’m feeling a bit washed out, or, just lazy, this is our default choice. As is the usual case, as well, the one chosen had the picture that caught my eye…. Enjoy, if you will….

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Classical Music

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Comedy_Tragedy

Sublimation

In the deepest, darkest hours of the night,
horror drapes the shadow of fear on a tortured mind.
Endless, hopeless, wave after wave of fright
weave a tapestry shroud, stifling, brutally unkind.

Fear, then pain, trade off in durance vile,
offering only blackness as a temporal guide.
No moments of clarity, no comfort, no guile
with no respite, nor any safe place to hide.

Hour after hour, time stops dead in its tracks,
the path back to sanity ends, no big surprise.
Every passing second becomes new hope, dashed,
while our remaining strength fades and dies.

God shall never be forgiven, nor ever praised.
No such pale, sad illusion can explain such reality.
Any reasonable chance for joy to be raised,
requires more than mere ghostly personality.

Hope isn’t needed if one finds the center of the soul;
all the answers we ever need are there.
Killing fear, creating joy in life, for these there’s no toll.
Love, friendship, laughter, are ever the healthiest fare.

~~ gigoid ~~

12/1/2015

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Notes on Life at Large….

*******

“Read nature; nature is a friend to truth.”

~~ Edward Young ~~

*******

The real questions are the ones that obtrude upon your consciousness
whether you like it or not,
the ones that make your mind start vibrating
like a jackhammer,
the ones that you “come to terms with”
only to discover that they are still there.
The real questions refuse to be placated.
They barge into your life at the times
when it seems most important for them to stay away.
They are the questions asked most frequently
and answered most inadequately,
the ones that reveal their true natures
slowly, reluctantly,
most often against your will.”

~~ Ingrid Bengis ~~

*******

“In order to be, never try to seem.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

*******

“The world is so constructed,
that if you wish to enjoy its pleasures,
you must also endure its pains.
Whether you like it or not,
you cannot have one without the other.”

~~ Swami Brahmananda ~~

*******

“When the situation is desperate,
it is too late to be serious.
Be playful.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

*******

“The truth knocks on the door and you say,
Go away, I’m looking for the truth,
and so it goes away.
Puzzling.”

~~ Robert Pirsig (quoted in “Zen To Go”, Jon Winokur) ~~

*******

“You are on a well traveled path.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

*******

***************************************

A quick perusal of what happened above shows a relatively iconic Pearl; all the correct elements have been included, & the quality level is acceptable. Since it has the added attractive feature of being done, I suppose the best idea is to end it here. The closing section, after all, exists solely for that purpose; who am I to challenge destiny? Well, I guess, like any human, that’s not really relevant, since that particular habit seems ingrained in our species. Rather than explore such a deep well now, I’ll merely say, see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, should that destiny come to be. And, that’s a wrap….

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 -- 13568

À bientôt, mon cherí….


Tricks of the tirade….

Ffolkes,

“He that respects himself if safe from others;
He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.”

~~ Henry Wordsworth Longfellow ~~

Crabcomb

The Crab Nebula, composite photo of 5 DST images, via NASA,…

http://nineplanets.org/news/the-crab-nebula/

Hajime…. The Pearl you will find below is one you may find to be resistant to classification, or, for that matter, quantification. Even more, it defies all normality, due to a recent decision made by my subconscious mind, which seems to indicate I have given up trying to maintain any semblance of sanity. It seems, according to all the evidence I can gather, insanity is a more rational response to life in today’s world. I suppose it makes R. D. Laing’s statement the most relevant, to wit: “Insanity is a sane reaction to an insane world.”…..

In truth, this is not, necessarily, a cause for worry; in fact, I regard it as a good sign, that I am on the correct path to find my ‘bliss’, as it were. I’ve been reading, and thinking long and hard about, the work of Joseph Campbell. His lifelong study of human mythology, examining the common thread running through all the cultures of humanity throughout our history, led to what I think is the most coherent, inclusive, and accurate assessment of the human condition. By identifying the ‘monomyth’, the story of humanity’s expression of our core nature, and our connection to the universe, he offers us all an understanding of ourselves, and each other, which I find incredibly valuable, as a means of learning how to be true to our nature….

This, naturally enough, has occupied a great portion of my mind’s attention for the past few weeks, which has, as a side effect, influenced the production of Pearls, generally by sending me out into the real world, to re-engage with those parts of reality I have been neglecting, in favor of spending time in cyberspace, or in my own head. The most telling reflection is shown by the number of times I’ve missed posting, or re-blogged, rather than creating anything fresh. Go figure, eh? It seems the real world is more engaging than my need for the sanity which creating Pearls maintains….

I suppose it makes sense, though; real is always more engaging than unreal, if not as attractive. I mean, it does demand we be mindful, for the consequences of NOT doing so are uncomfortable, to say the very least. But, in this insane world we have engendered as a species, the distractions provided to befuddle and control the less mindful are powerful, making the lessons to be learned rather less valuable, than any of those taught by nature. This, of course, ties in quite nicely with our human talent of denying reality, and our own nature, so, it isn’t hard to figure out; it’s only hard to avoid….

It also takes a lot of practice time, which is why fewer Pearls have been seen here; I’ve been practicing the skills needed to live according to the dictates of my nature. Writing about that merely slows down the actual doing of it, so, less of it has been forthcoming…. So be it. It’s taken me 66 years to arrive at the point on my path where I currently exist, & I’m still searching. The search, as is required by our very nature, is all that matters….

I guess this intro doesn’t resolve much; neither does it explain much, I suppose, but, it got us this far…. Let’s go see what else happened, & get on with the rest of our journey for today….

Shall we Pearl?

“The greatest happiness you can have
is knowing that you do not necessarily require happiness.”

~~ William Saroyan ~~

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Finding-Joe_feature

This video comprises a summary and exploration of the ideas of Joseph Campbell’s work, as seen through examination & discussion of the central ideas, regarding the commonality present in all human myths, from all human cultures. The presentation of those ideas is laid out clearly, so clearly, and so powerfully, I wept through the first 30 minutes I watched, simply from the joy of learning; the truth has a power not to be denied…. Watch it all, and think about it, for it can change your life….

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Finding Joe
The Timeless Tale of
The Hero’s Journey

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Comedy_Tragedy

Further Proof

No evidence exists, no rumored promise
of a guide on the path we seek.
Salient information lies hidden, seeking solace;
each possibility lost, no longer unique.

The past cascades through today, resolute;
finished and gone, by all reputable report.
Common failings decry any fever in the root,
as pillars of salt offer up little retort.

Longitude has latitude, one dimension to the next;
truth and lies, mirrored, transform on first exposure.
Born in chaos, living in change, by guile and pretext;
artful insanity, with no rational cure.

‘Tis no wonder, some do say now and then,
such creatures are doomed, by their own hand.
Cursed by the force of their very own ken,
until only the leaving seems very grand.

Perhaps, but, then, say those who doubt,
it’s all part of how it works, in fact.
We can’t know, really, what it’s all about
without completing the final act.

Is there any hurry?

~~ gigoid ~~

6/23/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Love at Large….

*******

“Time is precious, but truth is more so.”

~~ Benjamin Disraeli ~~

*******

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go….”

~~ Dr. Seuss ~~

*******

“I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping…”

~~ George Harrison ~~

*******

“And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good,
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”

~~ Robert Pirsig ~~

*******

“Your task is not to seek for love,
but merely to seek and find
all the barriers within yourself
that you have built against it.”

~~ Rumi ~~

*******

“Anything worth doing well is worth doing slowly.”

~~ Gypsy Rose Lee ~~

*******

“All I know of love is that Love is all there is.”

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

*******

***************************************

Hmm… It’s done, & the words used in the intro remain valid; it defies description. So be it. I’m done for today; moreover, I cannot say when I’ll be back. I have to write; that is a given. But, it’s also a given I will be walking on my hero’s journey much of the time, & have yet to figure out how to do both. When I do, I’ll let you know…. In the meantime, try to enjoy your own journey; be safe, & let your love shine…. See ya….

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

Dozer

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Pilfering parabolic pontoons proved perilous….

Ffolkes,

“The simple step of a courageous individual
is not to take part in the falsehood.
One word of truth outweighs the world.”

