Bitter whimsy…

Ffolkes,

“Rotten wood cannot be carved.”

~~ Confucius ~~

~~ Analects, Book 5, Ch. 9 ~~

homebase

gigoid’s hideaway….

Hajime…. Bitter whimsy, indeed, my friends. It’s been at least three days since I last sat to compose a Pearl, though I’ve spent a little time collecting pearls to use. Most of my time, sadly, has been spent feuding with the powers that be, in the guise of banks, and robotic zombies in service to soulless corporations. As usual, the conflicts in which I’ve been compelled to engage have ended in what can best be called a draw; I get what I need, the myrmidons get confused, and we both feel a bit unsettled afterward. Mostly, it works, though there seems to be little point to any of it.

In fact, if you consider our opening lines from Confucius (the real one, not the one with the weird fake accent everyone uses… this is from the books he actually wrote, back in the days of Lao Tzu and the emperors of various dynasties in China…), taken together with the intro closing quote from Bert Russell, it gives the flavor of how my time out in the BBR has gone, for the most part. Relatively productive in terms of task completion, but, with the concomitant angst and stress from having to deal with mundanes, myrmidons, zombies, and simple idiots, to go along with the more rarely encountered true human, those who are able to display rational behavior, and a human ability to display empathy toward others.

I miss the conversations involved in blogging; in the past six or so years, I’ve met some of the best ffolkes I’ve ever known; several have become very good friends, and I am reluctant to completely give up the time I spend connecting with them. But, I am finding, also, I am less filled with the background of tension that comes from having to soak up so much bad juju, which is hard to avoid if one follows current events. There are literally dozens of issues being played out in the world today, all of which are relatively critical in nature; the failure to meet some of the challenges necessary to resolve those issues will have serious effects on the entire world, including our own species, effects which conceivably lead to our demise as a species. It ain’t pretty, ffolkes; humanity has been ignoring the basic rules of reality for a long time, hoping against hope the delusions/illusions upon which we have based our existence are powerful enough to withstand conflict with the real world. I’m unhappy to report, they aren’t….

But, that’s a rant for another time, yes? Yes. For now, I’m going to once again slough it all onto a back burner, & throw together a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom, just because I can, and, probably should, given the alternative, which none of us should contemplate without a better handle on things…. For now…

Shall we Pearl?

“In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice,
and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper,
and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying.”

~~ Bertrand Russell ~~

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mikegordon__leo_kottke

Image from LIVEmusicblog.com via Google Images

Leo Kottke has been a legendary performer on the 12-string guitar for most of my life; I first saw him in concert in my first year at UC Berkeley, where he blew me, and the rest of the audience, right out of our shoes. Mike Gordon is much younger, but, no less a phenomenon, as a studio bassist, and for the popular rock band, Phish, with Trey Anastasio complementing his bass licks on lead guitar with his improvisational genius. Leo and Mike got together prior to Phish, to play in concert, also making a number of albums treasured by aficionados of great improvisational music…. Enjoy, ffolkes; these are two of the best, having fun together….

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Leo Kottke & Mike Gordon Live

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Comedy_Tragedy

Adjectives of Quality ~~ Bloody Friday

A baleful lump of ironic introspection
sits upon my shoulder today
leaving traces of fey reflection
with a smattering of true dismay.

Resistance may be futile, many have said,
belief didn’t necessarily follow.
Abnegation of fear marks all bills paid,
leaving such empty threats hollow.

Symbolic courage never sleeps so deeply
as when delusion holds sway.
Bartered virtue, sold far too cheaply,
stands in shame, until honor fades away.

Too many culprits exist to count just one;
all of us bear obvious blame.
Evil is as evil does, only, when it’s done,
it begins again, all same-same.

Nobody seems to care enough to deny the lies.
Ignorant fear rules humanity’s masses.
When evil passes unremarked, innocence dies;
silence equals guilt, leaving only hope’s ashes.

Reality screams; tales of terror unfold,
flames fanned with purposeful malice,
insidious dangers hide beneath atrocity untold
as Gaia weeps into an empty chalice.

~~ gigoid ~~

10/3/2015

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Odd, but, true….

*******

“Everything can be filed under “miscellaneous”.”

~~ Dilbert, Scott Adams ~~

*******

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth:
(1) not going all the way; and
(2) not starting.”

~~ Buddha ~~

*******

“Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.”

~~ Subtle Bee ~~

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“The keenest sorrow is to recognize ourselves
as the sole cause of all our adversities.

~~ Sophocles ~~

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“As I look at your image,
I see only the light which was not absorbed.”

~~ Mark Middleton ~~

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“It will not out of the flesh that is bred in the bone.”

~~ John Heywood (c. 1565) — Proverbes, Part ii, Chap. viii~~

*******

“What sane person could live in this world and not be crazy?”

~~ Ursula K. LeGuin ~~

*******

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‘Tis now 0510, which means this process has done its job admirably; I’m still relatively sane, and nobody died in my vicinity, whether due to my action, or inaction. Plus, compared to the general run of mundanes, I’m still sane, and as free as anyone in this sad old world can be. Rather than entertain any opinions of a different nature, I’ll just ease my way off screen, & get on with the re-ordering of my personal reality. It’s a tough job, but, who else will do it, if I don’t? No one. Since that remains the case, I’ll see y’all later; the exact date remains, at this point, a mystery, but, don’t fret, it won’t be too long… It seems to keep pulling at me…. See ya, ffolkes….

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

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Dry it off first, then, slice it….

Ffolkes,

“One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night.”

~~ Kahlil Gibran ~~

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tiananmen Square with the OYA Posse

Hajime…. Observe, then, the bent, grizzled old man, sitting stiffly in front of a computer, perched painfully on the front edge of a chair, typing quickly in his haste to get down what must be said, while moderating the speed to minimize any errors requiring a stop to repair the damage. Grimacing, with a low grunt, as he shifts in the chair, he leans back, stiffly stretching, then leans on the table for support once more, & begins to type…

For very nearly five years, since beginning to blog here on WP, the only extended absence I’ve had was a few days when the cruise ship I was on didn’t offer adequate internet speed to make it worth the time. Even then, I didn’t always miss posting, as I just left out any pictures to decrease the upload/download time; text doesn’t take up much space, http-wise. When this Pearl gets posted, I’ll have missed, at least, four or five days, with the last freshly created work over a week ago, just when I seemed to be hitting some sort of stride. Since the creation of the daily Pearl has been, for all that time, and, remains my form of personal therapy, you can imagine just how much internal stress/angst has accumulated. Well, perhaps you can’t, but, I, sadly, don’t have to imagine, as I’ve lived through it.

I’m working at this now simply as a distraction, taken for a short time to think of something other than the sharp pain in my lower back and right hip, a song of lamentation, sung in concert with the usual pantheon of irritated nerve endings which live to complain at the top of their inner vocal range. Mostly I can tune them out, or sing accompaniment louder to drown them out, at least long enough to get some thoughts down on screen. When the main melody becomes stridently piercing, like an alto soprano in full flight through an aria in the high C, glass-shattering range, it becomes too much to think, much less, hold still long enough in a position that exacerbates the tune’s volume, to get much done in the way of coherent composition.

Here I am anyway, for the nonce, to release some of the pressure, while simultaneously continuing the major effort involved in fixing what is wrong with my physical persona, which, in spite of any thoughts we might entertain to the contrary, cannot be separated from the psychic/mental persona, at any junction or point. They are one and the same; trying to act otherwise is generally how we go wrong in the first place, so, it’s well to begin the correction process with a reminder of that, so our efforts can address the complete picture/issue, & not forget any part of what is needed.

With all that said, we’ll now return to relatively normal space/time, to rejoin today’s exploration of consensual reality where I had originally begun, several days ago. What follows has been patched together in five to ten minute increments over the past week or so; since it’s all a wash, whatever happens, no matter how long, or short, or cogent, or silly, will have to do, for it’s what there is, & I ain’t a gonna do it again. First time damn near killed me, as is…. Let’s see now, where did I put that? Oh, right… Okay, let’s go….

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that balances are correct.”

~~ from “Manual of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan ~~

This Pearl has been a difficult one to work on, for a number of reasons. First, as reported, I’m fighting my demons almost full time. In the process, I made some attempts to reconnect with reality, part of which involved going out to be social, at a bar. Friday last, the 29th of July, in fact, I walked to a nearby establishment, actually having a decent time, then cutting myself off at a decent level, (well pre-inebriation to excess, a good sign), to take the walk home. ‘Twas a fine night, and the walk was pleasant, as it naturally would have to be, with half-a-snoot-full of prime bourbon on board….

“The Law of Unintended Consequences carries it own penalties…”

~~ Smart Bee ~~

Does anyone else see the problem here? No? Well, allow me to continue, then….

For a couple weeks, since first walking by the route taken to the bar, (though, those times, to somewhere else), I had noticed a small puppy, quite good looking, and friendly, if excitable, in a small enclosure overlooking the sidewalk, not situated in a good spot for a pet, right in the sun, with no shade. There was water, and food, but, nobody was ever around, at any of the various times I went by; the dog was, naturally, starved for attention. He was there on Friday, still in good cheer, though not as happy as usual. I told him if nobody was around when I came back, I’d say hello again, & went on my way….

Got it now? No? Okay, full confession, then…. On the way home from the bar, I stopped to greet the dog, who was happy to have the attention. Since my judgment was gone, into the bottle, I decided to ‘rescue’ the dog, if possible. I went to the door & offered the people $20 for the dog. They turned him over without a whimper of protest, telling me I’d done the right thing. I took the food, and tied one of my ropes to the pup’s collar, & off we went home…. where we were greeted by a very unhappy cat. I got the dog & cat separated, & quieted down enough for all of us to get to sleep….

For the next day and a half, I tried to find a place for the dog, unsuccessfully, while acting as simultaneous animal trainer, referee, and apologist to a cat for subjecting her to such an outrage. She was NOT pleased, to be sure, thought the pup was ecstatic… and therefore boisterous. This, it seems where the law of unintended consequence steps in, you see….

