Alice, in a fit of pique, beheads the Cheshire Cat….

Ffolkes,

Well, hell…. Now what do I do? Here it is, 0430 AM, I’m up, coffee in hand, ready to start trying to figure out if there is anything in my semi-conscious mind that would serve to begin today’s Pearl, & what do I find? This…. This is a completed Pearl, dammit! When I found the material below, and gave in to the urge to rant it stimulated, I didn’t realize that I would be usurping this morning’s time slot, thus effectively giving myself nothing at all to do now, except, possibly, proof/edit this, punching it up where it’s soft, & generally tinkering with it until it screams at me to stop….

But, if I do that, what do I do with this intro, that I so conveniently wrote, AFTER completing all of the stuff you’ll see below, including the poem,and the archived piece?….Though, I see now, I DID leave the closing section undone, so, I guess that’s something…. Big of me, wouldn’t you say?

Well, I would, given that I’m playing a practical joke on myself…. I USED to be pretty good at them, during my university days, but, like many of the skills I picked up at Berkeley, not all of them translated into something useful in later life; practical jokes lose a lot of their luster after having a couple of them turn bad, or, worse, ending up as the butt of one…. Payback’s a bitch, isn’t it?

But, I DO have some pretty good memories of decorating certain fraternity and sorority buildings in Davis, on the night prior to their yearly homecoming, “Picnic Day”, a gently nostalgic, pandering title, designed to pull money from the alumni and the rich parents of students, who came to relive their own wild youth once a year, while pretending NOT to be envious of all the students by which they’re surrounded…. I lived in a cooperative dormitory, so as representatives of the bourgeoisie, the Greek brothers and sisters made perfect targets for a bit of ridicule….

Oh, not to worry, we didn’t do anything terribly terrorist, or frightening; just some minor breaking and entering, leaving notes and posters, complete with appropriate art work, (no graffiti, just tacked up stuff….) to show we’d been there, or running a few jock straps and brassieres out on the clothes lines between the dorms…. highlighting the  huge, long, signs stating, in two-foot tall letters, they’d been pranked by UCB’s “Society of the Green Hand” (The Society’s formation is a tale for another time; I believe the statute of limitations runs out in another couple of years on that….) Needless to say, we were lucky not to end up dealing with the local law….

Actually, that was close, because, as we were finishing up with the very last tree’s decor, of colored toilet paper, a campus police car drew up under the tree, shined their light on one of us, up in the tree, & queried, “What’s going on up there?”…. With admirable quick thinking, Jeff, the one in the tree, gave them a huge smile, and just said, “It’s Picnic Day!”…. The cop just shook his head and drove away, while we waited breathlessly for them to get far enough away we could breathe, and burst into nearly hysterical laughter… We then piled in our vehicle, drove back to Berkeley, and spent the day sleeping off the adventure….

Gee…. It looks as if I found a perfect introduction for today’s Pearl, at least in terms of being of regulation size and placement…. How this morning’s retrospective will fit in with what goes on afterward remains to be seen, as it does each and every day I put myself, and y’all, through this somewhat torturous process….

Ah well, it never gets bad enough to actually cause bleeding, unless, of course, some of you aren’t telling me when you leave the cabin, to go bang your forehead against the nearest wall, in reaction to some of the stuff that I say, and/or do…. But, then, that’s a personal problem, isn’t it?  So shame on you for trying to make me feel guilty about it…

Wouldn’t work anyway; I gave up guilt, over stuff I say or do, quite some time back, and have never felt better…. On that egocentric note, I think we’ll go now, and find something productive to do with today, since the only thing I have to write this morning is the closing section….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“I have discovered the art of deceiving diplomats. I speak the truth, and they never believe me.” — Conte Camillo Benso di Cavour

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I found these two articles yesterday, after posting the Pearl…. As you’ll see, they provide the perfect jumping point for what follows…. I suppose that, as always, ‘perfect’ is a question-begging word to use, but, hey, I calls ’em as I sees ’em…. when I can find my glasses….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/03/everyone-is-under-surveillance-now-says-whistleblower-edward-snowden

I had originally intended to have some words regarding this article, as it speaks to some rather important points…. but, then, I saw the following article, and my angst went right through the roof, stimulating the rest…. Now, read this one…. & just include it all together; it’s all of a piece, anyway….