~~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn ~~

Magic 004

Leelu, Unconscious

Giving new meaning to “Relaxed”


Hajime…. I’m a bit under the weather today, so, it’s good to have a Tardis. It’s also good today’s Pearl is one of the shortest I’ve put together since the early days of the blog, before I had learned to ‘let go’, so to speak. In keeping with the rest of the piece, this introductory section shall also be short, in more than merely a relative sense. It will also be short, in a very real sense, as it is now done… Watch THIS, y’all!…..

Shall we Pearl?….

Were it not for the presence of the unwashed and the half-educated, the formless, queer and incomplete, the unreasonable and absurd, the infinite shapes of the delightful human tadpole, the horizon would not wear so wide a grin.” — F. M. Colby, “Imaginary Obligations”

********************************

playing-for-change

    My words aren’t needed here; just watch, & imagine….


********************************

Imagine
Playing for Change

********************************

********************************

********************************


********************************

le penseur-rodin

    Yesterday, I was working on a discussion/rant for this section, when I came across two quotes, which, taken together, make up a pretty fucking good rant, all by themselves…. I present them just as they are, in the order in which I found them; I also invite you to think in a linear, historical fashion, from one thought, to the other, in time, and in real space (i.e., history)… If you can do so, you will know the entire 1000 or so word rant I COULD have written, but, didn’t, so as to save it as an exercise for my Gentle Readers…. Imagine, a trumpet, playing a bracing introduction….

“Politics have no relation to morals.”

~~ Niccolo Machiavelli ~~

|
|
|
|
V

“It is not more and newer drugs we need,
but rather clean air.
Clean water.
Good fresh real food.”

~~ Edward Abbey ~~

Remember, ffolkes….
Cannabis cures cancer, and, helps the body heal & defend itself.
The US government has known this simple fact since 1974.
They classified it.

So be it.

Dont keep calm

********************************

Comedy_Tragedy

Piraeus calls me, silently.

Sizzle, sizzle, crash, bang, boom.
Intellect burning with subsequent doom.
Lingering long over decisive style,
Whistling up chaos all the while.

Such frozen thoughts may shatter,
Should we infer, but, no matter.
Firing blanks is children at play
Blooded sages all gasp in dismay.

Nonsense is good sense at times
Mundane objectives trip lightly in rhymes.
Fallen angels dance on a pin
Until each sinner enters within.

Fast moments with natural rain
Bring ashes, yet still must remain.
Final thoughts clamor for more
Find them only on a far distant shore.

~~ gigoid ~~

9/3/2012


********************************

pearls_3

More Nude Pearls

Are You Experienced?

*********

“And it is not our part here
to take thought only for a season,
or for a few lives of Men,
or for a passing age of the world.”

~~ Gandalf ~~

*********

“Are all your stars shining?”

~~ JD Salinger ~~

*********

“Then here ‘s to the oak, the brave old oak,
  Who stands in his pride alone!
And still flourish he a hale green tree
  When a hundred years are gone!”

~~ H. F. Chorley,” The Brave Old Oak” ~~

*********

Joshu is my favorite Zen Master.
It is said that a monk once asked him,
“To be holy – what is it like?”
      Joshu replied,
“To dump a mountain of shit on a clean plain.”

~~ Disk Sutphen ~~

*********

“When you live in the shadow of insanity,
the appearance of another mind
that thinks and talks as yours does
is something close to a blessed event.”

~~ Robert Pirsig ~~

*********

“The virtues, like the Muses, are always seen in groups.
A good principle was never found solitary in any breast.”

~~ Jane Porter (1776-1850) ~~

*********

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues,
but the form of every virtue at the testing point,
which means at the point of highest reality.
A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger
will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions.
Pilate was merciful until it became risky.”

~~ C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters” ~~

*********

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone,
it has to be made, like bread;
re-made all the time, made new.”

~~ Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Lathe of Heaven” ~~

*********

“Ya gotta be subtle!”

~~ Mike Hammer ~~


********************************

I really don’t know what I can say after that last pearl. No. I mean, I REALLY don’t know what more I can say. Whatever I do say cannot possibly top it, nor reach its actual subtlety, which, also possibly, cannot be measured in mere numbers. But, then, you probably notice I don’t trouble y’all often with numbers…. far too subtle for my level of writing skill, I’m sure. But, I keep tryin’….. as I will tomorrow, dead or alive. News at 11….

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

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

Subject to NSA review, it’s done….

Ffolkes,

“It might not be Ibsen, but, it’s Art.” Or, in the case of our situation here on ECR, it could be merely Art’s friend Joey, who, while nice in most respects, isn’t Art…. Of course, I never promised any damn roses, or gardens, or any other sort of horticultural display; I’ve been known to kill cacti, so I usually try to avoid that sort of plant genocide…. The easiest way to do that is to keep my black thumb away from anything that depends on my attention to stay alive; it’s safer for the plants, and I don’t get the evil eye from every gardener who happens by….

“Castles in the air — they’re so easy to take refuge in.  So easy to build, too.” — Henrik Ibsen

How did I get onto my inability to deal with watering? I had intended to start off in an entirely different direction, but, it sort of got away with me before I even got out of the first paragraph…. Sometimes, I think this is getting to be a bit strange…. Oh, I don’t mean strange, funny, I mean strange, weird…. Any who, whichever strange it is, it’s starting t show more episodes of rebellious independence, haring off in directions that make no sense at all, especially since they aren’t connected to anything but normal prose, that just happened to be there when it made its bid for literary freedom…

Of course, that doesn’t account for the tendency of all independent literature to become revolutionary in nature, thus exposing itself, and, by concatenation, the author, to scrutiny from those friendly fokes (misspelled deliberately…. they don’t rate even ONE ‘el’….) at the NSA, who are deep into the process of becoming completely insane in their need to collect ALL the data in the world….. That 60’s rock song had it right, when it told us, “Paranoia strikes deep; into your life it will creep. It starts when you’re always afraid…..”….. and, boy, are they afraid!….

That is as deep into ranting as I’ll get today, ffolkes…. I’m trying to keep to my plan, to avoid so much ranting it puts me into a bad mood, before I even begin to think rationally…. It’s never a good idea to decide on one’s direction before drinking sufficient coffee to keep such considerations out of the decision-making process; we tend to end up with several thousand words, all sharply pointed, and jabbing at the BRC, or the preachers, or the Corporate Snakeheads, those assholes….

That’s enough of THAT! Before this turns on me again, I believe I will head out to the oyster beds…. I’m thinking it would be best if y’all came along, if only to keep from getting Murphy excited…. He doesn’t need the help, or the stimulation, believe me….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Those who really deserve praise are the people who, while human enough to enjoy power, nevertheless pay more attention to justice than they are compelled to do by their situation.” — Thucydides

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here we go, off again into the wilds of a new-fashioned pearl…. let’s see if I can make this work today….

 

May 31 2014 morning 007

 

“He who endeavors to serve, to benefit, and improve the world, is like a swimmer, who struggles against a rapid current, in a river lashed into angry waves by the winds.  Often they roar over his head, often they beat him back and baffle him.  Most men yield to the stress of the current…  Only here and there the stout, strong heart and vigorous arms struggle on toward ultimate success.” — Albert Pike (1809-1891)

To my way of looking at it, the picture is perfect for this pearl…. it shows us the river of which Mr. Pike speaks, as it appears to us BEFORE we jump in…. and, after we have reached the point in the river to which our struggles take us. Once the effort has been successfully spent, the road is smooth, and clear of traffic…. Well, it SOUNDS good, doesn’t it…. If reality doesn’t always cooperate, it can’t be helped…. or so they say….

May 31 2014 morning 009
“I think we’re all Bozos on this Bus!” — The Firesign Theater

There it is, ffolkes…. it’s the Bozo Bus, taking us all down to Reality, as long as we can pay the fare…. Actually, the picture is an example of amateur photography at it’s finest, or worst, which often happens at the same time…. I took it while in a sunny spot, on an overcast morning, which made it hard to see just how the zoom had worked, or not…. Hence, a picture that highlights the odd views we can get when we know NOT what we are doing…. in short, a perfect illustration of living up to our Bozoid natures….. Whether or not y’all know it, or believe it, Reality has the final word, and you may as well accept the facts, ffolkes….  We are ALL Bozos on this Bus…..