I was a responsible dog owner while he was with us, meaning I walked him at least twice, or three times a day…. As it turns out, walking a boisterous puppy, with no training of how to behave on a leash, is a physical strain on the parts of my body that are not capable of such wear and tear any longer…. By Monday morning, I was in sheer agony, with my lower back and hip on fire, causing spasms and anguish in the other muscles, to the point I could not get out of bed, at all. To my undying embarrassment, I had to call my daughter to come rescue me. and the dog & cat….

I’ve dragged this out about as far as possible, with not much more to go, so, I’ll merely say at this point, this was an act of compassion, for which I am paying a heavy price, with some rather intimidating implications for the future, given my reaction to the strain. I have been unable to write, or sit, or stand, or even lie down for long, without pain interrupting with sharp complaints. It will pass, with rest and the right approach, but, it’s slow, and, damn, it hurts. But, I did the right thing, and the dog, now with a pet rescue organization who will find him a good home, will be a much happier dog. So be it. I’ll take the pain as part of the duty, and be fine with it….

Since that’s probably the longest intro to a Pearl, ever, let’s get to the rest of it, which I’ve been working on for over a week. It’s all fresh, complete with a new poem, and I hope y’all enjoy the output…. Let’s do this, before I forget how….

Shall we pearl?….

“Few, if any, children survive to their teens.
Most surrender to the vague but murderous pressure of adult conformity.”

~~ Maya Angelou ~~

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mozart2

Go figure, eh?…. It’s both a great performance of a iconic piece of music, and, a pearl of virtual wisdom, with a message….

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Mozart
Requiem

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Dont keep calm

“The disappearance of a sense of responsibility
is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.”

~~ Stanley Milgram ~~

“Collective responsibility brings a lowering of moral standards.”

~~ Freeman Dyson ~~

“No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.”

~~ Stanislaw Lem ~~

The three quotes you see above are an example of why I pearl, at all. Each of them is a statement which essentially says the same thing, yet each is distilled, and presented, in such a way the wisdom contained is made clear by its simplicity. Together, they bring to the reader a concept I hold to be the single most critical failure of the American people, and the primary reason they have become willing, if unwitting, slaves….

When beginning this Pearl, I’d intended to produce a considerable rant, if only to show myself I still can do so. The physical constraints I’m currently experiencing has prevented such an event, as I am still in considerable pain when sitting before the computer. So, I’m going to do us all a small favor, and leave today’s lesson at that. I’ll add two more pearls. The first, from our old friend Albert, is echoed by my own feelings on the matter of government sponsored killing, which is made possible by the above clearly cowardly abrogation of honor by most of the American public. Albert states what ought to be a common feeling, and, is not….

“He who joyfully marches to music rank and file, has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would surely suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action. It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.” — Albert Einstein

Lastly, I give you Emily, for, in spite of how bad things are, or how bad they get, for some reason, I cannot seem to give up hoping we can pull it off, and survive the consequences of our own idiocy… Maybe we will, maybe we won’t; the hope doesn’t seem to want to die….

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land
And on the strangest sea,
Yet never in extremity
It asked a crumb of me.

~~ Emily Dickenson ~~

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Comedy_Tragedy

Bulletin

Patterns exist to bring sanity, if illusory, at best;
follicular, reality seems to slip and slide.
Still, formal insanity consistently fails the ultimate test,
why place faith in answers. from which truth can hide?

Following the music brings us back in good time;
forever seemingly retreats from relevance.
Crazy, time stands still with yet another innovative rhyme,
no burgeoning intentions for sale, to shimmy. or dance.

Folly sits easily upon this brow;
fateful and afraid, entropy bows in shame.
Into the river of time, slowly, forgetful of how
courage gives strength, no matter the game.

Capricious, the muse demands obedient attention
at risk of exhibiting true durance vile.
Bereft, single copies sit unused, despite all intention;
while singular examples of fate pass at the stile.

Seminal events bring their own weight;
no scale necessary, no guessing by eye, or hand.
Only one lesson to learn, just pay the freight;
the music is playing, and you’re part of the band.

~~ gigoid ~~

8/6/2016

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Life at Large

*********

“From hence, ye beauties, undeceived
Know one false step is ne’er retrieved
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts is lawful prize,
Not all that glisters gold.”

~~ Thomas Gray ~~

~~ Elegy To A Favourite Cat Drowned In A Bowl Of Goldfishes ~~

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“Meddle not in the affairs of dragons,
for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.”

~~ Scott Adams, maybe ~~

*********

“Everything has two handles,
–one by which it may be borne;
another by which it cannot.”

~~ Epictetus — Enchiridion, xliii ~~

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“Be entirely tolerant or not at all;
follow the good path or the evil one.
To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.”

~~ Heinrich Heine ~~

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“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

~~ Hanlon’s Razor ~~

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“Do not speak of what men deserve.
For we each of us deserve everything,
every luxury that was ever piled in the tombs of the dead Kings,
and we each of us deserve nothing, not a mouthful of bread in hunger.
Have we not eaten while another starved?
Will you punish us for that?
Will you reward us for the virtue of starving while others ate?
No man earns punishment, no man earns reward.
Free your mind of the idea of *deserving*, of *earning*,
and you will begin to be able to think.”

~~ Odo, The Prison Letters ~~

~~ Ursula LeGuin, “The Dispossessed” ~~

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“Do not settle for less than the best your own excellence can command.”

~~ Anne McCaffrey ~~

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“It ain’t over until it’s over.”

~~ Casey Stengel ~~

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“When the way comes to an end, then change
– having changed, you pass through.”

~~ I Ching ~~

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In spite of all the handicaps faced, it’s done. I’m going to post it, so I can say I’m still blogging…. sort of. I’ll be back again, though, with my back in the state it’s in, it’s hard to say when that may happen. I can’t promise it will, but, the odds are as good as they ever were, so, we’ll all have to live with the ambiguity for a time. See y’all then, mes amis, with more expulsion of angst, I’m sure…. You may count on that…..

“Don’t embarrass us.”
“Have I ever?”

~~ Buckaroo Banzai and Perfect Tommy ~~

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

dozer3

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Look, Mama! Billy’s nictating again!….

Ffolkes,

“Not all politicians should be shot.  One should be saved for the archives.”

~~ Smart Bee, nailing it in one, PERFECTLY ~~

Blue Marble past 2

Earth from near La Grange Point 1

NASA Image from NASA.gov


Good morning…. Today’s opening quote, for me, is perfect. In fact, I believe I described it that way in the attribution…. Why, yes, yes I did. How about that?

There, having set a tone of silly, we’ll proceed to a more sober beginning, which I found hiding in a Pearl from November of 2013… It’s rather a nice opening, if a bit long, so I think it will do nicely as a counterpoint to rest of today’s effort…. Let’s see what it says, eh?….

Written 11/23/2013:

We people are a funny lot, aren’t we? Funny, strange, that is, not funny, ha ha…. Okay, perhaps “odd” is a more accurate assessment, for the purposes of labeling, a practice which, now that I think of it, is not particularly productive when applied to humans, since we, as a species, tend to make the application of labels of little use….. This is mostly due to our inner nature, which reflects the principle of Peruaosophy’s axiom #2, to wit: “The nature of the Universe is Change. Unpredictable, innovative transformation of Reality is the Norm. If you have a hard time with this, you are in for a rough ride in Life. ”

My ride through Life has lived up to this principle, a factor which, arguably, contributed to its formation, as well as providing living proof of its veracity, and relevance….. It’s not that I have a hard time with Change; no, indeed, far from it. I’ve cultivated the acceptance of Change since I learned the importance of doing so, way back in my early teen years….. It just seems as if Change, at least much of what I’ve encountered in that respect, has come at me more quickly, and with more innovation (Is that the right word?…. Yes, yes, I think it must be…. It’s close enough to what actually happens, and no other candidates have stepped up….) than I seem able to cope with, at least at the same pace it arrives…. I always end up getting to the right place, in my mind, and in Reality, but, it’s often more of a struggle, and takes longer, than it seems like it should….

You may be asking yourself, at this point, exactly how does this apply to this morning’s Pearl?…. Well, it applies, sort of, and then, again, it doesn’t…. You see, I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, at least, not in terms of having a real, actual event over which I’ve been agonizing, waiting for it to change into something else perhaps less intimidating, or less complex….. Everything in my life, currently, is proceeding smoothly, with few bumps, and no really fast changes of direction…. So, nothing pressing is on my plate, nor am I particularly stressed over any other potential changes taking place….

Well, I THINK everything is okay…. I’ve been stoned a lot of late, augmenting my pain meds with some attitudinal adjustment, so I might have missed a few events that otherwise may have provided some challenge, but, I don’t believe I’ve missed out on anything significant, or important in a moral, or ethical sense…. If I did, it wasn’t important enough to have left me a note, or a summons, so, I think all is well in that respect….

No, I was just sitting there when I started today, staring again at a blank screen, and thought about how all of the above applied to me, and everyone else who lives on this old ball of mud….. whereupon, I had to laugh, because, otherwise, I’d cry…. I also experienced a small feeling of poignancy, and an appreciation for the strangeness of the human psyche, that can thrive on what seems to be chaos, and can learn to surf the wide ocean of Reality, riding on the edge of the changes that are constantly taking place, whether we notice them, or not….

I’m not really sure where this is taking us, which is NOT a good thing, given the fact we are still in the intro section, trapped here because, once more, I’ve written myself into a corner, and can’t find a dignified way out…. But, then, when has dignity entered into this equation, eh? Never, I say, nor will it…. While I DO try to maintain a relative degree of sobriety, and at least a modicum of respect for others, dignity has never been one of the key characteristics I’ve cultivated….

It’s just too hard to maintain any sort of dignified mien, when a large, glowing, red bulb is growing out of the middle of one’s face, a feature which tends to give off a loud, abrasive, “HONK!!!”, at the slightest provocation…. For us bozos, dignity isn’t part of the picture, nor will it ever be, especially given my own predilection for bozoid tendencies….