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/18/cia-torture-architect-enhanced-interrogation

Here, then, is an excellent example of the definition of ‘gigo’, (garbage in-garbage out), from the psychologist responsible for the design and codification of many of the torture methods, including “water boarding”, used by the CIA at Guantanamo Bay, and elsewhere around the world….. His comments, which I will examine below, are so egregiously INSANE, I had to read the article in pieces, as I found myself shouting at him, every time he opened his mouth to make one of the reported statements…

I cannot BELIEVE this man was found to be an adequate psychologist, passing his tests and arguing his doctoral thesis, without having at least the basic innate ability to display even an ounce of compassion; I also don’t understand, at all, how he could be considered anything other than the US’s version of the Nazi scientist, the one at Auschwitz, who sent the Jews into the ovens….

Ah, yes, Josef Mengele…. the infamous, iconic mad doctor, the real version, the model for what all the comics use as the ultimate villain so often, whose insanity threatens the entire world, and everyone in it…. I tell you, ffolkes, those people  in Washington, D.C. are totally out of control….  I’m not kidding; the current crop of elected officials, as well as the appointees put in place by those (I stared at this point for a long time, and still  cannot, for the life of me, think of an expletive that it harsh enough…, so we’ll go with a classic….) assholes, all exhibit every single symptom of the violently insane, who believe their own twisted version of reality is the only real one, who hold on to their paranoid delusions so tightly, nothing, and nobody, can tell them differently….

Hell, I don’t even need, in this case, to resort to my special knowledge and experience, of working with the violently insane as a therapist for over 20 years…. These guys lay it out so clearly, right out in public, there’s no need for me to have to explain…. Their own words convict them whenever they condescend to open their mouths about what they truly believe….

Here, let me show you a couple of examples from the second article listed… The comments in quotes are by the protagonist in this drama, James Mitchell, (Piled High and Deep), Ph.D., formerly of the CIA, the psychologist regarded as the architect of the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” program…. a description taken straight from the article…. You’ll be able to recognize my comments by the anger and vulgarity the statements produce in me….

“The people on the ground did the best they could with the way they understood the law at the time,” he said. “You can’t ask someone to put their life on the line and think and make a decision without the benefit of hindsight and then eviscerate them in the press 10 years later.”

You  can’t? Why not? These people were in no danger; there is no danger, no life on the line, when someone tortures another; only the one being tortured is in danger. And if you do something so obviously WRONG, it doesn’t fucking matter a bit how long it is, you SHOULD be vilified in the press. There is no reason on this Earth why anyone shouldn’t KNOW torturing another human being, for ANY FUCKING REASON AT ALL, is NOT morally defensible.  This principle is true even in cases where the ultimate goal is considered good; you’ve no doubt heard the saying, “the end does not justify the means.”

If they didn’t know it was wrong, why didn’t they do it out in the open, where everyone could see what they were doing? Fucking assholes think that their own parafuckingnoia should excuse anything they do….

“Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

“I’m skeptical about the Senate report, because I do not believe that every analyst whose jobs and promotions depended upon it, who were professional intelligence experts, all them lied to protect a program? All of them were wrong? All of these [CIA] directors were wrong? All of the people who were using the intel to go get people were wrong? And 10 years later a Senate staffer was able to put it together and finally there’s clarity? I am just highly skeptical that that’s the truth.”

This one’s easy….and so obvious, I again shouted this at the screen, hoping the asshole would hear me, “Why, yes, you bloody idiot, they CAN, and WERE, all wrong…. and every damn one of them WOULD lie to protect a program, which, in their minds, equals money, or influence….”

Then, of course, I realized I was shouting at my computer, so, I sat, tried to calm down, & began to type, to try to release some of the venom and bile that collected so quickly in the face of such evil insanity…. It started when the assbite used the phrase, “Senate staffer”, with the sneeringly obvious implication that position was only held only by persons of dubious character, and less than average intelligence, when compared to the noble men under his command….

When you start from a premise that is wrong, there is no way to make it come out right; every damn one of those directors started with the idea that whatever they did, right or wrong, shouldn’t be made public knowledge, and that such clandestine prevarication is justified by their goal (which, because it is their goal, they refuse to consider as anything other than right…. perfect “ipse dixit” logic….)

“If you get the first one in the wrong hole, you’ll never get all buttoned up right.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This, of course, is completely contrary to the values upon which our nation was supposedly founded; thus, any acts that indulge in that sort of paranoia, which were made on the basis of that idea, are, from the start, WRONG…. It really is that simple ffolkes, and I don’t understand quite WHY the public doesn’t get that, when listening to these lying, insane fools who pursue their delusional fantasies at the expense of the rest of us….