May 31 2014 morning 010
“‘Truth’ never set anyone free. It is only *doubt* which will bring mental emancipation.” — Anton LaVey

As further proof of the assertion made just above, in the previous pearl, (We are all Bozos, etc…..) this picture was taken, and included in this grouping, BEFORE I noticed the trash receptacle in the exact center of the photo…. I thought I was taking a nice, long view of a pleasant spot, (for a parking area….), showing how amenable even such stark buildings can be made….. while the whole time, the blunt nose of Reality was leaving a smear on the glass….. SIGH, oh well…. I guess even photography requires a bit of sharpness of mind, to achieve any real degree of competence…. That, or just paying better attention, which I’ll also try to work into the program…. SIGH…. It never ends, does it?….

Or, maybe it’s merely my just desserts, for using a quote by LaVey….. Even though true, one must remember to always consider the source; Anton LaVey, for those who are unaware, was the long-time leader of the Church of Satan…. so, it’s worth taking ANYTHING he says with a grain of salt, even when, like this one, it is so obviously correct….

May 31 2014 morning 014
“Stuckness shouldn’t be avoided.  It’s the psychic predecessor of all real understanding.  An egoless acceptance of stuckness is a key to an understanding of all Quality, in mechanical work as in other endeavors.” — Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

I’m not sure just how the quote goes with the picture, except that the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance somehow goes together with the idea of palm trees, especially when they are completely out of their normal place…. Those of y’all who have actually read the book by Mr. Pirsig will, I think, be better able to understand that, though it isn’t guaranteed…. There are, I’m sure, some people who read the book, who still don’t understand how Zen comes into it, so, I can’t always expect people to catch my references, either…. but, that’s okay, too, because, hey, look! We got Art!…. Well, we’ve got pictures, anyway….

May 31 2014 morning 020
“No one loves the man whom he fears.” — Aristotle

You might be wondering about now just how this picture fits in with the pearl…. well, it doesn’t, really….. I picked the pearl just because it is good to remember, and it makes me hope…. that there are a number of men (or women, I’m not picky in my enemies…) sitting somewhere in a basement somewhere in Washington D.C., dredging through all the stuff they’ve pulled out of people’s computers and off the internet, to search out the nasty terrorists they KNOW are hiding among us, reading what I’ve created here, and scratching their heads, trying to figure out if it is treasonous, or merely subversive…. while, all the while, I’m hoping they are getting the clue, that I’m laughing at them….

Probably not, though…. I don’t think they’re quite that sharp, to ascertain when they’ve been insulted…. S’okay, I’ve got plans today…. which brings us to the picture, of the ferry I’m going to ride in a couple of hours, on my new daily quest for pictures, and some fun for me, participating in LIFE at large… Today, that means I’m taking the ferry to SF, with my camera in hand, to try to take a couple hundred or so pictures, so I’ve got a bigger pool from which to fish for this new format…. For now, though, we’ll just go on, & try to get this done, so I can get going…..

To close this section, here is a political cartoon, by a cartoonist who posts a lot on the UK Guardian, which is where I found this little gem…. enjoy!

nsadog~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s an Emily day, I can tell…..

A Book

There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

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In order to keep with the format we’ve held to for nearly two years, an old-school pearl will be appropriate in this section…. not that being appropriate is a high priority around here, but, we do what we can….

“It takes a long time to bring excellence to maturity.’ — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 780

“The real world is not user-friendly.” — Kelvin Throop

“Yield to Temptation … it may not pass your way again.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Any excuse will serve a tyrant.” — Aesop (620-560 B.C.)

“When two do the same thing, it is not the same thing after all.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 338

“Cato requested old men not to add the disgrace of wickedness to old age, which was accompanied with many other evils.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) –Roman Apophthegms, Cato the Elder

Aw, but, where’s the fun in THAT?…..

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This seems to be working out fairly well…. and, if yesterday’s stats are any indication, the audience approves…. Of course, that is most likely some kind of anomaly, but, we’ll see…. For now, I’ll see you mañana, with a bunch of new pix….  See y’all later, 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

Featured Image -- 2780

Bettie Paige merchandise is on aisle three…..

Ffolkes,

Serendipity is characterized by its unpredictability; it wouldn’t be what it is if we knew when it was going to manifest in our lives. This may be why it is always such a rush, such a joyous feeling when it drops a gift from the universe in our path. This joy makes it particularly hard to accept that even in such cases as we have serendipitous occurrences happening in our lives, we still need to keep  sharp eye out for Mr. Murphy and his myrmidons of chaos, just in case he wants to stick his filthy hands into our business, which, you may rest assured, he does….

I have an opportunity, if I can take it, to go to my home town to visit with several of my classmates, one in particular who will be there on visit from Arizona/Alaska, the places she splits the year between, sensibly avoiding the Alaska winter, and the Arizona summer. Since the recent passing of our mutual friend, Carole, of whom I speak every day in the closing, I’ve felt the urge to go down to the town where we grew up, to visit her grave, and see my other friends still living in the area…. Now, name withheld for privacy, another of our classmates, is going there for a few days this week to do the same, so I’m trying to figure out how I can get there to join in….

Murphy’s presence is noted because, within an hour of receiving the email informing me of all this, I began coming down with a cold, of the kind that kicks your ass right into bed ( possibly, that’s just MY reaction, due to my age…. but, let’s not go there, ‘kay?….)…. The cough I had thought was smoke-quitting related was joined by  increased fluid in the head, headache, the general malaise that goes with a cold, and, the kicker, sneezing and watery eyes. I’ve started downing freshly chopped garlic, every four hours, and am living, essentially, on Nyquil and Dayquil clones, in order to keep from just sinking into the morass of illness that threatens to consume me in these cases….

This is going to make it hard to get to the place where we grew up, as it’s about 250 miles south of here…. No matter how I go, there are disadvantages involved that will make it hard for me, in my condition, with the pain, and the cold symptoms, to get there, by any method I choose…. I can ride the bus… It’s fairly inexpensive, and pretty quick, considering, but, uncomfortable as hell for all of the five to six hours it would take… I hesitate to ride the train, for a lot of reasons, one of which being I’m still pretty pissed at them over my trip to Oregon earlier this year. Planes are too expensive to get there, as it is a small place, with no big airports within a hundred miles; the small planes that go there are a lot more money than the regular routes charge.

That leaves renting a car for about four days, then driving down there, being active, then driving back, all without enough time to recover from the exertions I’ll be making, which are far and beyond what is normal for me…. I’m pretty drastically out of shape, physically, and being tired just kicks my butt these days…. If I don’t rest, it can take me several days to get over it when I’m done; I did practically NOTHING for two weeks after getting back from Europe, and this latest cruise, only a seven day affair, was enough, apparently, to lower my resistance to the cold virus….. Bummer, dude….

Ah well, such is life….. At least I’ve got something to think about other than my usual fare…. I don’t know yet how it will play out, but, now that I’ve got my secondary computer, the one I use when on the road, it shouldn’t affect these Pearls, unless I so choose…. I’m sure that my Gentle Readers will appreciate that, though that is probably wishful thinking… I’m not at all sure that I have more than about eight or ten regular readers anymore, if the statistics on my blog are any indication….

I never have known exactly how many readers out of the email group actually reads them, as very few ever send back a comment, so that’s no big; it’s been the same for ten years or more…. But, according to the number of likes, and visits to the site that register in the stats, not very many ffolkes have been stopping by…. which, by the way, is still confusing, as my number of followers continues to grow steadily…. Go figure….

Okay, I think I’ve mined this particular cave for all the ore it contains, so, we can get on with the real business of pearling that we’re here for….. I’ll figure out whether I’m going or not later…. For now, it’s time for a dive, before it’s too late…..

Shall we Pearl?….. Let’s start with a two-fer…..

“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be  well-mannered.” — Francois Marie Voltaire
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It may be a bit smug on my part, but, ever since the revelations about the spying being done by the US government hit the news, I’ve felt a sense of justification, a result of having all of my suspicions verified by unshakable proof, furnished by the very hands that committed the crimes…. In other words, and, of course, metaphorically speaking, they found fingerprints, and there is no longer any doubt that the lies that are being told have been put to the test, and failed. It’s a fact, and it cannot be denied, ffolkes… the government is lying to us, regularly, and frequently. If you have any further questions, see the news of the day….