That’s okay, though…. Y’all may, or may not, have noticed that I’ve once again managed to get enough written to call this a legal introductory section…. I know, I cheated, but, I do that a lot here, anyway, in the quest to get this done each day, so, we’re going to act as if it never happened….. Call me “funny” if you wish….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“He’s a real Nowhere Man, sitting in his Nowhere Land, making all his Nowhere plans for nobody. Doesn’t have a point of view, knows not where he’s going to, isn’t he a bit like you and me?” — The Beatles, ‘Nowhere Man’

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bozo_0

    Today’s picture indicates the absence of a video section today. Something is up with my computer, making it impossible, so far, to access any videos online. It will require some investigative troubleshooting to find the issue, so, no video today. In fact, at this point, I’m not certain I’ll get posted at all. Time will tell, as we Time Lords say…. For now, we’ll go on….

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Dont keep calm
In yesterday’s post, (I think…. if not, well, I did sometime), I addressed the issue of gun control in this country, in re: the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution…. While perusing old Pearls again, I found an even better examination of the subject, one which is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s world, as violence spreads to every level and corner of society and the world…. It’s a long one, containing two rants, one from February of 2013, and one from November of the same year…. No quiz will follow, since it will take up some extra time to wend your way to the poetry section from here….

From 11/23/2013:

I wrote the following politirant in February of 2013, which, though it is not so long ago, being still in this year, nevertheless, seems like a very long time in the past…. At the time, I still had some time before the end of my ordeal of obtaining Social Security,  and, thus, living in a state of near poverty, not quite enough to become desperate, but challenging and humbling, to say the least…. a state which had been my lot for two-plus-a-little-bit-years, which found me living, as they would say in an English drawing room comedy, “in reduced conditions…”, Fortunately, I was not without more resources and support than many folks, and/or ffolkes, might have had; I did have medical insurance, which many do without….

It was definitely one of the most challenging periods of my life, and without my friends, I wouldn’t have made it as well as I did….. Now, nine months later, I’ve spent soon-to-be more than a month on board three, soon-to-be four, cruise ships; I’ve visited, or, traveled to and/or through four states, six countries, and the independent island of Guernsey, which is a bit confused as to their precise allegiance, other than to their cows, I guess… Any who, I’ve been busy, having also moved, into a house, of sorts…. not a long move, physically, but, still, a momentous event….

Nevertheless, what I wrote here remains as valid as the day I wrote it…. It’s good enough to use again, and this subject can’t be overdone, to my way of thinking. It is one I am passionate about, even though I have never owned a gun, after giving up the last air rifle of my youth,  when I was still a pre-teen.

As a life-long scientist, a life-long warrior, and a boy growing up in America, I knew of guns, of course, and how to use them, (I DID grow up on Army bases, and had been taught basic gun safety by my father, as every child should be, by the time I was five years old….). But, my MIND has always been my weapon of choice, followed closely by my own hands and feet…. If an intelligent man has failed to think ahead far enough to avoid any situation requiring the use of a weapon, and only then to defend a life, then that intelligence has failed him….

(This also applies to women, of course, but, I happen to be a man, so, to avoid confusion, at least in my own mind, I’ll just use whatever pronoun comes to hand, okay?…. Where was I?… Oh, yeah, okay….)

For a warrior, when weapons MUST be used, the weapon must be suited to the purpose, and the battle; when used for other purposes, they are merely dangerous toys, and not worthy of consideration, beyond the necessary preparations for dealing with the problem of defense against them…. In the final analysis, any interaction where a gun, or any weapon, is brought into play, the issue remains merely another test, a contest of will, between two minds…. The faster, more trained, more experienced mind will prevail in any such contest, whether that mind’s body is holding a gun, or not…. The gun is only the vehicle that manifests the will of the bearer; the will must be applied for a weapon to function at all….

As a warrior, I’m no fool, and if I’m faced with guns, then, I’ll get one, and use it…. More significantly, I’ll know to bring one, if needed, provided I use my mind correctly, ahead of any danger, to not be caught unprepared…. Heretofore, I’ve been both fortunate, and accomplished at foresight, as I’ve always been able to deal with whatever I’ve encountered, able to use my martial arts training to control the violence with my hands…. There have been only two occasions in sixty-three years where I found it necessary to employ a weapon, (NOT guns…. once a knife, and once a stick….). Both times, the weapon was only needed as a threat…. I figure, considering those two incidents are part of a statistical universe containing over 750 occasions of having to deal with violence, usually directed against me by a mentally ill person, I’m doing pretty well at not having to resort to using a weapon….

HOWEVER…. In spite of my own lack of need for guns, I recognize that they are an important tool for anyone who wishes to retain ANY level of freedom, in a world where there are a large number of people who have no morals, or restraint, who tend to attempt to use their own guns to force THEIR will upon those who will not, or cannot defend themselves…. This statement of human interaction is not a guess…. It is not an opinion…. It is not a question, or a suggestion…. It is a fact of life, and a quality of human nature; not admitting the presence and capabilities of such corrupted humans is not only foolish, but, in the long run, as well as the short, a very dangerous failure of intelligence….

Perhaps not so much, I suppose, if one is careful in their choice of parents, (hah!), but, there are times when Fate, in the guise of Entitlement, or Insanity, or Desperation, or some other iconic force of emotion that can drive a human to pick up a gun, and use it indiscriminately on innocent people…. well, Fate will act in spite of all our caution…. Believing schoolyard shootings, or mall attacks on shoppers, or shootings in work-places, or churches, will stop happening, if we only banned guns, is the dream of a child, with no understanding of reality…. It isn’t that simple, and giving up the right to defend yourself, for the promise of being protected, is naive, and, well, sorry, but, it’s stupid….

Any who, now that I’ve committed unconscionable rudeness, to rant within a rant,  here is what I noted about the issue earlier this year, before I got so busy with living….

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

From February, 2013:

“The media are now the tool of tyrants and despots. Tyrants and despots encourage fear, because fearful people will accept extreme political solutions, will demand extreme political solutions.” — Jon Carroll, S. F. Chronicle, January 8, 1997

Jon Carroll, on the political scale, would be considered to be just a bit left of the center, maybe a foot or two, as he tends to side with liberal ideas more than conservative. Over the years, I’ve found his take on life and society to be, most of all, even-handed, and reasonable. He avoids the trap of becoming overly critical of conservative ideas, while at the same time showing absolute fearlessness in addressing difficult questions and issues. As a media member, for him to make this statement was most likely painful, in that he had to admit his own culpability to do so. He does that, quite well, without becoming overly pedantic or shrill about it, while still nailing the controversial point at which he is taking aim….

The recent hullabaloo over gun control is a perfect example of the process he describes, in action. Whenever a madman grabs a gun and starts shooting people randomly, or even targeting one group or another, the media immediately descends in hordes on the location of the shooting, giving out endless bulletins with the latest news on the events, interviewing police, victims, bystanders, and pundits to provide “balanced coverage” of events the public “has the right to know”…. regardless of how degrading, or painful, or ignorant, or insane, or stupid it may sound, or how much pain it may cause the victims. No stone is left unturned to examine and evaluate every emotional nuance for the viewing public, without any regard for morality, or justice, and definitely without any regard for compassion, or empathy.

After the event has ended, the media then turns to the “discussion” of the meaning of the events, which means it gives the Beloved Ruling Class a free source of advertisement for its agenda, which, allow me to reassure you, has nothing to do with what may be good for YOU. All the talk you hear from politicians after these shootings is aimed at increasing the fear of the public, to make them believe they are powerless in the face of a madman with a gun, and only if the people will allow ONLY the police and government to have guns, why, everything will be fine, and there would never be any more shootings at public schools.

I’m sorry, but, I’m afraid I can’t buy that…. There are over seven billion people on this planet, and there is nothing at all that is going to prevent some of them from going crazy, getting a gun, (or knife, or poison, or grenade, or dynamite, or…..) and using it on other folks. Believing such nonsense is, I’m sorry, just stupid….. It won’t stop, and there is nothing that will stop it, unless we figure out a way to change human nature…. a quest that, so far, has been completely unsuccessful, and isn’t likely to ever be otherwise…. People have violence in their nature, and thinking that the government, or any other entity, can change that is, well, not too bright….

But, fear is strong in most of society, and those folks have no clue, in general, that they are so easily manipulated. They tend to allow anyone who promises them to stop the fear to tell them what to do, just so they don’t have to think about it, or face it themselves. Governments have known this for centuries, as the quote below, from Hermann Goering, the Nazi general under Hitler, indicates clearly…. It’s a practice by no means uncommon among governments throughout history, up to and including the present day version….

“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, IT IS THE LEADERS of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is TELL THEM THEY ARE BEING ATTACKED, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. IT WORKS THE SAME IN ANY COUNTRY.” — Gṏering at the Nuremberg Trials

Yep, ffolkes, that is indeed what it means…. most people are cowards. Combine that with their deliberate stupidity, and they are easily manipulable, plain and simple…. When it comes to their own fears, they won’t do much of anything in the way of conquering those fears themselves…. They would much rather let the politicians promise them to keep the streets safe, if only they will give up the right to defend themselves, or allow a preacher to tell them to submit to earthly authority in order to receive eternal life…… Or, in other words, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today….” — Wimpy, Popeye’s friend, and metaphorical common man….. The media, whether out of ignorance, or out of deliberate dispassion, will continue to give them a public platform from which to perform their manipulations, and never blink an eye in guilt….

Me? I’ll pass on the hamburger, thanks, and go make sure my powder is dry….

“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.” — Ronald W. Reagan

(Back in November now…..  My powder, had I any need of it, would still be dry…. I know for sure that my knives are sharp and numerous, as are the other not so obvious weapons that I tend to keep lying at hand, where they can be easily procured, when… er, ah, IF they’re ever needed…..    😉   …..)

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

Final note from 2015:

Well, I now have powder, and, I assure you it’s dry…. I’ll leave y’all with three thoughts, two of which I found when looking for one closing pearl…. SB seemed to think they were appropriate, so, to finish it off in balance, I made one up to make the trio…. I think it’s rather strong, myself…. But, then, it’s mine, and, I’ve got my own share of ego, even if I do try to keep it from getting in the way…. After that, let’s go read a poem, okay?….