I reiterate….  “Everything you know is wrong.” — The Firesign Theater

Bloody fucking assholes, every damn one of them…..

“If I had a large amount of money I should found a hospital for those whose grip upon the world is so tenuous that they can be severely offended by words and phrases yet remain all unoffended by the injustice, violence and oppression that howls daily about our ears.” — Stephen Fry

I’d say the good doctor Mitchell would be one of the first admissions…. I’ll leave you to consider the following, which pretty much sums up what I see happening in the world today, just about everywhere I look…..

“It is okay to be ignorant in some areas, but some people abuse the privilege.” — Smart Bee

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Here is a poignant little poem, from a poet with whom I’m not very familiar… At first, I was going to pass over it, but, it grows as it settles, becoming more than it appears to be at first….. You’ll see what I mean if you give it a chance….

The Dreams of My Heart

The dreams of my heart and my mind pass,
Nothing stays with me long,
But I have had from a child
The deep solace of song;

If that should ever leave me,
Let me find death and stay
With things whose tunes are played out and forgotten
Like the rain of yesterday.

~~ Sara Teasdale ~~

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Given the theme in section one today, this is a perfect piece from the archives, to finish out the day….

From 7/15/2012:

“I observe that there are two entirely different theories according to which individual men seek to get on in the world. One theory leads a man to pull down everyone around him in order to climb on them to a higher place. The other leads a man to help everybody around him in order that he may go up with them.” — Elihu Root

I’ve also heard it observed that there are only two kinds of people in the world…. Those who make lists about the types of people in the world, and those who are bored to tears by that….. 

     🙂    

Sorry, couldn’t resist, even for such an obviously true aphorism, one that is completely  worthy of pearl status…..

I like to think that I act from the latter motivational base, that of working with my peers rather than against them, with my only thought of reward the good feeling that serving others gives me.

One piece of evidence that I’ve been successful at that, can be seen in my own place near the bottom of what most would consider the social scale. If I had been leaving bloody corpses behind me, I think I’d be enjoying a few more physical comforts than I do, and would have bodies buried somewhere that could be used against me, if they were publicized. When one has nothing, there is nothing to steal, is there?

“If you wish a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures.” — ancient Chinese proverb

I think the morality implied by the original pearl above is obvious, and is one that neither side of the issue would argue. But then, those who climb on the bodies of their peers to advance would never admit to such behavior; rationalization is one of mankind’s greatest skills. But, rationalized or not, they DO know that what they do is immoral; they have merely learned the art of lying to themselves as readily as they do to others.

To my way of thinking, it’s sad, as well as stupid, for far too many reasons to list here; relating one will do. It’s sad because these people will never even see any need to change, until it is too late for them to do anything that might help them. And it is stupid, well, just because it is…. No, sorry, just kidding… it is stupid because, a life that is built on lies, is no life at all…..

Joshu asked the teacher Nansen, “What is the True Way?”
Nansen answered, “Every way is the true Way.”
Joshu asked, “Can I study it?”
Nansen answered, “The more you study, the further from the Way.”
Joshu asked, “If I don’t study it, how can I know it?”
Nansen answered, “The Way does not belong to things seen: nor to things unseen. It does not belong to things known: nor to things unknown. Do not seek it, study it, or name it. To find yourself on it, open yourself as wide as the sky.”

I can see the Way, but cannot point to it, and this makes me pessimistic, for it (the Way) is possibly our last hope for redemption as a species, and the people who most need to find it are not even looking. I am optimistic because I see great promise in Man, even if I am not certain that promise will be kept….

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The aforementioned edit/proof session took only about 30 minutes, which makes this one of the fastest Pearls to ever get completed, unless, of course, you’re going to be a stickler, and count the two or three hours spent yesterday in putting it together…. I, personally, don’t have a stick jammed far enough up my ass to feel like that, so, I’m just going to ignore the entire issue, before I say or do something to completely eradicate any dignity or aplomb I may have previously displayed today…. In other words, I’m outta here, before I get caught…. See ya, 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

dozer3

Save the more elegant platitudes for an emergency….