In fact, let me assist you…. Here are three articles from yesterday’s news, all from SFGATE…. I am using them because they show up BOTH the culprits in this whole mess, to wit: the BRC themselves, who create the lies for their own purposes, and the news and print media which, albeit unwittingly and unwillingly, nevertheless aid the pundits in spreading their lies to the greatest number of people. I won’t even bother to go through at this point to delineate each and every little untruth, partial truth, made-up crap, or altered data that is used to convey the lie to the public; by now, most of y’all should be able to figure those out for yourselves…. I have excerpted one comment, by Eric Snowden, which sums up perfectly my own feelings on this subject; that summation is in bold italic font, to separate it from the rest of the excerpt….

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/White-House-lawmakers-no-clemency-for-Snowden-4952388.php

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Feinstein-disputes-Snowden-s-claim-for-clemency-4952073.php

“Federal prosecutors have charged Snowden with theft and with two violations of the Espionage Act of 1917. But Snowden, who has taken refuge in Russia, has denied any treasonous intent, saying he disclosed secrets to the news media, not to hostile foreign powers, and did so to push for reform. “Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” he wrote in Der Spiegel. “Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.” ”

http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Snowden-seeks-the-world-s-help-against-US-charges-4946049.php

It is a sad day for me, and for this country, when one of its citizens, in the pursuit of freedom guaranteed to him by the Constitution, commits an act of pure patriotism, tells the truth, for the good of everyone, yet, in order to even stay alive, much less free, he must run to another country to hide, and make an appeal to the rest of the world for protection. I do not blame him for doing so; the first articles above make it abundantly clear exactly WHY he has to do it this way; if he didn’t, we would never have known all this…..

If he had attempted to go through “channels” to report any of this, he would have disappeared from view, forever, along with all of his information, and we might never have known exactly what our own leaders were doing to us… Count on that, ffolkes, no matter how many times they would deny it…. With an attitude like the one displayed, no other outcome would have been possible… Remember, no matter how many times it is repeated, a lie does NOT become the truth…

The two most powerful figures in Congress, and the President, along with all their police myrmidons and agents, are dead-set against ANY leniency in this, a sure sign to me that they KNOW they are in the wrong. Strong denial is ALWAYS the first reaction by a politician when accused of wrongdoing, and they will deny, deny, deny, even up to, and past, the point of having the proof shoved in their face, to keep from ever having to admit their own immorality, or that they MIGHT have made a mistake… No, that possibility cannot be allowed in their narrow world-view; they are well aware that if one lie is exposed, it will lead to the exposure of more lies, and they don’t want to let the public have any clue as to how many different ways they are screwing them….

Part of the irony in all of this is that many of these pundits and politicians often BELIEVE their own BS; they really do believe they know best what the public should know, or have, or be allowed to do…. They often, always erroneously, but sincerely, believe they are the best judges of what people should have the rights to do, believing they are making decisions for them “for their own good”….. which, as you, and just about any person with an IQ over 75 knows, is a complete crock of shit…. And not just ANY shit…. sticky, smelly, unhealthy shit at that…. What else could it be, coming from the very source of our worst qualities as human beings….. ambition, pride, and egotistic avarice for power?….

Ah me, it’s all so discouraging most of the time…. I’m a smart guy, and I can see all the shit that is going on right in front of me… Unfortunately, I’m also smart enough to understand human nature, to at least some degree, and realize that it isn’t going to change, not overnight, and, perhaps not at all…. If we, in the expression of our nature, don’t make SOME kind of changes, in how we treat the planet, and each other, well, the consequences won’t be pleasant for anyone, and that is just about as discretely understated as I can make it in English…

More simply, we’re on our way to a living hell, ffolkes, if we don’t change the way the world is going today…. It is a foregone conclusion that if we keep on the way we are, things WON’T change, not for the better; at best they’ll stay the same for a while, but, entropy guarantees that, unmodified, reality will start to fall apart, and will continue until chaos is achieved….. That is the nature of the Universe, and there is not anything in our power, or our imagination, that can change that simple fact…. Me, I’m going to do what I can, when I can, to point out what I see, and what I think may be happening, and hope that somebody in a position to actually do something will take note, and perhaps, begin the process that will save our sorry asses….

I doubt that is very likely, though, so I may as well go have a beer…. Make that an Irish Coffee, please, it’s a bit early for beer….

“And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good,
Need we ask anyone to tell  us these things?”

— R. Pirsig
_____________________________

In keeping with today’s ranting theme, but, with a bit of contrasting humor to mitigate the sobriety, here is a poem I’ve used before, by one of the twentieth century’s finest poets…..

À Bas Ben Adhem

My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What’s he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I’m supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn’t it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician’s voice
He names himself as Nature’s choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It’s simply that I’m sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.

~~ Ogden Nash ~~

_____________________________

It’s been a tough morning, as evidenced quite strongly by the complete overpowering dizziness that just stormed through my brain; what a rush! I’m not sure if it is fatigue from denying the cold’s effects, or just my currently strange body chemistry affecting the state of my mind, going through, as it is, the transition from long-term nicotine addiction to a (reportedly….) more healthy life without nicotine…. I’d forgotten that the almost 47 years I abused myself with those fags would demand a heavy price tag to get shut of; goes to show we are ALL adept at NOT looking at things we don’t want to see….

But, now I get to relax, and find some lustrous pearls to fill out this last section appropriately, and that is always a pleasure…. Let’s see what Smart Bee has for us this morning, shall we?….. If I am compelled to comment, those will be in parentheses, just so’s you know….

” Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.” — H. L. Mencken

(Ouch! Boy, I’m feelin’ that one!….)

“The reason the Christians have murdered on such a vast scale and killed anyone and everyone in their way is purely and simply greed…  Their insatiable greed and overweening ambition know no bounds; the land is fertile and rich, the inhabitants simple, forbearing and submissive.  The Spaniards have shown not the slightest consideration for these people, treating them (and I speak from first-hand experience, having been there from the outset) not as brute animals – indeed, I would to God they had done and had shown them the consideration they afford their animals – so much as piles of dung in the middle of the road.  They have had as little concern for their souls as for their bodies, all the millions that perished having gone to their deaths with no knowledge of God and without the benefit of the Sacraments.  One fact in all this is widely known and beyond dispute, for even the tyrannical murderers themselves acknowledge the truth of it:  the indigenous peoples never did the Europeans any harm whatever; on the contrary, they believed them to have descended from the heavens, at least until they or their fellow citizens had tasted, at the hands of these oppressors, a diet of robbery, murder, violence, and all other manner of trials and tribulations.” — Bartolome de Las Casas, — A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, 1542

(This could easily be the beginning of another rant, against those I believe to be equally complicit with politicians in the rape and pillaging that occurs in society on a daily basis, but, I’ll leave it as just a pearl, and just note this…. It seems, by looking at the date this was written, that the churches and dogmatists have been known as criminals and rogues for a very long time…. By my count, it was around 485 years ago this first appeared…. I haven’t seen a lot of improvement over that period…. have you? Oh, they have better press agents now, and slightly different techniques of modus operandi, but the basic rapaciousness, and misguided sense of entitlement remains in full force, without any doubt…. Now, though, it seems that children are in the worst danger from the clergy, as they have been their primary target of exploitation in the last century….)

“If the lawmakers make a compromise, the place where it will be felt the most is the taxpayer’s pocket.” — Deadlock’s Law

“A politician,… one that would circumvent God.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act v, Sc. 1

(Even Will got it right occasionally; I’ve just never been able to figure out if it was because he wrote SO DAMN MUCH STUFF that sometimes, chance worked in his favor, and he hit something on the head, or if he just stole it from Francis Bacon…. or, just as likely, one of his cronies at the pub next door to the Globe…. )

“Freedom begins between the ears.” — Edward Abbey

(It’s really too bad that this means that most of today’s citizens have way too much space between their ears for freedom to keep from leaking out….)