“Freedom is for everyone. Or no one.” — Smart Bee

“No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.” — Alice Walker

“Security in life is nowhere to be found in reality; anyone who promises it to you is lying. We only have the rights we are willing to defend with our very lives.” — gigoid

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

Comedy_Tragedy

    Maggie Mae has done it again; she’s written my soul, right out loud…. You can find her, and more of her poetry, here:

http://maggiemaeijustsaythis.com/2015/07/20/the-people/

The People

Starved out of politeness, cockroach-kicked feet
walk across a blue night.
My lungs are stuck together, breathing in
radiation from the hot air
blown in my face.
The people, the people glow
white teeth at every camera. I see
the teapot boiling,
steam rising,
whistle blowing….

my ears ring out electric chords,
far from the classic, ghostly shadow
that sprawl across my nerves
when they start to shiver.
They eat very little,
or a lot, or they drink
or not,
or they lie and mispronounce their own
names on purpose and move around mountains
blending in with the tones of the town.
These people seem largely designed, I
walk on needles. I am little and not
proportionate. I dream about
ages, and eggs and other meals
that are not enough on their own.
Is anyone? Enough with just their teeth and
their camera and light?
“She’s only crazy,” says my mother.
And the hills are long monsters leaking
into my brain. I’m dizzy
and distorted. This image.
This image set up in sanity, or not.

~~ Maggie Mae ~~

~~ maggiemaeijustsaythis ~~


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

pearls_3

    All in all, this Pearl came out well; if it gets posted, it will be a triumph of Will over the power of Murphy’s Law…. If it does, or doesn’t, this is a good pearl; simple, clear instructions on how to find and keep track of yourself….

“This is living, not to live unto oneself alone.” — Menander

“You are not your opinion of yourself.” — John Lilly

“An ass is but an ass, though laden with gold.” — Romanian Proverb

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” — Scott Adams

“How glorious it is — and also how painful — to be an exception.” — Alfred de Musset

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything?” — Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter

“Always make room for the unexpected in yourself.” — Steve Martin

There is more to life than meets the mind.” — Smart Bee

Dharma: What is the greatest mystery of all?

Yudishthira: That each day, death walks the earth, and we continue to live as though we were immortal.

 ~~ The Bhagvad Gita ~~


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

I was not, and, still am not certain this will be posted today. I’m about to go try; if you see it, it worked…. If that’s true, then I’ll just say, see you tomorrow, I hope….

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

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Twice as many diphthongs as needed, or desired….

Ffolkes,

“Diogenes said once to a person who was showing him a dial,

“It is a very useful thing to save a man from being too late for supper.”

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Menedemus, iii ~~

day2 London 001

    Time moves on, day by day, whether we pay much attention to its passage, or not; though we seem to be the only creatures we know who bother to formalize its presence, by counting each tick of a second on the Cosmic Clock that rules this Universe…. In fact, I believe we are the only creatures who have bothered to name it, or count each time the clock moves its hands…. For us, it offers us the opportunity to supply meaning to our perceptions, to separate them from all the others our over-active sensory receptors react to at the same time…. In short, we use Time as a convenient way to organize the way we look at the world, thus fulfilling the old saw, common to most cultures, that says Time was invented so everything didn’t happen all at once….

Okay, I know, that was a long, windy method of telling a really old joke, but, hey, what do you expect at 5 AM? Especially on a day when I awake at 4 AM & spend an hour trying to convince myself it’s worthwhile to get up, be cold, grumpy, & half-asleep for the first ten minutes, until some coffee and the heater have some little effect, giving me a chance to slather on some magic cream to the points that hurt the most when I get up…. I suppose it’s getting to the point where the time in bed is more attractive than getting up, which has NOT been the case for a long time….

Yet, I keep arising, and though I seem to get slower each day getting to the point where words I can trust to be coherent flow out of my head, and can begin the process of making a Pearl of Virtual Wisdom…. I suppose this task, though only a self-chosen duty, as opposed to one chosen for a reason other than selfish needs, has assumed an importance greater than my need for sleep, which grows smaller each day, it seems…. Whether I get 8 hours, or 4, I still wake up between 4 and 5, and must arise to consume caffeine, which leads inevitably to typing….

Ah well, though I always enjoy my moments of introspection, it isn’t getting this done, beyond helping to move down the page a bit further than we began…. I can vouch, however, for the quality or ability to draw readers in for the full monty, or in many cases, the lack, or absence of same…. I mean, y’all know as well as I do how often we end up spouting sheer nonsense in this section; it can be a trying time, I’m sure, for those looking for a bit of quiet morning thinking…. but, it saves my ass (figuratively, of course…) quite often, so, deal with it, won’t you?

Me, I’m going to go into Sandbag mode, and drop you right over there, at that convenient, if a bit malodorous space on the verge of the town dump…. Sorry about the odor, it’s the only spot we could find this morning….. they got a new load of some OLD crap dumped there yesterday, and it is beginning to get really ripe…. We won’t be there long though, and, naturally, you’ll find a mouth and nose covering in the seat back in front of you, should you choose to use it…. We aim to serve…. we don’t often hit that target, but, we do aim to….

On that note, I see our opening coming up, so hold on tight to those stanchions, ffolkes, it could get bumpy….

Shall we Pearl?

” …and remember you’re a Man, not just god, and for you there aren’t  and never will be any easy answers, only questions, and no reasons, only causes, and no meaning, only intelligence, and no destination and no kindly magic smiling down from above, and no fires to goad you from below, only Yourself and the Universe and what you make out of the interface between the two equals.” — Keith Laumer, Night of Delusions

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

Well, okay, so I’m lazy; this is NOT breaking news…. But, because I am, y’all benefit in this case…. Here is a most excellent, if a bit overacted, classic Sherlock tale, a well-adapted classic tale from the files of Dr. Watson…..

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Three Gables

 

 

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

“Our Constitution … gives to bigotry no sanction.” — George Washington

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/11/us-observe-armistice-day-more-comfortable-war-than-peace

The quote from our Founding Father above the link was, I am afraid, not just optimistic, but, probably, overly so, given that the attempts to suborn that very principle began within moments of the signing of the Declaration, and the passage of the Constitution…. All of the good intentions of the men who wrote those documents were condemned to memory very soon after the ink was dry on the signed copy, as the corrupt bankers, and the equally corrupt preachers began their campaign to nullify the reforms those documents represented….

Thomas Jefferson knew the dangers, and voiced his fear of the loss of liberty many times over the years, while he witnessed the abrogation of civil rights that each new court decision brought, due to the money to corrupt the federal judges began to flow as soon as the court system was in place…. By the mid-nineteenth century, the federal court system was primed to make any decision desired by those bankers and priests, thus securing the control over the government they had sought since before the actual signing of the Declaration….

That period in the middle of the century was when the now infamous decision was made, to classify corporations as “people”, forever surrendering any hope of liberty or justice that might otherwise have been our legacy….. Proof of Jefferson’s fears? He wrote many letters to friends and colleagues, all of which stated the opinion described by the following….

“…when all government… in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one government on another and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” — Thomas Jefferson, 1821

Jefferson, like Thomas Paine, like Ben Franklin, George Mason, and many others of the Founding Fathers of this country, was mistrustful of the powers that be, not trusting them to keep from attempting to remove all the reforms they espoused with their revolution. They feared the professional politician, the bankers, and the priest/preachers, who care nothing for the people, beyond what they can steal from them, or use to control them; letters we have today illustrate those fears, which, I may add, have certainly been proven to be justified….

Our government is now run by oligarchs, old, rich, white Christian bigots, who attempt, all too successfully, to railroad their misogynistic, racist, divisive agenda into law…. and, if their latest efforts are as successful, they may be able to alter the laws until ONLY they, and those they are able to manipulate, are allowed to vote, their dream come true….

“In our society, the Republicans set out to prove that the Democrats can not be trusted to run the government. And the Democrats set out to prove that the Republicans can not be trusted to run our government. The real problem here is that both the Democrats and the Republicans have come up with something which is absolutely true and perfectly correct. This means that the people get to pull some sort of horrible trick on themselves and live with their choice for four years.”

The link above. and the quotes I’ve added here between the short diatribes against the Asininnies, will have to serve today as my rant…. I’ve already typed too much, and the pain now enveloping my hands is astounding in its intensity…. Damn this hurts!  Ah well, I’ll have to finish up with a few more pearls, and be done with it…. Besides, by now, y’all MUST know how I feel about the corruption and loss of liberty we must suffer to observe, in this country we so love…. If I had my druthers, I’d start picking them off, one by one…. but, sadly, I’m afraid there are too many of them to be of much use acting alone….

Maybe, just maybe, my dearest dream will come true…. One bright morning, very soon, the rest of humanity will wake the fuck up, and begin the process necessary to take back our country, kicking the assholes who have tried to take it all away into the deepest, darkest hole we can dig for them, until we can finally be done with all the bullshit they’ve caused…. Ah well, we all can dream, can’t we?….. Here’s a few well-aimed shots at the assholes now, all perfectly phrased to highlight those we call pundits and preachers…. or, as the FF’s named them, the bankers, priests, and professional politicians….

“There ought to be one day — just one — where there is open season on senators.” — Will Rogers

“People are idiots.” — The Dilbert Principle — Scott Adams, Dilbert creator, author, re-engineering sage, 1996

“Any country with “democratic” in the title isn’t.” — Murray’s Rule

“Liberty is so much latitude as the powerful choose to accord the weak.” — Judge Learned Hand

“Abuse of power isn’t limited to bad guys in other nations.”It happens in our own country if we’re not vigilant.” — Clint Eastwood

(Clint, I hate to be the one to tell you…. we weren’t….)