Ffolkes,

Having witnessed human history now for a reasonably long while, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to find a bit of perversity poking up its head into the realm of behavioral options, but, when it comes to my own personal life, I’d prefer to not see it gain any ascendancy over the more, shall we say, acceptable qualities we humans possess to display our motivation to the world…. With that said, it still remains for me to decide whether or not to include the thoughts, or rather, concepts, that the opening statement describes as part of today’s effort…

I know, that’s a bit obscure…. deliberately. If I include too much detail, then trying to keep it separate and non-inclusive becomes impossible, as what I’m wobbling about gets mixed up with the more usable material, so, I try to keep it from being too obvious…. which, today, seems to have driven it completely and thoroughly out of my mind… I can’t find it anywhere. That’s most likely a good thing, as I’m feeling a little strange today, even for me, and it’s probably best we don’t try to get terribly complicated, or complex, at least, not before I’ve actually absorbed some of this coffee into my system….

Perhaps I should take an early break, to allow some actual thought processes to get through their boot sequences, so they’re up and running when I come back….. But, where would the fun be in that? No chance for serendipity if you never take chances…. So, I’ll just keep typing, and hope something comes up that will make all this a worthwhile decision….

If not, well, it won’t be the first time we’ve started the day from a position of chaos, or tried to go for a dive before fully awake (not a good idea, usually; there are scary things down there hanging around the bottom of the www ocean, where some of the pearls grow…. some of the best, too, so, I have to stay alert and composed when I go diving there, lest I become just one more lesson for a new diver to learn….)

Since there doesn’t seem to be any way to find my path back to coherency, or anywhere near legitimate cognitive practices, as outlined in the manual, we’ll just use the ever-popular and oh-so-effective emergency ending #4, and get on with creating some joyful noise….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Let him that would move the world, first move himself.” — Socrates (B.C. 469-399)
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I’m tired of ranting about stuff that won’t change, as well as writing such a massive amount of excellent prose to little purpose beyond my own catharsis…. My style of writing, apparently, is too involved for many ffolkes, as I’ve seen a rather significant drop-off in readership so far this year, over the two previous years….

So, rather than rant about stuff I can’t change, today we’ll go with the newest format style of pearling, with some headlines to articles that provide a bunch of evidence of how crazy the world has become, followed, in parentheses, by my comments (which, obviously, makes them “parenthetical” comments….     😉    Get it? No? Oh well….)….. which I will include, in spite of the bad omen indicated by such a bad joke, falling so flat, it’s only one-dimensional now….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Ex-New-Orleans-mayor-convicted-of-taking-bribes-5227784.php

(The amusement factor here, for me, is in the tone in which the article was written… The journalist wrote this as if it was some sort of big surprise to find a politician had been taking bribes…. What the hell did they expect from a politician? You put all that money in front of them, give them a key to the room where it’s kept, and then turn your back on them….. well, what else can a naturally born thief and con-man do? Why, he helps himself, of course, along with some bonuses for his “good buddies”…. What I don’t understand is WHY they are so surprised…. especially in New Orleans, which has a long history of corruption in all levels of government, from local police forces, all the way up to the governor’s chair…. Why should the mayor not join the parade?….)

http://www.sfgate.com/business/technology/article/Comcast-confirms-45B-Time-Warner-Cable-deal-5230283.php

(See that little piece in the title, that says 45B?…. That represents the forty-five BILLION dollars that Comcast will pay for Time-Warner…. I’m amazed only because it seems like such a paltry amount, compared to other deals I’ve seen of late…. This one, at a price that the human mind cannot fully grasp as a number, is rather a small one, but, it still just takes place out of the petty cash reserves for companies such as this…. Yeah, they’re “persons” alright…. I know LOTS of people who keep 45 billion in their pockets so they can buy up entire networks…..)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/texas/article/Ice-storm-causes-another-traffic-jam-in-the-South-5228735.php

(Just another mundane weather article, showing, once more, the ongoing evidence of global warming….. But, because the results of the warming on a planetary scale produce effects that look like ‘cold’ weather, we’ll continue to hear the pure bullshit from the deniers, who will point out, with a big grin, “Why, how could we be warming, when the South is covered in ice?” or some other display of absolute ignorance of how the process actually works….

I really do despair for humanity, especially when I smell the clearly identifiable miasma of horse manure flying, when these ignorant assholes spout off, with their stupidity leading the way….

