Officer, that rhinoceros is winking at me!….

Ffolkes,

“Earth has it’s boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless.”

~~ Flaubert ~~

10-19-2014 014

    I’m thinking Mssr. Flaubert was in a bit of a stinky mood when he wrote the above aphorism…. It does have the advantage of being fairly well true, if a bit lacking in scientific approach…. Yes, human stupidity is unlimited in scope; however the Earth is a finite object; as such it has actual limits. But, given the incredible beauty our world can display, there is no limit to how much it can stimulate our imagination, which IS infinite in scope as well… We are creatures of duality; our nature, our perception, and our emotional makeup all reflect that duality, which, by the fact of it’s nature, provides the universe with balance, and permanence….

It’s amazing, isn’t it? To look at a picture such as this one, of a plant thriving in the midst of urban blight, providing a source of beauty even the depressive nature of its surroundings cannot dim, and know how beautiful the world is, if it only gets a chance…. In the midst of sorrow, and pain, and the depression of poverty, one may always find beauty, which, by its mere existence, gives people hope, and the strength to live on, to keep struggling toward the light, using what is at hand…. just as this plant has done….

Enough early morning philosophy for one day; when I started I didn’t plan on going into that; it evolved as I began to type, pretty much writing itself…. Given the history of introductory sections on this blog, I find that to be a good thing. It’s given us a decent set of opening lines, and thoughts, with the bonus of not falling into a rant, right out of the box. I’m sure y’all can appreciate such restraint; I know this blog can get to be a heavy read, but, I really do try to think ahead in that respect…..

My tendency toward bozoid behavior, though, often causes me to forget my good intentions, and ranting becomes the order of the day. Today, however, you’ll note we are almost far enough down the page to make our escape…. In fact, we’re going to bail out by the end of this particular paragraph, as I see the opening coming up ahead, there at the side of the worm hole…. Again, I have to ask y’all to fasten your seat belts securely, as the cabin may experience some turbulence while the pilot is unconscious; no worries, it’s only a temporal effect, passing in seconds, and we’ll come out the other side without a problem…. Trust me….

Shall we Pearl?….

“We are more sensible of what is done against custom than against Nature.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Eating of Flesh, Tract 1

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I’m in the mood for some soothing, cerebral music today…. In this particular group of musical pieces, I suggest you skip past the first one that plays; it’s a bit slow for a morning piece…. but, it gets better, believe me…. Enjoy, ffolkes!


The Best in Classical Music: Part 1:

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“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

Think about that for a moment….

When I think about this, beyond my initial gut reaction, which involves severe disdain, not to mention disgust, for such unwarranted arrogance, I am struck with two thoughts, each more depressing the the other….. First, I want to say that it is my firm belief that any time someone, anyone, uses the words, “it is your moral duty”, you can be sure they are speaking about THEIR morals, not anyone else’s….

This kind of discriminatory bigotry is damn near invisible to anyone who suffers from it, as it arises out of what can only be faith-based assumptions, thus ensuring that NO argument will be entertained…. In other words, no matter HOW ignorant, or bigoted, or INSANE their beliefs, if they think they are right (and, they will never entertain any other thought), it guarantees their fanaticism, and rejection of ANY evidence to the contrary….

That being said, it depresses me that, most of the people in this country, ESPECIALLY those who end up in politics, would, if asked, express their belief in this sentiment, right down to the bone, no matter how insane it truly is…. It is also a de rigeur position for anyone who buys into ANY of the religions out there, for they all operate with this sort of illogic as their primary method of exposition and thought…. You see, it doesn’t actually require any thought to believe this stuff; it’s all laid out for them, so all that is needed is to say, “ditto”, position the blinders comfortably,  and resume their clueless existence….

“As one reads history… one is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the  wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted.” — Oscar Wilde

This attitude is the reason the government, and all the assholes who do their clandestine bidding, are able to continue to do whatever they wish to do, no matter how the public feels about it…..