“We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced. It is man’s sympathy with all creatures  that first makes him truly a man.” — Albert Schweitzer

“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men

I love when serendipity is everywhere!…. Two perfect pearls to close with, and the whole thing comes together, mismatches and all…. I hope you enjoyed this little meander through my head as much as I did, but, I doubt that’s possible…. S’okay, it doesn’t make me anything, other than done…..
_____________________________

Given all that has gone before in this Pearl, it’s probably just as well it IS done…. Let me see how it stands up to scrutiny, even from such an indulgent judge….. Well, that’s certainly a Pearl. Not only that, but, from all appearances, it doesn’t wobble. I’m going to count my blessings, and steal off into the day…. See ya….

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

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Well, it does match the door stop….

Ffolkes,
One week into the six, and my ass hurts already….. I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it all six weeks here in front of the computer without suffering from some major ass bite. Which is fine, if only I had some way to exercise without turning into a lump of pain. That, to me, is the worst part about having the type of pain I do, i.e., I can’t DO anything I used to do, in the way of physical exertion…. it’s all history, thanks to the cumulative effects of hard physical exercise during the first 40 years of my life…..

Some years ago, when I was first seeing my doctor about my back, and the pain therein (which, at the time, was constant and unrelenting….), he told me that my condition was becoming increasingly common in men and women who had been athletic for much of their lives…. It seems that in later years, the body begins to break down faster, and to a greater degree, than those of people who were not so sports oriented. According to him, my years of playing football, basketball, and baseball, when added to my martial arts conditioning, and over 700 fights in which I engaged in my work, all served to take its toll on my back and joints…. If I had stuck with being a nerd, rather than a warrior/nerd, I’d have been better off, it seems….

I found, and still find, it ironic, that the very activities that I was always told would keep me healthy until my dying day are responsible for the rapidly deteriorating tissues and joints that are giving me fits, here in my declining years. And still, because of the way our culture is skewed, sports and physically extreme activities are encouraged, because it is a billion dollar business, selling sports, and sports accessories.

Sports figures are made into cultural icons, and even held up as examples for the young to emulate, no matter how strange or stupid they may be….. There are a number of things that the BRC encourages among the populace, such as sports, for one, that are NOT what they seem to be….. More than anything else, these activities, (the movie industry, travel industry, and others) exist for the benefit of the BRC, not the people, and actually serve to distract the public from what is actually going on…. The public is actually encouraged to take part in these activities, as the leaders know that those things keep the public busy with stuff that really doesn’t matter, and not focused on what they are doing behind the scenes, about things that DO matter….

How the hell did that happen?….. Here I am, only four or five paragraphs into the intro, and I’m ranting already…. I didn’t even notice when I slipped on the Ratty Old Robe of Outrage and started in on the BRC…. it’s becoming too natural, I guess; I barely know I’m doing it…. Well, it could be worse, I suppose…. I could be the kind of person who didn’t give a shit, and not get outraged at all…. which wouldn’t make ME a happy camper, though there might be some who would smile and nod in approval….

Ah well, it’s quite liberating to let that kind of angst out, so I’ll just let it go without further comment, and get on with today’s Pearl…. Once more, I’ve managed to create an intro out of virtually nothing; that’s got to count for something, right? It says so right here on the label….. Right….. Shall we Pearl?….
__________________________________

“Laws are only words words written on paper, words that change on society’s whim and are interpreted differently daily by politicians, lawyers, judges, and policemen. Anyone who believes that all laws should always be obeyed would have made a fine slave catcher. Anyone who believes that all laws are applied equally, despite race, religion, or economic status, is a fool.” — John J. Miller, And Hope to Die (in _Jokertown Shuffle – Wild Cards IX_)

Fiction is the repository and temple of the Metaphorse…. which explains this passage from a novel I haven’t read, but obviously need to get around to finding, so I can. This is such a perfect statement of Reality in society today, it could only be said in a work of fiction, because anyone stating this in the public venue would be shouted down by the aforementioned politicians, lawyers judges, policemen, and may I add, preachers/priests and the rest of the priestly hierarchies…. none of whom would wish for the truth of the idea become commonly held knowledge, or even a point of discussion…. They have too much invested in keeping things just as they are to allow any such utterance, without the protection of metaphor….

With metaphor, in both prose and poetic form, the truth can be intimated, and made clear for those who otherwise would never even consider the concepts involved, without being connected directly to Reality itself. Most of society has been brainwashed since birth, and are trained to accept as true anything told to them in a newspaper, on a TV by a person in a suit, or by someone holding a Bible, no matter how disconnected from Reality that may be. Reading things in a book, a piece of fiction, they are taught, is suspect, and not to be believed without corroboration from someone in authority….

“God said it, the Bible told me, and I believe it, so that’s the end of it!”  How many people do you know who would say that? It saddens me no end to know that even I, who tend to drive that sort of person crazy in no time at all, know several folks who feel this way. I have to say, if nothing else, these folks are stubborn, but, stubbornness is not always a survival technique… it can also serve as a death warrant. One has to learn to give up knowledge that is shown indisputably to be false, or face consequences not to their liking.

As I’ve stated before, I have no issue with ffolkes who are sincerely devout in their beliefs…. I’ve found that people who do try to live by the rules that Jesus put forth are generally good people, with good instincts, and have a lot of compassion and kindness in their nature.  I have at least two people in my own family who fit that description, and at least three of the people with whom I grew up are what I would call true Christians, because they use their faith as a supportive tool to enhance their lives, not as a crutch, or a reason to feel entitled…..

In other words, they don’t use their faith as a mask, to hide from the world what they really are like inside…. or, as tool of manipulation, to further their own agenda, which generally involves theft from everyone else, in one form or another….. I have found, by experience with real people in the real world, that a good 95% of those who claim to be Christians are NOT true believers…. Only about 5% of those who call themselves Christians make any attempt to live up to that social reformer’s rigorous standards….

Of that figure, 95% of all self-identified Christians, the great majority can be considered, and are generally labeled, as the ignorant masses, whose minds have been under the control of someone else their entire lives. The smaller percentage of that number, probably only about 1 or 2% of the 95%, are those who either don’t believe in the dogma at all, but use it as the modus operandi for their sociopathy, or those who at least believe it on the surface, but only because it is to their advantage to do so… They would believe anything at all, if it kept them in power….

“Always watch where you are going.  Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the Forest that was left out by mistake.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

I’m not sure whether those who stubbornly cling to their faith (i.e., they walk through the Forest with eyes closed….) are like that because of their nature, or their nurture, and in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter. But, it sure would be nice, for those of us who ARE aware of the truth behind the lies we’ve been told all our lives, to have a few more of us out there, working against the small percentage of people who are taking advantage of the massive ignorance and apathy of the great masses of people, who don’t have the time or mental energy to care about anything but what is happening right in front of them.

Those who control society for their own personal benefit, without any regard for the rest of humanity’s suffering at their hands, aren’t going to change, and they aren’t ever going to give up what they’ve got without a struggle…. I can only wish for enough ffolkes like myself, who can see the truth, to find a way to save at least a few of our species, if only for some galactic zoo of extinct species…… If enough of us get together, there is still a small chance, though the odds of success are diminishing, second by second….

“I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from them. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.” — John Wayne

(Did your jaw drop as far as mine when you read that?)

Bah! Enough pessimism for one day…. let’s go find something a bit more uplifting, shall we?….. As a parting thought, please note the following, which serves to illustrate and define the general feeling in modern society, in terms of ethics and morality…. Consider, if you will, the cultural paradigms that are needed to make this statement a joke, one that no one at all would think was out of place…. In other words, by its calm acceptance of the implied lack of ethics, it shows how deeply ingrained is the attitude (made crystal clear by Mr. Wayne…), in the members that make up that society….