That, by the way, is of the compelling reasons why I DON’T carry a gun…..  I’d be too tempted to use it on people like that, when it is the corporate masters who are responsible for causing them to have to speak up in the first place…. I’d rather shoot me a few bankers, or a CEO or three, and actually improve the world, than shoot a bunch of idiots, who know no better than to believe all the assholes tell them….)

http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Berkeley-sued-over-death-during-police-struggle-5230315.php

(This story is a hard one to reconcile into any sort of sensible picture, because any sort of intelligent response in these kinds of situations is mitigated by the sheer unpredictability of people in domestic crisis situations…. I guess what bothers me here is that, after reading the story, I don’t see ANY possible good outcomes, for anyone….

The police were caught in a situation where they had no really good options, and in the end, made some poor decisions…. At the same time, their hands were tied rather tightly by the way the victim responded, so, it’s hard to say who is at fault here…. only that it is a sad situation, one that can only be described as lose-lose, for everyone involved…. which goes to indicate the state of  a society where such events are even possible…..)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Fla-trooper-who-stopped-cop-sues-after-harassment-5223424.php

(I often speak of how little respect I have for most of the people who end up as police officers; that’s because I’m not typical, and refuse to let the courage and integrity of those few of them who do possess such qualities, keep me from seeing the reality of the real situation, to wit: the MAJORITY of police officers DON’T possess such qualities, but rather are attracted to the work for the status and privileges it bestows upon those who are part of it….

Here we have the story of one of the “good” kind of cop, one who became an officer of the law with the motivation to protect and serve the public….. This officer was put in the position of having to arrest one of her peers in law enforcement, for displaying an egregious sense of entitlement, by endangering the public drastically, using his position of authority as a shield, while engaging in the fulfillment of a personal agenda.

This dangerous behavior on his part, clearly a violation of both the law, and of the supposed code of conduct for a police officer, was defended by numerous other assholes in various police agencies, all of whom obviously feel the same sense of entitlement, showing once again that the police forces in this country attract the very people who should NOT be given that sort of power over others…. I feel a short rant developing….)

“It is not power itself, but the legitimization of the lust for power which corrupts absolutely.” — Smart Bee

I do feel like ranting after that last one, but, I’ll forgo that indulgence for now…. The police aren’t going anywhere, and they’ll still be attracting all sorts of people who shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns, much less be allowed to have the authority of a badge…. I’ll save this outrage for another day…. which, you will note, makes me kind, and tactful, for a change…. Let’s go find a poem, ‘kay?….
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When I first read one of this woman’s poems, just a few days ago, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy her work, and I was correct in that assessment…. I’ve been reading a few of her poems, which, apparently, don’t get very long…. every one I’ve read is no more than five or six stanzas…. But, short poems often display much more power of imagery than longer ones do, with good reason…. which, I think, is part of why it appeals to me…. Any who, here is another, with some rather elegant chops….

“Like Barley Bending”

Like barley bending
In low fields by the sea,
Singing in hard wind
Ceaselessly;

Like barley bending
And rising again,
So would I, unbroken,
Rise from pain;

So would I softly,
Day long, night long,
Change my sorrow
Into song.

~ Sara Teasdale ~~


What a wonderful final stanza! “Day long, night long, change my sorrow into song.”  Brilliant!….
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I had originally intended to put an older, archive rant on gun control here, but, under the influence of the poem above’s last line, I’m not feeling in the mood now to even edit a rant…. Instead, I’m falling back on what I know, an old-school pearl, of course, with no set parameters, other than the whimsy so often found in Smart Bee’s choices… Let’s see what serendipity has for us today, shall we?….

Freedom = Responsibility — Smart Bee, being smart.

Call any vegetable,
Call any vegetable,
And the chances are good
That the vegetable
Will respond to you.

— Frank Zappa, Lyrics in “Absolutely Free”

“Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend. Against the experts in defence, the enemy does not know where to attack.” — Sun Tzu

“I’m a man of my word. In the end, that’s all there is really….” — Avon

“Enjoy your life. If you don’t, no one else will.” — Smart Bee, being smart, again….