“[E]lections amount to little more than choosing between the scum that floats to the top of the barrel and the dregs that settle to the bottom.” — L. Neil Smith

“When I’m in office I always keep Members of Parliament talking. If they stopped they might start thinking.” — Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Well…. there you go…. I might add, these pearls were chosen from an almost unlimited field of appropriate quotes, all in the same vein as these….. which leaves me no choice but to add a final comment from our old friend, Zippy….

“Uh-oh —  WHY am I suddenly thinking of a VENERABLE religious leader frolicking on a FORT LAUDERDALE weekend?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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

I was up a bit late, and my hands have slowed down the process a bit, so, I’ll once again need to subject you to one of my own poems…. I’ll try to pick a good one, if such exists in my collection….

Unheralded Sagacity…

To many, who will not see beyond their nose
the world becomes a dangerous place,
a bullet in every gun, a thorn with every rose,
no magic comes to save us, reality leaves no trace.

Minds closed, wrapped tight in manufactured fears,
men become clay, easily molded into complacent form.
No chains needed, held in thrall for years,
lies become gospel, when dishonesty is the norm.

Shed the chains you wear in durance, in kind;
Oh, ye of little faith, and much doubt
Strength is found in an unfettered mind,
Cry “freedom” with a great shout.

No help from any gods can hinder so much
as our own lack of confidence;
finding the light within, knowing it as such
confirms us, becoming consequence.

Illumination…..

~~ gigoid ~~


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

I am now so late, I will have to resort to posting an older pearl, from the archives…. Ah well, it’ll be a good one, I promise….

From 7/23/2013, a pearl with message that complements today’s rant/old school pearl in section two…. Enjoy!:

Baffled by my own mind’s attempts at coherency this morning, I digress, as usual. But, I do it so well, you wouldn’t even have noticed, if I didn’t point it out for you…. It’s all just part of the service here at ECR. where we try to make every dish as attractive as the one before, which was, if I must say so myself, damned attractive, for a dish.

Until we can actually achieve anything close to that, however, we’ll have to continue to go with old-school pearls, because, well, because…. Besides, it’s much better than listening to me rant, right?….. Whoa, wait a second, let’s not all shout at once…. Okay, I get the picture…. Sniffle….. Here, then…. Smart Bee is being a butt, so here is a pearl from last year….

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human  mind to correlate all its contents.   We live on a placid island of ignorance  in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should  voyage far.  The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little;  but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.” — H.P. Lovecraft, The Call of Cthulhu

Sometimes, I think we have already arrived at this point in time….. but, if not, then we are not far away…… with this firmly in mind, please find the following, all of which lead one gently to an idea that may, or may not, make you feel better. Which, of course, is NOT the purpose…. nonetheless, the conclusion framed by these quotes is one you NEED to know……

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

“Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace.” — Dalai Lama

As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled theologian (politician’s too!) can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his purpose. — Bhagavad Gita

“Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience.” — Diogenes

“Anyone who isn’t confused doesn’t really know what’s going on.” — Edward R. Murrow

“The only real failure in life is the failure to try.” — Smart Bee

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

I have fulfilled my duty, and, shall proceed now to take my leave of you, sans any further to-do…. a turn of phrase, no doubt, several hundred years old, with a meaning that has probably gone through a number of changes, according to current usage on the street…. But, it still works to describe this situation, quite well, actually, so, you’ll just have to accept it the way it is, and not worry about what it may or may not mean…. I see that my tendency to grow pompous at the drop of a cliche has reached new heights of idiocy, so, I shall take my leave before I pull my covers off any further…. I’ll see y’all tomorrow…. well, I will, as long as I continue to be unable to talk myself out of it….. See y’all 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, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….

Cops & donuts– Match made in heaven, or evil twins? Film at 11…

Ffolkes,

Today we are happy to welcome the advent of a heretofore long-standing non-existent state of being, which, given its long absence, may or may not be entirely welcome…. There, is that obscure enough for you? I think it’s a cool bit of literature, myself, sort of teasingly compelling, but, then, that’s to be expected from me, as the author. Regardless of that, though, it’s still a real-time, official announcement, though not fully sanctioned by the PTB, due to my not telling them about it…. You see, I just found out a short bit ago, so, I didn’t have time to register… I’ll get around to it one of these days, if it ever happens again…. Can’t tell right now how long it’ll last…

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten to the second paragraph, I’ll clue y’all in to just WHAT THE HELL I’M TALKING ABOUT….. Basically, this is it… we, or rather I, am in an entirely unaccustomed, and completely unfamiliar state of mind, induced by the application of NINE straight hours of sleep…. Yep, nine…. I was not just amazed, but completely flabbergasted, one of the language’s finest words, if not our favorite condition to encounter in ourselves. Nonetheless, paranoia aside, I awoke, looked at the clock, & laughed out loud in joy…. once I’d cleared my head enough to calculate how long I’d been asleep….

It’s an astounding feeling, one I vaguely recall from those halcyon days of my youth, to actually arise feeling as if one has had enough sleep, fully able to throw off the perfectly natural impulse to go back to bed, with ease…. Though I don’t find myself any more clear-headed than I achieved when calculating my downtime (obviously, if this introductory section is any clue…), I FEEL wonderful, physically speaking, at least for the moment…. I’m sure gravity will have its usual effect on me over time, but, for now, I’m happy with how it feels to get this far into the day without suffering too much pain….

Okay, enough crowing… boasting becomes ugly quite quickly…. It would be easy to go overboard in my joy at having done what the rest of the world gets to do on a regular basis, so, I’ll cut this off right here…. Instead, I’ll try to figure out a way to get from here to the first section, without making too big of a mess, or disrupting the flight holding patterns of all the other pilots in the air… I know it makes the controllers nervous when I change course over the airport, but, on a day like today, they’ll never catch me anyway, so we can pretty much do as we like…. at least, until they catch us, which they haven’t been able to do yet….  Our chances are good…

Shall we Pearl?….

“Clear the laundromat!!  This whirl-o-matic just had a nuclear meltdown!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

Yow!…..
_____________________________

“It is surely harmful to souls to make it a heresy to believe what is proved.” — Galileo Galilei

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Officials-Senate-considered-phone-company-option-5349450.php

As predicted in yesterday’s rant, the pundits in the House and Senate are now showing us the expected waffling and discord around the subject of data storage, all of which assures me I was right to say they will accomplish nothing other than producing a lot of hot air and paper, all without actually changing ANYTHING…. Any bets?…. I’m willing to wager just about every penny I can scrape together on this one….

In truth, I hate to be right in instances such as this…. What I related yesterday in my politirant can now be seen to be a perfectly accurate assessment of how the tactics of the White House would play out on this stage, according to the script they are trying to establish, as the one they want us to believe as the truth…. I mentioned how Congress would take up the challenge of reforming the NSA regulations on phone tapping and data collection, whereupon the bickering would begin, and nothing would actually get done… Read the article above, then tell me I was wrong…. Can’t do it, can you?….

Nope, they’re fulfilling my prophecy perfectly, which means, the next event to be staged will involve some sort of faux crisis, or as close to one as can be managed on short notice, to pull the attention of the media, and thus, the public, away from the spying issue altogether…. I’d rather not say I expect to see another school shooting, or some random college nut case who goes wonky during exams and takes a rifle up to a tower, where he starts picking off his co-sufferers…… but, that sort of event is usually what happens to draw our focus away from where the administration doesn’t want it to be….

SIGH, as I said, I hate being right like this, because it all seems so damn SORDID and CHEAP…. The American public is so fucking EASY to FOOL, it’s like taking candy from a baby, which politicians have been known to do. It is, to my mind, simply disgusting, and makes me want to puke when they feed us this sort of bullshite, expecting us not only to believe what they say, but support them in what they do…. the assholes. They haven’t the slightest clue that there are a great many of us out here who DON’T BELIEVE A FUCKING WORD of what comes out of their mouths….. In fact, it is my not-so-humble opinion there is a sure way to tell when they lie to us, by simply watching their mouths… if it’s open, and words are coming out, they are lying…. Be sure of it….

On that note, I am done ranting, for now…. I’m too angry to write well, or, for that matter, to think objectively, both of which are preferable in ranting mode… So, the rest of this section will be an old-school pearl, with the guiding parameters set to take shots at the BRC, or the Asininnies, whomever comes first into the cross hairs….

Honest politician — Oxymoron

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” — Lao Tzu

(This is included to show the 180º, completely opposite philosophy of the one held by ALL our elected officials…. To a politician, enough is never enough…. it is in the nature of the beast….)

“In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments – there are consequences.” — Robert Ingersoll

(I can only wish more of our pundits knew this….or, at minimum, acted as if they suspected it to be true…..)

“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Potluck Pogo

“If someone tells you he’s going to make a “realistic decision, you immediately understand that he’s resolved to do something bad.” — Mary McCarthy

“Oft hath even a whole city reaped the evil fruit of a bad man.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 240

“Sometimes it is said that man cannot be trusted with the government of himself.  Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others?” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

All things considered, not a bad set of charges…. I think any reasonable grand jury would vote for indictment….
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“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” — Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Sometimes, prose can almost feel like poetry…. such as the above line from Mr. V…. Words are powerful, aren’t they? Other times, it almost seems as if a poem is a discussion, more prose than poem, yet, fills the mind with more than just the meaning of the words used…. I love language, it’s just so…. so… so COOL!….. Here is an example of the phenomenon of which I speak…. Enjoy!….

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

~~ Robert Frost ~~

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

Just for fun, here is an excerpt from an old Pearl, on the subject of poetry, that I think will make a nice bonus to today’s poetry section…. It might also be a surprise, for those of my Gentle Readers who know my opinion of Will S…… It fits well with my comments above, regarding how I feel about words…..

From 12/10/2011:

Good night, good night! parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow.

— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Romeo and Juliet — Act ii, Sc. 2

First, let me say that I’m not Willie’s biggest fan. Oh, I give him his props; he is arguably the best author of his, or any other age, as well as one of the most prolific. But, being somewhat lacking in expertise, in the area of Middle English slang, reading his work takes on a more forbidding aspect….. I get bogged down trying to struggle through the admittedly beautiful, but barely transparent language he used. I have a hard time reading it, as I have to stop frequently to puzzle out his meaning before I can go on with the story. It must, however, be admitted… he was, indeed, most incredibly talented at painting wonderful pictures of his time’s culture, using an incredibly extravagant number of words, strung together with great beauty. He did it a lot, too….