Secondly, when I see that statement, (above, by R. Mayer) claiming moral infallibility by right of belief, I get depressed because, not only do most people believe it in the case of this issue, they also tend to carry the self-same attitude over into every area of their life, until every original thought is quashed before it ever formulates in their minds…. They become the nightmare of any honestly ethical man, as an entitled hedonist, believing they have the right to anything they desire, whether filling that desire affects, or even harms, anyone else, or not. With the mandate of faith, they are invulnerable to reason, and to criticism of any sort…

This attitude, of entitlement, becomes the societal norm after a while, until our culture resembles nothing so much as a jungle, where everyone believes in the theory of ‘dog eat dog’, with the eventual result we see now, where no one is able to trust anyone else…. All because lying, cheating, and stealing have become the norm, the primary way everyone turns to in order to get what they want…. and, nobody cares, because that kind of behavior is mirrored at all levels of society, right up to the very top….. This all-too human trait has been recognized for a long time, but, has resisted all attempts to root it out of human interaction; hence, we see war, after war, after war, since the beginning of historical memory….

Below, you will find the evidence I found, straight from the horse’s mouth, that shows exactly how we humans REALLY view life…. Real life, that is, not the ideal life everyone talks about…. These nine statements/aphorisms/quotes tell it like it is…. and how humans, especially our Beloved Ruling Class, looks at reality…. Please note, this is all RECORDED evidence, with attribution, so, it’s not like I made any of this part up on my own…. It’s all down in black and white, on paper, somewhere…. so, this is all stuff people really do, and believe….. or, want us all to believe….

“Society attacks early, when the individual is helpless.” — B.F. Skinner

“Necessity has no law.” — Francis Rabelais (1495-1553) — Works, Book v, Chap. xv

“The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” — Exodus 15:3

“The only very marked difference between the average civilized man and the average savage is that the one is gilded and the other is painted.” — Mark Twain

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.” — Saul Bellow

“Democracy is the name we give the people whenever we need them.” — Arman de Caillavet

“Even though Federal health officials are promoting less tobacco use, the tobacco industry should continue to expand in foreign markets.” — Vice President Dan Quayle

“People never lie so much as after a hunt, during a war or before an election.” — Otto von Bismarck

“If you can’t drink a lobbyist’s whiskey, take his money, sleep with his women  and still vote against him in the morning, you don’t belong in politics.” — Speaker of the California Assembly Jesse Unruh

In a manner of speaking, I rest my case; they are hoist on their own petard, condemned by their own words…. I’ll leave you with one final thought on the matter, to wit:

“A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.” — P.J. O’Rourke

So be it…..

gigoid has spoken.

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I’m in the mood for Yeats….

When You Are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true,
But one man loved the pilgrim Soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars,
Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~


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Today’s old school pearl is relatively fresh; it does, however, seem to lack a certain degree of intensity…. Oh, it’s all true, and good stuff, but, there just isn’t a lot of OOMPH to it…. Oh well, I guess they can ALL be compelling…. It’s a good pearl, anyway, so, just allow it to lead your mind to where it’s headed, and you’ll be fine…. maybe a small bit wiser, too…. maybe…

“An intelligent mind is a mind which is not satisfied with explanations, with  conclusions; nor is it a mind that believes, because belief is again another  form of conclusion. An intelligent mind is an inquiring mind, a mind that is  watching, learning, studying.” — J. Krishnamuti

“If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives.” — Robert South

“Cultivation to the mind is as necessary as food to the body.” — Cicero

“Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.), [quoting Plato]

“Of all the strange “crimes” that human beings have legislated out of nothing, “blasphemy” is the most amazing–with “obscenity” and “indecent exposure” fighting it out for second and third place.” — Lazarus Long, from Robert A. Heinlein’s “Time Enough For Love”

“Kindness gives birth to kindness.” — Sophocles

“Gentleman: A man who knows how to play bagpipes — and refrains.” — Fred Tart

A bit general, but, tidy enough…. I’ll take it….

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I have done my duty, and that’s all I can say…. Since, however, duty remains my core belief, that’s good enough…. Today is a day with a lot of possibilities…. as Gilda Radner once said of life, “delicious ambiguity!”….. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

 

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?……
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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….
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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!