“Is being an idiot like being high all the time?” — Janeanne Garofolo

“Years ago fairy tales all began with “Once upon a time…”, now we know they all begin with, “If I am elected…”” — Carolyn Warner

Serendipity, indeed…. This pearl came out so well, I’m considering the possibility I’ve been wrong all along, and there IS a God! Well, maybe not…. but, it DID come out rather well, don’t you think? Well, I do…. It’s very….. circular…..  I like it, and it stays…. Hmph….
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“Not every truth is the better for showing its face undisguised; and often silence is the wisest thing for a man to heed.” — Pindar

Oops! Maybe I should be like a politician, and not include that last line by Pindar; it’s rather like pulling my own covers, isn’t it? But, being the honest man I am, (for which I am eternally grateful to my father, for providing me with the impetus to make such honesty paramount in my life….) I’ll admit it makes some sense, and take it under consideration…. every day, just as soon as I finish the Daily Pearl…. Until then, fuck it, I’m not holding back anything…. 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

These crib sheets are criminally inaccurate…..

Ffolkes,

In retrospect, life tends to disappoint, at least for most people, much of the time…. This, I think, is why most people are reluctant to engage in any sort of introspection of their past actions, since humans, as a species, don’t show a lot of courage when it comes to changing the only thing in the universe that is actually under our personal control, to wit: ourselves…. For whatever reason that people decide is real for them, they refuse to look at their own past acts in the light of any critical examination of virtue, or even mere accountability…. Most folks would prefer to wear their blinders all the time, so they don’t have to look at anything that might conceivably persuade them use their brain, or act in any way that is other than self-serving…..

Now, some might say that’s a bit harsh for the first paragraph of the day, but, I believe in calling a spade a club, er, a spade…. For that matter, I should make clear that I don’t dis-include myself in this category, because I am no better and no worse than anyone else…. Maybe, part of the time, I’m a bit more on the ball between the ears than the general run of bozos on this bus, but, my vaunted intelligence hasn’t made me rich, or exempted me from having to struggle in life, just like anyone else….

Well, I think so, anyway…. others might disagree with that assessment, but, my point is that my being smarter than others doesn’t make me better, or better off… In fact, it could be considered a curse, as I am more aware than your average bear of all the stuff in our world that needs fixing, but, can do no more about it than those who cannot see…. Our species has, for that matter, made the world such that intelligence is no longer of much value as a tool for survival…. It’s a lot more comfortable to be stupid, to not realize what we are in for over the coming years….

It’s a frustrating place to exist, if you want to know…. I can see what is wrong in society, and even point it out to those who do not; what I can’t do is make anyone DO anything about it, as I just don’t have it in me to manipulate others, not like the Asininnies do as a matter of course, in achieving their goals, and meeting their agendas…. Sometimes it seems as if the world deserves what is coming, because the degree of sheer stupidity that has been displayed by our species is so massively egregious, it makes me sick…. This is usually right before I realize how unjust it is that the rest of us, who didn’t have anything to do with getting to this point in time, will suffer the same ugly end as those who are responsible…. Then, of course, I realize my own culpability, and the tears begin to flow….

Of course, I don’t HAVE to feel bad, about this, or about anything, for that matter….. I can feel any way I wish to feel, and that would be my reality, but, I’ve never been able to keep out of Consensual Reality for long…. One of my favorite columnists at SFGATE is Mark Morford, about whom I’ve previously written…. His column from yesterday is a really, really good one, with just the right viewpoint, of a part of reality we often ignore, or just forget about,  to take my mind away from its usual haunts, taking it to that place he describes so well with his exquisite  command of the English language, a place where everything makes sense again, and all is right with the world….

This time, he touches on one of my deepest beliefs, which, ultimately, may become the very thing we need to save ourselves from our own stupidity…. Read the post, it will open your eyes… If not, well, I’d suggest you just crawl back into your hole, and try your best to ignore what’s happening outside, because it will just frighten you….. Read, think, and be happy…. or not, up to you, as always….

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2014/02/11/believe-this-and-live-forever/

Meanwhile, it’s time for me to get on with the reason for my being here…..  Without any further blather, dross, drivel, or nonsense, let’s get on with it….

Shall we Pearl?…..

PANDEMONIUM, n.  Literally, the Place of All the Demons.  Most of them have escaped into politics and finance, and the place is now used as a lecture hall by the Audible Reformer.  When disturbed by his voice the ancient echoes clamor appropriate responses most gratifying to his pride of distinction. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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I’m up a bit early today, having again slept hard for longer than usual…. I guess getting some good sleep is now the usual, which is, I suppose, a good thing…. but, the changes are such that it’s getting hard to figure out which reality I’m in at any given moment…. Oh well, I’ve had that particular conundrum to deal with ever since I first started experimenting with altering it…. Reality, that is…. We all do it, to some degree, but, I think, in toto, I’ve been just a bit more enthusiastic about it than your average bear…. a fact which is, mostly, fine by me, but, as I said, it can be confusing at times, to know exactly which reality is one’s current place of residence, thus making it problematic knowing how to act appropriately….