I’ve included this couplet from Romeo and Juliet, mostly because it is what I consider to be a ‘perfect’ example of the art of poetry.  Perfect rhyme, perfect cadence, perfect illumination. “Sweet sorrow”. What a wonderful pair of words to have found each other in his play! Everyone alive has felt just that, no explanation necessary. These are words of such power that they still carry the same sense of rightness today, the same emotional content, as they did when they were written.

He wrote these lines so well, that the couplet has been preserved through over four hundred years by word of mouth, not by being transcribed to paper; even people who are completely illiterate have heard these lines; even as non-readers, they know who wrote them, and most even know the play it is from. Now THAT is  is some powerful poetry……
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Here we are, finally, in section three; naturally, since it has gone so smoothly, I haven’t a bloody clue as to what to put here…. I’ve already ranted, complete with an old-school pearl… The poetry section had a bonus, so this Pearl is already fat with material…. Anything more would be gilding the lily, to be sure…. But, what the hell, I’ve always enjoyed that procedure…. Futile as it may be, in the most real of senses, it sure does make some nice looking lilies, you know?

So, without further ado (or any more crap….), here is a seven-star, randomly chosen, harlequin pearl, with duly-executed side-comments, for your enjoyment, elucidation, delectation, and/or disbursement to the farthest reaches of your recycling bin….

“A proverb is the wisdom of many and the wit of one.” — Lord John Russell

“There are so many ways that we sabotage our own divinity, our own possibilities. and the mythologies of race and gender may well head the list.” — Callan Williams

(Oops…. How did that get in there? Oh well, it’s quite true, so, it can stay…. just don’t try to make it fit in with the others, okay?…. I wouldn’t want anyone to hurt themselves…. Just file it for later perusal, and you’ll be fine….)

“Is it clean in other dimensions?” — Zippy the Pinhead

(THAT’s more like it…. Okay, we’ll finish strong….)

“If a person offend you and you are in doubt as to whether it was intentional or not, do not resort to extreme measures. Simply watch your chance and hit him with a brick.” — Mark Twain, Advice to Youth Speech, 1882

“Although most cowboys are not politicians and most politicians are not  cowboys, they share the common experience of being able to do a fairly decent job of throwing the bull.” — Smart Bee

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

And here I wait so patiently
Waiting to find out what price
You have to pay to get out of
Going through all of these things twice

— Bob Dylan, “Memphis Blues Again”
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As I thought, this one kind of got away from me a little bit…. It doesn’t seem to have caused itself much harm, though, and I don’t see any particularly large fields of debris on our back trail, so, my guess is, we’ve go a winner here… It’s good enough to float, and fly, so, I’m launching it just as if it mattered….. As for y’all, well, I’ll see y’all tomorrow, yes? Yes…. 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 the dubious

dozer3

Consistently exceeding the limits of surreality….

Ffolkes,

Into each of our lives, there comes a time when the frightening face of our own mortality confronts us, whether we are ready or not. Depending on our individual beliefs on that subject, our reaction to this confrontation can vary quite a lot. Some of us turn to the comfort of religious beliefs, to provide the comfort those may give; others turn to whiskey, or gambling, or some other outbreak of youthful defiance in the face of it. Some ignore it, preferring to postpone any such confrontations to the last moment. Some of us may turn to philosophy, of a non-religious nature, to find an answer that will assuage the fear of the unknown that such encounters will inevitably produce…..

No matter what our own reaction may be, there remains the question in everyone’s mind, as to what happens AFTER we die….. Those with religious beliefs have such answers spelled out for them by the dogmatic representations of whatever church, or synagogue, or temple, or whatever, that they choose to believe has the correct view. Others choose to avoid entangling themselves in organizations based on a delusion, and try to find some other way to deal with whatever fear they may feel about death, and what may, or may not, happen afterward….. But, no matter which method one chooses, there is no avoiding the issue, since there is, to date, no way to avoid dying…..

I’m not really going anywhere specific with this discussion; I already know how I believe, and, just now, I don’t really much care what other folks believe… A friend of mine, Carole, a high-school classmate, has been fighting cancer for almost two years now, and her battle is about to end. Her doctors have done all they could, but the cancer is winning, and she will not last much longer. She will be entering hospice care, if not already there, and only receiving pain management therapy. It is a difficult time for her family, and for all of us who care for her, as she is one of the finest human beings I’ve ever known, whose passing will affect the spirits of the many, many people whose lives she touched….

Later, I will be writing a memorial of her, to tell the world what a fine woman it has lost…. I visited her last April for a short time, and promised her I would come to see her again, to celebrate her victory over the Big C, or, if not, to say goodbye before she passed on. So, on Monday, I’ll be zipping down to Houston again for a couple days, to try to see her one last time, and wish her a happy trip to wherever the afterlife may take her…. Since she has been a devout Christian for all her life, in addition to the benevolence of her spirit, I don’t doubt she’ll have a straight shot to the Pearly Gates, and a pass inside by St. Peter, without any delays…..

Any who, I just wanted to get that off my chest, so I’m not blubbering all over the keyboard while trying to write this morning….. I’ll be writing more on this subject in the next few days, as it will be foremost in my sphere of attention much of the time…. In the meantime, I believe this little outburst has completed the intro requirements, so we can get on with the rest of today’s effort….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Be cheerful while you are alive.” — Phathotep (24th Century B.C.)

He who hath bent him o’er the dead
Ere the first day of death is fled,–
The first dark day of nothingness,
The last of danger and distress,
Before decay’s effacing fingers
Have swept the lines where beauty lingers.

— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — The Giaour, Line 68
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“I have short-term memory loss, though I like to think of it as Presidential eligibility.” — Paula Poundstone

Back in 2008, I was encouraged by the election of a black man to the office of POTUS; it seemed, at the time, to be a positive note for our society, and a good omen for the future….. Blinded temporarily by my hope, I had forgotten that the BRC, (if you’ve forgotten, that’s the Beloved Ruling Class….), and the corporate masters who control them, would not have allowed anyone in that office whom they could not control, or did not trust to serve their interests. Since first entering office, the President has gone on to prove his allegiance, which, in spite of how it may appear, remains with those who pay his salary, and I’m not talking about the citizenry at large…..

Obama’s reaction to this whole issue of spying on the public, that has come about since Eric Snowden sacrificed himself for the American people, by telling the truth, has clearly shown just how much he has been hiding from the public with all his talk about helping the middle class…. It turns out that, as always, that talk is a smoke screen, to obfuscate the issues they (the administration…) don’t want to be discussed, replacing them with other issues,  that make them look like they actually DO care about the middle class, or the lower class, or, wait…. I thought we were supposed to be a ‘classless’ society? Oh, they must have meant that our society has no class, not that is lacks classes…. Makes more sense to me….

The administration is pissed, not because they are breaking the law ( which they are, to wit: the Constitution….), but because they got caught at it. They are trying to discredit, vilify, and bury Eric Snowden, all because his actions have caused them to run around like idiots, scrambling on a daily basis to come up with rational, or even reasonable explanations for all the crap they’ve been doing to the public for years on the sly. It makes them look exactly like what they really are, which is a bunch of criminal assholes, caught red-handed trying to burn the Bill of Rights, unable to explain what they intended to do with that book of matches, or the lit match they were caught holding….

So, instead of admitting their chicanery, they are trying to get Snowden back so they can make an example of him, for others who may wish to expose their machinations and illegal actions. This is typical of the political mind, to ignore all criticism, and act as if you have the right to do whatever you want…. I am appalled by the statements that Obama is now making, about his belief that he needs no approval from anyone, not Congress, not the courts, and certainly not the public, to wage war on another country…. which, as I happen to know (because I READ it!….) is NOT what it says in the Constitution of THIS country….

Yesterday, I found an article tucked into the back pages of the news, with yet another revelation about the spying that the NSA and the government at large has been perpetrating on an unsuspecting public…. This particular little revelation makes it clear that the NSA, and other agencies, have been gathering data about the general public to a much greater degree than previously thought, and certainly more than they are willing to admit….. Read the following article, to get an idea of just how little your privacy means to the BRC’s political hacks, and just how little concern they have for protecting your rights…. This is some eye-opening, and ultimately frightening, information, ffolkes, and you need to know how much your rights are being stepped on…..

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Report-US-military-cracked-most-online-encryption-4790443.php

Okay, I’m done ranting for now, though there will be more later, I’m sure…. The civil war in Syria isn’t going away because we wish it, nor will our intervention solve any problems there, other than to eliminate one of the players, who will immediately be replaced by someone else, who may or may not be crazier than the one being removed….. That, or we’ll be supporting the rebels, who are connected to Al Qaida, our sworn enemy….

Oh well, I don’t expect it to make any sense, so I’m not disappointed…. It does, however, make me sad, and mad, and once again, disappointed in the BRC, and its constant war on society, which, if you will recall, consists of you, and me, and all the other ffolkes, and folks, out there in reality, just trying to get by……

“When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.” — Dilbert, Scott Adams

“There is hopeful symbolism in the fact that flags do not wave in a vacuum.” — Arthur C. Clarke
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I can’t think of a better way to provide contrast to the above rant, than with a bit of Shel Silverstein….

Hug O’ War

I will not play at tug o’ war.
I’d rather play at hug o’ war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

~~ Shel Silverstein ~~

_____________________________

When I was perusing the news yesterday, I also found the following, published by John Cleese, of Monty Python fame…. I don’t know about y’all, but, IMNSHO, he’s a funny guy…. and right on the mark… It’s only too bad he didn’t try to define the position of the USA along with those of Europe….