“I think our No.1 problem is that nobody wants to take responsibility for anything, but don’t quote me.” — Randy Glasbergen, “The Saturday Evening Post
__________________________________

The Meehoo with an Exactlywatt

Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Me!
Me who?
That’s right!
What’s right?
Meehoo!
That’s what I want to know!
What’s what you want to know?
Me, who?
Yes, exactly!
Exactly what?
Yes, I have an Exactlywatt on a chain!
Exactly what on a chain?
Yes!
Yes what?
No, Exactlywatt!
That’s what I want to know!
I told you – Exactlywatt!
Exactly what?
Yes!
Yes what?
Yes, it’s with me!
What’s with you?
Exactlywatt – that’s what’s with me.
Me who?
Yes!
Go away!
Knock knock…

~~ Shel Silverstein — from the book “A Light in the Attic” (1981)
__________________________________

Having spent most of my severe angst in section one, I’m not even going to try to start another rant, but will instead move right to an old school pearl…. Gotta save a little of that negative energy in case some store clerk gets uppity….    🙂

This one is truly random, with just a hint of order hidden amongst the entropy and chaos, kind of like a hidden treasure, y’know? Well, that’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway. If not, well, it’s all good stuff to think about, and will get us through to the end….. or close enough for our purposes here today…. Someday, I’m going to have to figure out just what that is…..

“The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: “Of course it is none of my business, but –” is to place a period after the word “but.” Don’t use excessive force in supplying such a moron with a period. Cutting his throat is only a momentary pleasure and is bound to get you talked about.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“When you live in the shadow of insanity, the appearance of another mind that thinks and talks as yours does is something close to a blessed event.” — R. Pirsig

“I know th’MAMBO!!  I have a TWO-TONE CHEMISTRY SET!!” — Zippy the Pinhead
(You’ve got to love Zippy’s ability to put his finger on what’s REALLY important!….)

A word is dead
When it is said
Some say.
I say it just
Begins to live
That day.

— Emily Dickinson

“Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman–a rope over an abyss. A dangerous across, a dangerous on-the-way, a dangerous looking-back, a dangerous shuddering and stopping.” — Friedrich Nietzsche, “Thus Spake Zarathustra”

— Bother! said Pooh, as he talked Kanga and Roo into a threesome.
(Oh, that Pooh!…. such a naughty bear…..)

“Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes the deepest thanks to those who have kindled this inner light.” — Albert Schweitzer

Well, there you go…. If y’all can’t figure out a moral, or a hint of one, from that seven, well, I’m failing in my task…. But, if you can’t, no worries, as it’s my fault for being too obscure, and not leaving enough sign posts to the clues…. We don’t grade in this class anyway, it’s not even pass/fail, and doesn’t count toward graduation…. In fact, the only way to take this course is to audit it unofficially…. Ah well, as I said, they will all stand alone, anyway, so…. if nothing else, enjoy!….
__________________________________

I don’t like to judge these Pearls as they go out, other than from the basic standards I apply to everything I do in life, so I’m not going to say anything about this one except I’m satisfied with it, and it’s done…. Those last three words alone make it all worthwhile, given the effort it took to get there…. So be it…. there’s another three appropriate words for today….    🙂

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

Mired in the prime of strife…..

Ffolkes,
Ah yes, the delights of awakening to the tender mercies of emotional distress…. Within 10 minutes of getting up today (Thursday, the 19th), at the reasonable hour of 0755, I received a call from Social Security, to ask me, in essence, whether I would like to extend the time it takes to secure my disability benefits, another six months, by adding on a visit to a psychiatrist to determine the status of my PTSD….. As you might expect, this caused my emotions to boil over instantly, whereupon I treated the case analyst who had called to a graphic example of just what state I’m in, PTSD-wise, blubbering in incoherent anger, bemoaning in no uncertain terms the federal government’s apparent desire to put me in a grave before letting go of my money….. It was NOT the way I would have chosen to start my morning, to say the least….

Now I have no idea how much longer this will take; I’ll need to talk with my lawyer now, and that can be stressful as well, so I may as well prepare myself for a period of insensibility, as my mind tends to want to shut down when stuff like this threatens my equilibrium. But, sadly, it looks as if I may as well resign myself to another long period of waiting in the dark, and can pretty much kiss the idea of Christmas goodbye for another year….. Too bad, really…. I had hoped to be able to actually go to a store and buy something for my kids for the occasion, but, I guess I’ll once again be trying to ignore the whole scene, and making do with giving them one of my own pieces of family history as a gift, or perhaps writing a poem for them…. not exactly the most thrilling of gifts, but, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Yesterday, the 18th, I didn’t post again, for the second time since starting this blog. It felt weird to not post, just like it did last month when it happened for the first time. As the poor federal case worker found out this morning, there is a lot of pressurized material stuffed into my head, and it needs to come out on a regular basis…. I did complete a Pearl yesterday, but couldn’t get to the library in time to post it, due to waiting for other folks to get stuff done…. SIGH….. Add a few more hit points to that stress level, ffolkes, and start counting!…..

Being a day behind, even though ahead, this will get posted on the 20th of October, 2012…. which, had he lived, would be my father’s 100th birthday…. and is now my youngest brother’s 57th, 58th, or 59th, I can never keep him and my younger sister’s ages straight…. Any who, happy happy to Kevin, and to my Dad’s memory….

As a result of this morning’s folderol, I am retreating, and will start looking for pearls as a substitute for going out to look for a victim; I always find beating up on somebody to be liberating, but inconvenient, what with all the criminal charges and all…. Instead, I’ll just pour all that angst into a rant, or a poem, or something…. maybe even a piece on Zippy, or Pooh, to bring out a few smiles. They (smiles) are buried pretty deep right now, but, a bit of Zippy can do wonders…. Let’s get to it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

Raquel Welch:  36-24-36
Bo Derek:  35-24-36
Ann-Margaret:  37-25-36
Bette Middler:  37-25-36
Marilyn Monroe:  37-24-37
Jane Russell:  39-27-38
Jayne Mansfield: 40-23-37
Sophia Loren:  37-25-36

— Smart Bee (?)

So, sue me. It isn’t what you think, unless you are thinking what I’m thinking. I’m not going to say that isn’t possible, or even unlikely…. unless you  are thinking it is about some sexist premise that identifies women as objects. Being male, I’m not an expert on spotting or exposing that, but I’ve been around a long time, and have never held with most of what society holds as true about women, unless spoken by a woman who hasn’t proved to be one of the brainwashed….

No, this list is only here to note that what society seems to project, in magazines and advertising, through fashions and trends sponsored by those who determine such matters (i.e., the moneymen…) as the image of beauty, is not the same as what public opinion obviously feels about what makes a woman beautiful, in terms of weight and shape. All of the women in the above list were, and/or are, considered to be the visual pinnacle of what the public believes is beautiful, as evidenced by the popularity of their work, in film or on stage…. but none of them are at all similar to what the manipulators of fashion would have us believe is the ideal shape…. Whereas models can only be described as slender or willowy, all these women are what we might call zaftig, or rubenesque, in their visual proportions….. Personally, I agree with the public…. I find Ann Margaret to be much more pleasant to look at than any model in a magazine that I have EVER seen….. And, the fact that I feel entitled to make a judgment makes me as guilty of objectifying women as a man who utilizes brothels for sex…

Thus, if we grant the truth of that revelation, the mere existence of the list becomes the most objectionable piece of it….. It illustrates that the process of objectification is subtle; just applying such standards to women at all tends to cause people to think of them as objects, rather than as people. Society has been male-oriented for a very long time, a state of affairs justified as “might makes right.” Sadly; a lot of what is wrong in the world can be traced to that unfortunate fact. Men have, out of their own insecurities and fears, set things up so that women have very little say about what happens to them in life; those decisions are made for them by fathers, brothers, or husbands in most of the world. In order to do this, and not suffer pangs of guilt at every turn, men, and women, are taught that it is okay to objectify women, and to treat them as if they are property…. and property needs to be labeled, hence lists such as the one above….

Yesterday, rmott62 posted a blog, (http://rmott62.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/your-lies-are-part-of-our-genocide/), which I re-blogged on my site, speaking about this very subject, to wit: how the language we choose can objectify those of whom it speaks.  You can probably get a better idea of how insidiously the issue of victimizing women permeates society by visiting her blog; she speaks powerfully, with no punches pulled, from experience, and with great insight, much more forcefully than I ever can, so I recommend to you very strongly that you go to her site, and read what she has to say…. It will change the way you look at much of what passes in our society for normal, and make you ashamed for not noticing…. if not, it should, for we are all guilty of perpetrating the evil, if only by not acting or speaking up, for as long as the victimization of women, and the entire prostitution industry, continues to objectify, demean, and drag women of all ages into perpetual slavery…..