Fortunately for me, I’ve NEVER worried overmuch about being appropriate…. In fact, I often seek out the opposite standard, just for fun, and the profit supplied by amusement…. So, never fear for me, ffolkes, I’m an old hand at switching realities in mid-metaphor….  Y’all don’t need to worry a bit about anything other than paying your fare…. and, since this ride always has been, is, and always will be free of monetary charge, you’re in like Flynn…. This is a good thing, because it’s now time to go old-school, and I can’t do it without you…. I mean, what would be the point, if there was no one to read what I write? Right? Right…. Enjoy yourselves, ffolkes, I intend to…. Let’s go see what SB has for us today….

According to the Theory of Dubious Theories: All of the following are true and complete to the best of my knowledge….. certified, 2/12/14, by gigoid the dubious…..

How admirable,
he who thinks not,
Life is fleeting,
When he sees the lightning!

— Basho

“It is folly to punish your neighbor by fire when you live next door.” — Publius Syrus

“I would far rather be ignorant than wise in the foreboding of evil.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Suppliants, 453

“There is no evil in the universe which is not the result of ignorance, and which would not, if we were ready and willing to learn its lesson, lead us to a higher wisdom, and then vanish away.” — James Allan

“The most glorious exploits do not always furnish us with the clearest discoveries of virtue or vice in men.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Alexander

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being.” — C. G. Jung

“Don’t worry, nobody really LISTENS to lectures in MOSCOW, either! ..  FRENCH, HISTORY, ADVANCED CALCULUS, COMPUTER PROGRAMMING,  BLACK STUDIES, SOCIOBIOLOGY!..  Are there any QUESTIONS?? — Zippy the Pinhead

Ffolkes…. sometimes, it just happens this way…. I put together a pearl, with nothing really guiding my hand to indicate which pearls to choose for inclusion, and no conscious direction in mind…. Occasionally, on days such as this, a group of pearls is gathered that far outshines any chosen purpose I could have given it…. This pearl, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 set as ‘excellent’….. well, this one scores about a 13…. The inclusion of three pearls of ancient age may have contributed, but, the balance, and the imagery, is such that mere age is only an enhancement…. Let these sit in your mind, mix together for a while, and you’ll have something you can feel pretty good about…. guaranteed….
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I recently subscribed to an email service from a poetry web site, which is a good way to discover new poets (new to me)….. This is one whose name I’d seen, and heard, without ever seeing any of her actual work…. If this one is any indication, my exploration of her body of poems will be a delightful new experience…. This is a lovely poem, short, and powerful in imagery…. I like it, and so should you….. Enjoy!…..

It Is Not a Word

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

~~ Sara Teasdale ~~

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In looking around some old folders the other day, I came across a folder of articles I’ve posted on Triond.com, a publishing hub site that solicits work from online writers, which they submit to various web sites pertaining to the subject matter of the article…. Mine usually end up on Socyberty.com, a social commentary site that covers a lot of the political subjects I write about in my Pearls…. This one is a religirant I edited to fit into essay format, and sent to Triond…. It has apparently been taken down, as I don’t find it when I search, but, honest, it was there….

Posted on Triond, original written 5/27/2012….

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Searching for God~Dog among the Sillistines


“…it still remains true that as a set of cognitive beliefs about the existence of God in any recognizable sense continuous with the great systems of the past, religious doctrines constitute a speculative hypothesis of an extremely low order of probability.” — Sidney Hook

Mr. Hook gives us here quite a long-winded, Shakespearean statement about the existence of God…. one that probably would better have been left at “Not bloody likely!”…. Both get the same point across, but the latter has more punch, as the listener doesn’t have to spend all that time trying to, first, figure out what the hell he said….

It’s a very good statement, in its way; accurate, logical, and with a proper reservation of judgment, proclaiming the idiocy of buying into such an implausible story without being snide about it. (It also has the advantage of being substantially true in reality….) But, as mentioned, it reminds me of a certain author, who shall now remain unnamed, who had the same habit when he wrote, to wit: “HEY! Lets cover up what this means with a bunch of extra words that will make the reader’s head spin with admiration….”.