“The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from ‘Miffed’ to ‘Peeved.’ Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to ‘Irritated’ or even ‘A Bit Cross.’ The English have not been ‘A Bit Cross’ since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from ‘Tiresome’ to ‘A Bloody Nuisance.’ The last time the British issued a ‘Bloody Nuisance’ warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

“The Scots have raised their threat level from ‘Pissed Off’ to ‘Let’s Get the Bastards.’ They don’t have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front lines of the British army for the last 300 years.

“The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from ‘Run’ to ‘Hide.’ The only two higher levels in France are ‘Collaborate’ and ‘Surrender’ …

“Italy has increased the alert level from ‘Shout Loudly and Excitedly’  ‘Elaborate Military Posturing.’ Two more levels remain: ‘Ineffective Combat Operations’ and ‘Change Sides.’

“The Germans have increased their alert state from ‘Disdainful Arrogance’ to ‘Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs.’ They also have two higher levels: ‘Invade a Neighbor’ and ‘Lose.’

“Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

“The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.”

~~ John Cleese ~~

If I were to take a shot at creating one of these for the USA, it would have to be along the lines of “The US raised it’s security threat level today, to its next to highest rating, Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type, characterized by deliberately planted delusions, technologically produced hallucinations, extreme rigidity of thought, and a constant state of diffuse anxiety……” I firmly believe that this is exactly how the BRC wants the public to feel; they’re much more manipulable in this state than in any other….
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Well, that was over all too quickly; I’m almost embarrassed…. I haven’t had that problem in years; premature ejaculation, whether of words, or sperm, has been under my reasonable control now for many years, and having it happen right out in public is a bit of a facer…. But, this all came out so fast, I must have been percolating it for longer than I imagined…. So be it. Let’s see how it came out….

Okay, so, I’m a little concerned about the world political scene; that comes through pretty clearly…. In my mind, there is good reason to be on alert; these fools don’t seem to realize how close to the edge the world is right now….. Stay alert, ffolkes, the balloon could go up any time….. See ya, tomorrow, hopefully….

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

Remnants of hauntingly bad melodies….

Ffolkes,

I believe I’m suffering a universal page fault in my brain…. I’m not entirely sure exactly what that is, but, I know when I see it on my computer screen, it’s a bad thing, and that’s what we have here, for sure and for certain….. a bad thing. Not unusual, not surprising, but bad…. Still, my heart beats in my chest, and my breath continues to go in and out of my lungs, so, I suppose I’d best get on with this….

I’m burnt…. baked, fried, sautéed, grilled, whichever method you choose, I’m way overdone….. I know it. The symptoms have been obvious for days now, but, I’ve been unwilling to admit it, or them, because I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t write…. Talk about diffuse anxiety! This is more of a specific anxiety, actually, one that strikes every time I suffer one of these burn-out periods…. Not only is my brain having a hard time deciding what to write about (which, if you stop to think about it, is nothing new….), but, actively resists making the choice, knowing that it will have to try to fulfill whatever it is I’ve come up with, one way or another… Of late, it seems to have been more another, than it has been one way…

Whatever THAT means…. I guess my vaulting ambition, to write more and better, has finally reached an end point, and my creativity, such as it is, is in active rebellion, at having to come up with yet another set of outstanding verses and/or phrases, to whet your appetite for more…. I am having a hard time finding the angst and outrage I need to rant, and my sleep patterns are getting so regular, my brain is getting fuzzy from sleeping so much (which really is NOT a complaint, just an observation…. better to sleep too much than too little, for sure….) In the past nearly three years, I’ve written so much that I may have inadvertently emptied out my bucket of creative ideas, before it has had a chance to refill from the well…..

This blankness in my head obviously doesn’t stop me from writing about nothing much; that seems to have been a skill I’ve perfected, or at least, gotten adept at using…. observe, if you will, these three-plus paragraphs of meandering blather, which has just poured out, once the subject, or, in this case, the lack thereof, was decided upon. I don’t seem to have a problem writing, once I know what I’m writing about…. it’s the figuring out part that is getting harder all the time. I’ve used, and re-used, and used again, every subject known to man, and a few he’d rather forget. My ranting seems to be getting to the point where everything I write sounds familiar, with good reason, as I’ve said it all before….

This is why you’ve seen more old-school pearls lately…. Old-school pearls, by the nature of their construction process, are always relatively fresh. The subjects chosen are often self-directed, in that I have no plan ahead of time about which quotes I will choose, only a vague idea of an area of study to head for, in a general way. The software program I use, Smart Bee, is random enough that every time is different, and the only difficult part is not repeating oneself in terms of those quotes that are chosen, which is fairly simple for someone with a good memory, such as myself…. In essence, pearls of virtual wisdom are easy money, for a writer; the process resembles walking down the beach and picking out the prettiest sea shells to take home….

Ah well, another intro spent wandering around the back corridors of my mind, looking at the artwork and wondering at the massive spaces filled with nothing much…. much like these paragraphs…. I’m not sure what I’m going to do about my burn-out, but, it is all moot, because my internet service company has gone belly up, thanks to one of the telecom giants hogging resources (long story), and I’ll be losing my internet service at home for a time…. I’m not sure if I will keep posting daily, or not…. we’ll have to see. But, if you don’t see a post for several days, hang in there, I will return eventually… It may not be until after my upcoming move to another house, but, I will be back, hopefully with new resolve, and new material….

Shall we Pearl, while we can?…..
_____________________________

Random, old-school, harlequin pearl…. the best kind….

“The day is the same length as anything that is the same length as it.” — Lewis Carroll

And taste
The melancholy joy of evils past:
For he who much has suffer’d, much will know.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book xv, Line 434

“We find it hard to believe that other people’s thoughts are as silly as our own.” — James Harvey Robinson

HUMAN — The human being either evolved from the biologically very similar ape, or was created along with the rest of the world in a six-day creative spurt by an anonymous god. The human body is a wonderful thing. Well, most of them are. Humans have one mouth and a limited number of genitals, which is probably just as well. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Intelligence has much less practical application than you’d think.” — Scott Adams, Dilbert.

“Nothing can be created from nothing.” Lucretius (55 BC)

“A man that should call everything by its right name would hardly pass the streets without being knocked down as a Common Enemy.” — Lord Halifax

As advertised, the best kind…. It took a bit longer than I planned on, but, this came out very well, and, to my way of looking at things, it even came out less obscure than is commonly true… Well, it’s clear to me, anyway, and hopefully, if you let it percolate, it will become clear to you as well…. If not, well, hmm… too bad?…..
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“Universe: All-purpose poem.” — Ray Hand

A Thing of Beauty (Endymion)

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its lovliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o’er-darkn’d ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
‘Gainst the hot season; the mid-forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven’s brink.

~~ John Keats ~~

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I figure, since I’m being somewhat obfuscatory today, I’d cheat a little, and go with an old school pearl from the archives…. this one is from the old days, when I was still employed by the State of California, and sent these morning pearls out to about 300 or so of my peers, for their daily, morning dose of reality, right there in their inbox each day…. This one is apparently from somewhere around 2008….

Out of the East…

Ffolkes,

“Interesting” is only the beginning. As humans, we tend to get bored when not stimulated by a challenge of some sort. If the world does not provide one, we are perfectly okay with making it up. Something about the perversity of human nature, I suppose, though it seems a bit dramatic to me. Ah well, our’s is not to reason why, etc., except it is, or should be, do and die, not do or die. Cuz that’s what is at the end of the road for all of us. Kinda puts us on the same playing field, eh? Here…. I’m feeling less than Occidental this morning……

Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking.There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” — J. C. Watts

Always we hope
Someone else has the answer
Some other place will be better
Some other time it will all work out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer
No other place will be better
And it has already turned out.
At the center of your being
 You have the answer;
You know who you are and what you want.
There is no need to turn outside
For better seeing.
Rather abide at the center of your being
For the more you leave it
The less you learn.
Search your own heart and see
 the way to do is to be.
— Lao Tzu

Y’all take care out there…..
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Considering the relative rush job this Pearl constitutes, I’m impressed. It’s a bit choppy, but hangs together pretty well, for something I cobbled together in about 90 minutes time. What I related regarding my internet connection was truth, so this may be my last post, until I figure out what I’ll do about service, since I’ll be moving in about 31 days… oh, joy…. Any who, for now, this will do, even if not Pulitzer material….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

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

Evidence of brave new ventures….

Ffolkes,
Since global warming seems to have pretty much eliminated the previous patterns of weather we have been accustomed to see, it’s getting hard to know what to wear in the morning. From Wednesday to Thursday, the temperature here made a dramatic one-day drop of over 20 degrees. Instead of sultry heat, we had a cool, brisk breeze off the water all day, with temps about normal for this time of year.  I’m surprised that there aren’t now thousands of folks fighting colds brought on by the rapid changes…. They may start coughing & sneezing at any time, if things operate as they usually do when we get these kinds of quick climate reversals…..

Personally, I seem to be immune to such colds, as I’ve only had one I remember, back in my twenties, and garlic took care of it in two days…. great antibiotic, that allicillin…. It’s the one that exists naturally in garlic, a selective antibiotic, that will kill all foreign bugs in the human body, without ever killing the ones natural to our system…. Great discrimination, and not surprising the medical world seems to ignore it…. they’d lose a lot of money if garlic were in common use. If I’m any example of how well it works, it is pretty damned effective, as I haven’t had either a cold, or a flu, or any other respiratory disease take hold of me in over 40 years, since I first learned of the medical properties of garlic….

Whenever I feel the first symptoms of a cold, that itchy, crowded feeling in the nose, and mildly dizzy, disoriented feeling that comes with fluid in the middle ear, I start eating a clove of garlic every few hours, raw…. Taking it like that for two day seems to be enough protection; the first symptoms have never progressed beyond that stage into a full blown cold, or flu, or any other bacterial infection….. EXCEPT for the one time, when I was about 43, and got stuck for a full day without any garlic available…. I fought that cold for a week, eating 6 cloves a day, feeling miserable…. and still had it less time than most colds stick around…..

So, if you don’t believe me, just try it…. at first sign of a cold, before it is firmly established, begin taking a single clove of garlic by mouth every four hours, just like a regular antibiotic the doctor would give you. Chop up the clove (about thumb size) into a minced state; put it in your hand, have a glass of water ready, and just wash it down quickly like a pill that doesn’t taste good…. The garlic taste is a bit strong, but not too bad if you wash it down fast…..