__________________________________

I keep hoping, but the poem I feel in my head isn’t ready to come out yet, and time is passing (at the leisurely pace so beloved of the federal bureaucracies…..)….. so, if I want to get this Pearl posted today, I’d best be coming up with another poem for this space. I’ve become somewhat addicted to this morning dose of verse; it seems to make the prose taste better somehow….. Whatever the reason, I like it…. Here, then, is another fine piece from the annals of history, with some whimsy applied as the primary search criterion…. hell, whimsy could easily be construed as an algorithm, almost, in this sense…. Besides, the poem I’ve found is the perfect choice to follow the first pearl’s message. Any who, sensible nonsense aside, enjoy!…..

Men

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,
Men.

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.

Maybe.

Maya Angelou

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As always, when lacking the wherewithal to rant, or to discourse intelligently (if that can be said to ever happen….) I retreat into the wisdom of the ages, developing an idea with pearls that says, well, whatever it says…. I do try to make it enlightening in some fashion, even if only by providing some comic relief to the sober nature of much of the other material here. Here, then, are some pearls that spoke to me about enlightenment, each in its own little whisper….

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, 1892

With virtue you cannot be entirely poor… Without it you cannot be really rich. — Chinese Proverb

A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day.  The master noted the novice’s preoccupation with a hand-held computer game.  “Excuse me”, he said, “may I examine it?”   The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master. “I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium, and Hard”, said the master.  “Yet every such device has another level of play, where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the human.”  “Pray, great master,” implored the novice, “how does one find this mysterious setting?”   The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot. And suddenly the novice was enlightened. — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash, and in small bills.” — Lazarus Long

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige, early to mid-20th century sage

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” — Thomas Paine

The Journey is the Reward, Not the Destination. — Zen Koan

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.” — George Bernard Shaw

Well, there you go…. If you’re not enlightened by now, well, you’re on your own, because that’s the best I’ve got in stock. Hmm…. gee, you don’t get the impression this is a metaphoric manipulation, do you? …….  Nah! Trust me!  No hidden agendas here, or metaphoric stimuli intended to create moments of zazen illumination….It’s all the real deal, and used properly, has been known to produce wonderful results…. and, well, the price is right, yes? Free advice is always worth what you pay for it….. Ta for now, luvs…..
__________________________________

Well, the gods of literature can relax now…. I didn’t need to resort to either Zippy, or Pooh to get the Pearl done. I even managed to avoid using Will Shakespeare again…. though I do have a LOT of material of his that is appropriate for target shooting, it wasn’t needed today. Some might be thankful for that, but, they’re just jealous, for not thinking of it first….. Today we are back in waiting mode, with the added hope that the federal game of slow-them-down-as-much-as-possible won’t be able to find the dice, and won’t hold things up any more than they already have been….. Fat chance, I know, but, hey, gotta have our groundless hope, eh?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Mordred’s dream of chaos draws nigh…..

Ffolkes,
Yow…. Coffee without cream is enough to make one cranky. It is marginally better than no coffee at all, though, so folks will have to take their chances with me until I can get some half & half. The odds of getting bitten for speaking to me too early rise dramatically when the consumption of my morning coffee is disturbed in just about any fashion, and not having an ingredient is a sure ticket to the cranky express for me. Makes it difficult, as I need to speak to people this morning at some point, and don’t want to scare anyone….. or, at least, not deliberately.

Today’s Pearl was mostly composed yesterday, as I need to take much of today to get the form done for Social Security; it’s not difficult, or even particularly complicated, but needs to be detailed. Then, when done, I need to scan it and send it to my lawyer so they can get it right in to SS, well before the ridiculous deadline they gave me. When the process is complete, and I’ve secured my SS benefits, I can definitely feel an exposé on SS percolating in the back of my mind.

From all I can ascertain, the myrmidons over at SS think that it is perfectly okay to throw up every obstacle they can in front of the people applying for their own benefits, and make it as hard as they possibly can for anyone to obtain the very things they have paid for throughout the years. In the process of making it so hard, they are adding to the difficulties of people who do NOT need the aggravation…… So, I’ll be writing a bit of stuff, later, after I’ve secured my own benefits, and cannot be punished for what I write, by their attempting to make it even harder for me to get them…..

Any who, I came across the following again yesterday; it is an old DOS file command line, and is the secret wish of all geeks that it would actually work in reality…. if you know what it means, you’ll know what I mean…. if not, well, it would take two or three pages to explain well enough to be accurate and worth the effort, so you’ll just have to ask a geek to explain it to you…. Any nerdy type who likes to read Science Fiction, and knows what a command line in DOS is, will be able to fill you in….. meantime, Shall we Pearl?….

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:
__________________________________

This is a somewhat old-school pearl, but with a slight difference…. normally (well, you know what I mean…) I would list several quotes, all of which led one’s thoughts in a specific direction, to a foregone conclusion, or at least a conclusion, of sorts….. This pearl however, is simply a grouping of ideas that I thought went together, as sort of a tribute to the relevance of illogic at certain times, and how liberating it is to think not only outside the box, but to kick the box into a shapeless lump of cardboard….. enjoy! BTW, these are all related in one respect, which I’m not going to mention, as it is totally irrelevant…. at least, to the lack of purpose herein implied…..

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” — Confucius — Analects, XV.24

“When the music business changed so drastically in the late sixties and rock began happening in such a big way, I went to Count Basie and said, “It’s a complete takeover. What should I do?” Basie waited a beat, looked up at me with those big eyes of his, and said, “Why change an apple?” — Tony Bennett

“I am your density.” — George McFly, in Back to the Future

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

“As God is my witness – I am that fool!” — Gomez Addams

Okay, so I’m not sure where it came from, or why the last one showed up when it did…. but, it’s a perfect ending, for it fits in with my own self-image this morning…..  Onward, into the fray…..
__________________________________

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiff, elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid

The following just seemed like an appropriate addition to this section…..

Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

~~ Thomas Cowper
__________________________________

“About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax.  It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.” — Edsger W. Dijkstra

I do try…. I try really hard to write well. All of my effort in the last year plus that I’ve been writing so much has been with the intent of improving what I do write, and I can see a certain degree of that (improvement….). It isn’t enough, to my mind, and hopefully, never will be enough. Only by making the effort will what we do ever change, and writing well is a skill that requires constant honing, and constant endeavor.

The following paragraph is an example of the kind of impact that a well-written piece should have on the reader…. it’s a beautiful little piece, and even though you could remove the word “God’s” from it, and it would suffer not at all, I left it in, since I didn’t write it…. I only wish I had…..

“As a little silvery circular ripple, set in motion by the falling pebble, expands from its inch of radius to the whole compass of a pool, so there is not a child–not an infant Moses–placed, however softly, in his bulrush ark upon the sea of time, whose existence does not stir a ripple, gyrating outward and on, until it shall have moved across and spanned the whole ocean of God’s eternity, stirring even the river of life, and the fountains at which the angels drink.” — Elihu Burritt

See? A truly lovely thought, and written in a way that it touches a chord of response within the mind and heart of whomever reads it. This is the kind of thing that I am shooting for when I write…. I hit close now and then, but, not often enough to suit me, so I’m going to keep trying until I can write at this level whenever I should so choose…. and if, along the way, someone wishes to pay me for what I write, well, I’m not going to complain…..

Of course, my usual choice of subject matter may have a lot to do with the absent beauty of my writing; it’s a bit of a trick to turn a political or religious rant into a thing of beauty, other than from a logical or tactical standpoint. There can be, of course, well-done passages, even powerfully passionate parts that can inspire, or anger, or merely amuse. But one is not going to impress anyone with the sheer beauty of a treatise wherein one has to discuss the latest lies and deliberate misrepresentations as spouted by political pundits, of any party. Not without a lot more skill than I have, or anyone else I’ve read over time. It’s just not a subject that lends itself to pretty pictures in words….. In addition, one must always remember to actually use one’s mind in a constructive manner when writing about politics or religion, because anyone who actually engages in either one is not going to do so……

One also must remember to always keep the following principle in mind, for anything written, about either politics or religion, must be governed by this thought, or what is produced will not stand up to the test of logic or time….. so stay alert, ffolkes, and use the mind you have for something other than sitting on……

“Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.” — Bergen Evans, The Natural History of Nonsense (1946)
__________________________________

All in all, not a bad Pearl, I’d say. And, if there is an expert on Pearls, that would be me….. or, at least, of literary Pearls…. and I am certainly the world’s ONLY expert on Pearls of Virtual Wisdom…..To be honest, I never thought the gems themselves were all that compelling…. they look nice, but don’t seem to me to be as big a deal as everyone makes of them…. Ah well, I’m just a country boy at heart, and good honest sweat is my favorite perfume, so I guess I’m not the best judge of such delicate matters, eh?…… Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Until Bob returns, no cha-cha, & no rhumba….