Now, as one who writes (or types, anyway…. who’s to say whether it is writing?….), I tend to agree with Twain’s method of prose, which tends to be, by his own admission, somewhat spare, because he was determined to pare down what he wrote to its barest bones, leaving nothing but meaning and style; as with golf, one is trying for the lowest score. Twain, Hemingway, Steinbeck, all believed that good writing should be accessible, and clear, without having to be translated, or put into simpler terms, and Mr. Hook would have done better, I think, to keep that in mind. The idea he is promulgating is one that does need to be spread around, and should stimulate discussion. In its present form, it will only do that amongst the few readers and folks who can easily make out what he is talking about in his overly obese statement….

The idea he expresses here is one that is generally discouraged by those in leadership positions in modern religions. Discussing the veracity of the claims that religion makes is not encouraged by any of the sects I know of; in fact, doing so tends to produce some rather volatile reactions, to put it mildly. Most folks have a hard time maintaining their cool when their religious beliefs are challenged, due, I think, to the strong emotional connection they add to those beliefs. Their feelings are so tied into those beliefs that, in their minds, questioning one is the same as attacking the other….. Not logical, but true nonetheless, and not a good thing to leave out of one’s calculations; I try never to discuss religion without being rather heavily armed…. and not only with knowledge….

Here’s the thing that bothers me about the whole concept of an omnipotent entity…. How can we, who are not omnipotent, claim to understand either the actual form of a God, or the motivation of such a being? How can we claim to be certain that this omnipotent entity, capable of creating an entire universe, not only looks just like us, but actually wants us to bow down and worship Him, or Her, or It? Even when I was five years old, nobody could, or would, answer that question, other than to say, “because it’s in the Bible.” Even then, I recognized when I was being put off, and it just made me wonder more….

“Certainty is only a symptom of lack of imagination.” — Anonymous

Over time, as my knowledge of the world grew, I came to realize that religion, like government, is just another man-made institution, with the sole purpose of taking advantage of, and controlling, the general run of folks who are just trying to get by in life. I learned that the louder a person proclaims himself to be a Christian, the less like Christ they act. Being “safe in the arms of Jesus” is the perfect excuse to deny any responsibility for one’s own acts of immorality; Jesus forgives everything, right? Well, he does…. it says so right here in the New Testament, so it must be true….

“Our father who art in heaven..  I sincerely pray that SOMEBODY at this table will PAY for my SHREDDED WHEAT and ENGLISH MUFFIN..  and also leave a GENEROUS TIP…” — Zippy the Pinhead

I don’t claim to know God. I don’t know how God looks. I don’t know what God thinks, or even if what that entity does can be called thinking at all. I’m not omnipotent, so I have no frame of reference from which to approach such a question. I do know this, though…. whatever anyone says about God is bound to be wrong. It has to be; there is no way for us to understand anything about such a creature, not if we are to assume they are truly gods. If they are gods, or God, then I refuse to believe that what is important to me as a human is important to them; it just doesn’t make any logical sense. None….

ZEUS, n.  The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog.  Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frump insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Looking at a Universe without God doesn’t scare me…. I think it is quite beautiful, no matter how it came to exist. Knowing one way or another how it was created, or happened, or evolved, or whatever, isn’t important to me, in either the short, or the long run. Learning about it, experiencing its joys and trials, appreciating both its gifts and its burdens, these are much more important. Do your Duty. Honor the Truth. Respect Life. Share your Love. Do these, and the rest will take care of itself. I don’t think that God needs my approval, nor my worship, in order for the universe to carry on…. it’s just fine the way it is…..

“There are no physicists in the hottest parts of hell, because the existence of a hottest part implies a temperature difference, and any marginally competent physicist would immediately use this to run a heat engine and make some other part of hell comfortably cool. This is obviously impossible.” — Richard Davidson
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Having cheated shamelessly today, I am now about to enjoy the fruits of my lack of labor, which, as it turns out, is more of a curse than a blessing…. You see, it’s now only 0605, and I’m done writing for the day, unless some news article jumps up and pokes my outrage button, while my text editor is still open…. This means I have over three hours until the remainder of the world gets up and gets going, to the point where I can get anything done of a business nature…. SIGH…. I’m so damn smart, I’m stupid…. See you tomorrow, should my brain cells condescend to operate well enough to allow me to survive until then….

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