Your friends may avoid you for a day or so, since the raw garlic will come out in your sweat, but that will only help isolate the cold germs, and keep them from spreading, or being reintroduced or restrengthened with new germs…… and, if one cultivates a healthy, natural attitude, the odor can be quite pleasant, all in all…..

Well, that turned into a small medical infomercial….. so I guess I can count this as an introductory section, and get one with the true business at hand….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“In the future, the most important work skill will be a lack of ethics.” — Dilbert, by Scott Adams

Mr. Adams probably knows already, but this future arrived some decades ago. I had made this observation regarding business ethics back in 1968, not long after getting to Berkeley, and being exposed to sources of information that the rest of the world doesn’t wish to acknowledge. Lying about quality of products, cheating the government on taxes and the public on prices, cut-throat policies toward rivals, office politics that focus on the negative for promotion, advancement due not to merit, but to despotism or, worse, nepotism. All of these practices are now the normal state of affairs in the American business world, at the top, at the bottom, and at every stage between. To be successful in business in this country, one must actively pursue activities that are certain to keep them out of any Heaven belonging to any religion…..

Hell, one of American business’s greatest success stories is now running for president of this country, and making no bones about his own ethics…. He has NONE. Not a single thing that he can point to and be able to honestly say, “this is morally and ethically correct”. He can’t say it, because it would be a lie, according to not only the religions from around the world, but according to the very religion he claims to follow.

The leaders of the Mormon church aren’t going to expose his chicaneries…. they make far too much from it…. 10% of $250,000,000 a year is nothing to sneeze at, and no way they’re going to put it at risk by chastising him in public, or anywhere else…. He is a preacher’s dream….. stupid, immoral, rich, and willing to say he believes whatever they tell him, as well as willing to say anything at all to achieve his immoral and unethical ends…. to wit: power over others…..

“A man never discloses his own character so clearly as when he describes another’s.” — Jean Paul Richter

Have you noticed at all that the focus of the Romney/Ryan campaign is not any particular issue that concerns the public, other than the one they are using?….. All they do is make up lies about the President, or about what he has proposed to alleviate the pressure on the lower and middle classes, or about one of his proposed efforts to mitigate the damage to our economy and society that was directly caused by the Bush administration (the Shrub(s) left a HUGE mess, folks, and four years is only the beginning of what it will take to fix what he did….more, likely, as the Republican party is STILL blocking all attempts at reform, meaning it takes longer to fix what they already screwed up…..).

Mitt the Twitt, and Lyin’Paul Ryan don’t go into public without some barbed comment to make about the President…. and they, and their supporters, don’t seem to care that it is all lies, or misrepresentations, or taken out of context, or just plain made up. They keep right on spouting the same talking points, over and over, even when independent fact-checking organizations have PROVEN their lies….

It seems to work on the weak-minded, because there are a lot of people out there who will repeat the same lies for them, just as if it were true…. It is actually quite a pathetic, saddening sight to me, to see so many Americans fall into this pit of inequity and shame that comprises the Republican campaign…. it is clear proof, unfortunately, that racism and bigotry are not dead in this country, despite all the progress we’ve made over the last 75 years…

Sadly, it is THAT progress that is scaring the proponents of regression that still exist here; it scares them silly to have a black President… My God, what is next, a Muslim woman as President? Or worse, a strong, passionate, gorgeous, frightfully intelligent gay person? What is the world coming to?….. Ideas such as these scare these ignorant assholes to death, and they are proving that, in pursuit of their idiocy, they will go to ANY lengths to keep reason and rationality from being a part of American politics…. because they KNOW that they will make less money off the really ignorant that way…..

When all is said and done, the most important thing to Romney and Ryan is not politics, not ethics, and certainly not public spirit…. It is money. The most important thing to them is that the society is maintained in a state where they continue to make money at the expense of the weak and vulnerable, and have the power over others that is such a key piece of their own self-image…. Can’t feel like a man, unless they’ve got women, blacks, latinos, old people, and anyone who disagrees with them under their power….. Paranoia runs deep, my friends, and they feel it all the time…..

“What is left when honour is lost?’ — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 265

Nothing is left, when honour is lost. Nothing worth having anyway….. and that is exactly what will be left for all of us lower and middle class Americans, should the Romney/Ryan Gang of Thieves, Worshipers at the Altars of Gold, ever get within shouting distance of the Oval Office….. You can take that to the bank…. or they will…..
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Semblance of Time

The dreams and visions of modern times are pallid and pale
filled with fear and loathing instead of joy and wonder.
Reality is aging poorly, submitting less data to loudly regale
Sad faded images lacking substance, or proof of thunder.

Sisters and brothers of nightly performance speak in spite
building up scars to protect, or keep a semblance of sanity.
Knowing illusion is near and dear, steeped in muscular delight
while compassion and intelligence get smothered by humanity.

Loneliness soon became the friend of many sizes of fools
stealing through mazes of social tests as if truly wise, or old
while companies of sterile opportunity are hiding their tools
from anyone who might be feeling even a little bit bold.

Painful momentary flashes seem to outline society’s fate
until sheltered heavy monuments to elder gods fall from grace.
We’re all getting tired of being told we’re far too late
never ever nearing tolerance, nor regaining solicitations of face.

A hard message awaits us all when we dare to even stay
of life’s dispassionate disposition and curmudgeonly faux heart.
Only with the strength of heroes can such tales make their way
Only a poet will deftly turn morbid pain, into a valid work of art.

~~ gigoid
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In the normal course of events here, I would hesitate to put the following three pieces next to a poem of my own, lest the comparison completely destroy my ego. But I’m not unhappy with today’s offering of my life’s blood; it isn’t yet as powerful as I would like, but it’s progress….. And these three little portions from three of my favorites can thereby serve as examples…. The power, the scope, the language of all three are exactly the kind of writing that I hope for to flow out of my mind someday…. The sheer artistry that is shown here is the goal I have for my poetry, and, for that matter, for my prose, as well. I could do worse……

Chaos of thought and passion, all confused;
Still by himself abused or disabused;
Created half to rise, and half to fall;
Great lord of all things, yet a prey to all;
Sole judge of truth, in endless error hurled,–
The glory, jest, and riddle of the world.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 13

The hour is striking so close above me,
so clear and sharp,
that all my senses ring with it.
I feel it now: there’s a power in me
to grasp and give shape to my world.
I know that nothing has ever been real
without my beholding it.
All becoming has needed me.
My looking ripens things
and they come toward me, to meet and be met.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, from Book of Hours
(This passage by Rilke leaves me slack-jawed in awe, every time I read it…..)

My skin is kind of brownish yellowish, white.
My eyes are greyish green.
But I’m told they’re orange at night
My hair is reddish, blondish.
But is silver when it’s wet.
And all the colours I am inside
have not been invented yet.

— Shel Silverstein

You can be the judges, if you would, and let me know if I ever make this grade….. a little kindness when I don’t would be appreciated, but isn’t necessary for improvement, so be harsh if you feel the need. I’ll just ignore what doesn’t make sense to me, anyway…. If nothing else, we all got a decent dose of good stuff today, and that can be enough, if one is prepared to accept reality as it is…..
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In looking back over the effort today, I am not entirely displeased…. which is to say, it will have to serve. I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s ramble through the crowded hallways in my head, and that nothing you’ve seen here today has convinced you that returning is a bad thing…. If nothing else, you will find here an honest approach to life, in all of its glory, and all of its sad and painful poignancy….. 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!

Betwixt perilous ideological sideboards….

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

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

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

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

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

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

That seems to cover it…. let’s go Pearling, ‘kay? ‘Kay!….. Kowabunga!…..
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During his 1956 presidential campaign, a woman called out to Adlai E. Stevenson “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson called back “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

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

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

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

“It has been said that man is a rational animal.  All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this.” — Bertrand Russell
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FOLLY, n.  That “gift and faculty divine” whose creative and controlling energy inspires Man’s mind, guides his actions and adorns his life.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These few lines of verse possess that timeless beauty that is the hallmark of genius, beauty so great that one can not merely see it in these lines, but is surrounded by beauty that floods every sense. Far be it from me to fail to acknowledge such genius…. I’m no Shakespeare, nor do I consider myself either infallible, nor a critic, but I know what I like, and I like this, a lot…..
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“I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off.  so I ran over and said “stop! don’t do it!”  “Why shouldn’t I?” he said.  I said, “Well, there’s so much to live for!”  He said, “Like what?”  I said, “Well…are you religious or atheist?”  He said, “Religious.” I said, “Me too!  Are you Christian or Buddhist?”  He said, “Christian.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Catholic or Protestant?”  He said, “Protestant.”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?”  He said, “Baptist!”  I said, “Wow!  Me too!  Are you Baptist Church of God or Baptist Church of the Lord?” He said, “Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Original Baptist Church of God, or are you Reformed Baptist Church of God?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God!”  I said, “Me too!  Are you Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1879, or Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915?”  He said, “Reformed Baptist Church of God, reformation of 1915!”  I said, “Die, heretic scum”, and pushed him off.” — Emo Phillips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Dumbledore exclaims when he sees the Patronus that Snape produces, a doe, identical to that of Lily, the only other human being he has ever loved,  “Lily! After all this time?”  Snape merely replies, “Always….”   Now, that is a hero, flawed and unlikeable as he is….. a hero that will go down in history, along with many of the characters from this series of books that will one day certainly be called “classics”……
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Not a bad lineup…. personal foibles made light of to begin, with a bit of housekeeping, a taste of political irony, a touch of whimsy, Shakespeare, a dip into religious humor and more irony, and a discussion of literary archetypes in modern and classical writing. I think we’ve approached the demarcation between reality and esoterica quite adeptly, without completely crossing over where the border guards might hassle us about returning to our regularly scheduled activities here in Reality…… that should definitely make an impression. On whom, I couldn’t say, but, hey, I’ll take it…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!