Ffolkes,
As I sit here, laughing at myself, I have to admit, my Bozoid tendencies are in full swing this morning…. I’ve been steadily plugging along, filling in the blanks as I go through the morning routine, for about 35 minutes now. Got a lot done too, on starting a Pearl. I even had the intro section completely done, and was dutifully searching for pearls, when I was confronted by my own silliness and failure to be a Lert….. or, if you insist, alert…..

I started to paste a poem below, and realized I was posting it into tomorrow’s Pearl template. This is also where I had already composed and written an intro section leading into the Pearl….. see my problem?  Complete time distortion ensues…. Now I’m dazed again, much like the first 5 minutes of being up, before the first sip of coffee kicks in enough to raise the eyelids a fraction, and will need to take a minute here to regroup…… I’ll be back in a few, when I have caught up to reality again….. mumble, grumble, phtt….

I have re-established contact with reality, and we can now move on to bigger and better things…. if that particular phrase can be considered to apply to this process…. as the old Dead song says, “head’s all empty, and I don’t care….”   No worries, we’ll just go now and find something with which we can fill it up…. shall we Pearl?……
___________________________________

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:

This pearl is a bit of a test…. What I’ve written here is, of course, a DOS command line. (I wrote ‘of course’ before I fully realized that it is ‘of course’ only to those who are familiar with DOS, which may not include the more modern users among us. For those ffolkes, just think of it as double clicking on a program you want to use…..) The test is to tell me, in the comment section, if you know what the command tells the computer to do….

It’s quite a simple command, though the .exe installation file it points to is VERY complex…. and that is your only clue….  Let’s see who’s paying attention, as well as who is well grounded in both computers and literature….. luck won’t be needed, and wouldn’t help in any case, but, good luck!  If no one figures it out before tomorrow morning’s Pearl gets written, I’ll reveal the answer then….
___________________________________

The only point in the following entry is to preserve my sanity. In looking over the last few Pearls, I found a disturbing lack of poetry. Oh, there was some there, but not enough to suit my needs…. if I don’t get enough of the grace and beauty that good poetry provides, I get testy, to say the least. That probably accounts for the 800-1000 word rants in the last couple of posts. That has actually worked out well; I was able to publish two of those rants to another site as solitary articles. But, in the process, I’ve built up a need for the serenity that a good poem gives me…. so, here are three of them, all capable of filling my need, and, hopefully, yours….. enjoy!

Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that ‘s gone;
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
— John Fletcher (1576-1625)  — The Queen of Corinth, Act iii, Sc. 2

How fading are the joys we dote upon!
Like apparitions seen and gone.
But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong,–
Like angels’ visits, short and bright;
Mortality ‘s too weak to bear them long.
— John Norris (1657-1711) — The Parting

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto iii, Stanza 88

I don’t know about you, but I feel better…..

Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I know, I know, I said three… but this one popped up in front of me, glommed onto my leg before I could dodge, and insisted that I include it with the others. Then I looked at it, and was sunk…. It’s not like I jabbed you in the eye with a stick, now, is it?…… Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you to have another; they’re calorie free……
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“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

I like this. I liked it when I first read the book, more years ago than I care to think about, and it still clicks with my way of looking at things, as if Buddha himself was talking directly to me…. I admire it so much, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject. This can speak for itself……
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“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell

We are now experiencing first hand the beginning effects of the proof of this proposition. Our world-wide society has succumbed to the truth in this statement, and are actively, and obliviously, pursuing foolishness en masse. One need only look through the daily news to see this demonstrated; article after article explores concepts and events that illustrate the full and complete absence of critical thought that is rampant in our culture. No matter how outrageous the statement, no matter how silly the proposal, no matter how egregious the lie, if a talking head on TV says it, fifty million people will jump right up and cheer its arguable (to any minds but theirs…) merit, and give it their unquestioning belief.

Do I really need to point out examples? Oh, right, evidence is good…. Okay. Easy money. How about….. Mitt Romney?  Here is a man who has spent the last 10 months or so running around the US to various political electoral farces, er, functions, and has repeatedly lied, or pandered to special interests in the face of another, or alienated entire segments of the voting public (such as women, and the poor), or changed a position one day after claiming it as his own, so many times there are a number of web sites that are devoted just to keeping track of his contradictory and/or fictional statements, of what he has the temerity to call facts.  I’m not picking on him; it’s all out there in black and white for anyone to see.

Yet this man is the apparent next candidate for the Presidency of this country as the Republican choice. If we are to believe it, he has the support not only of numerous officials and “important public figures” in his party, but of millions upon millions of folks who seem unable or unwilling to examine any of his public statements for truth or accuracy. It’s almost as if he were a talking fundamentalist Bible…. He said it, they believe it, and that’s that…… possessing, as they apparently do, steel traps instead of minds. Anything that gets in, isn’t getting out alive, that’s for sure and for certain… As a bonus prize in the foolishness category, the folks who generally fall for this kind of chicanery have the following attitude as well…

“When you are sure you’re right, you have a moral duty to impose your will upon anyone who disagrees with you.” — Robert W. Mayer

And people wonder why I’m cynical…… here is a short verse that laments the absence of the kind of men I wish were running this country…. and I am saddened by the fact that I can think of no man, or woman, in office or out, who fits this mold…..

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear;
Who broke no promise, serv’d no private end,
Who gain’d no title, and who lost no friend.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Moral Essays, Epistle to Mr. Addison
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But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it?–No! ‘t was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o’er the stony street.
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 22

So, I needed another hit of exquisite….. so sue me… I’ll add an extra pearl, okay?….
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Wedding March:  19th Century, England

“The traditional church wedding features two bridal marches, by two different classical composers. The bride walks down the aisle to the majestic, moderately paced music of the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s 1848 opera “Lohengrin”.  The newlyweds exit to the more jubilant, upbeat strains of the “Wedding March” from Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The custom dates back to the royal marriage, in 1858, of Victoria, princess of Great Britain, and Empress of Germany, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia.  Victoria, eldest daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria, selected the music herself.  A patron of the arts, she valued the works of Mendelssohn and practically venerated those of Wagner. Given the British penchant for copying the monarchy, soon brides throughout the Isles, nobility and commoners alike, were marching to Victoria’s drummer, establishing a Western wedding tradition.”

It seems at first glance that this entry has little significance in relation to what usually passes here for subject matter. Admittedly, it is less of an issue than my usual pick of stuff upon which to rant. Calm yourselves, I’m not going to rant about this…. I have included it for one reason only, and that is to demonstrate that the power of celebrity has its roots further back in our cultural history than might at first be apparent. This short historical note on weddings clearly shows how the famous in society influence the culture as a whole, and have done so since well before the advent of radio, news delivery over international distances, TV, and the internet.

The actions of one woman, the most visible public figure of her time, were sufficiently of interest to the rest of society as to institute a new custom, which persists to this day, and not just in the British Isles. Public opinion can thus be seen to be manipulable by the simplest of means, to wit: if the public likes it, they’ll buy it…. simple, yet effective, and obviously well-known to those who manipulate others as a rule of policy….. funny, sometimes where one can find evidence of humanity’s vulnerabilities, isn’t it?…..

“It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” — Goethe
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As another morning’s musings draw to a close, I find myself a trifle melancholy. I’m sure it is temporary, and merely the result of finishing what has been fun to create. Since I’m happy with it as it is, we’ll get on with the rest of the procedure, and speed this on its way to cyberspace, and your perusal….. enjoy!  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!