No discounts for Pug Dogs…. Huskies, maybe….

Ffolkes,

“Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver.”

~~ June Cleaver ~~

foxy stump

Foxy Stump


Good morning…. Wait! Scratch that…. Reverse it….

Morning. Good…. I guess. Perhaps, if it hadn’t begun at 0133, my greeting wouldn’t sound as grumpy; since it did, we’ll all have to deal with it. Not that such an event is out of the ordinary….. No, sir, around here, the hour we get up is what we call a Mystery of Life, not susceptible to prediction, or, for that matter, to any sort of consistency, beyond the simple fact we hope it will happen at all….

Now, for some, that might be considered just a little snarky; for us, it’s high hopes. I have decided to give up sleeping altogether, I think. It doesn’t seem to be working out well, so, I may as well be constructive, & try to get something done…

I know. I’ll make a Pearl!. Yeah, that’s the ticket…. Okay, let’s do this thing, before I get any more radical ideas…. Or, would that be, ideas more radical? Ah, hell, who cares? Get us outta here, Luigi….

Shall we Pearl?….

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

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the addams family tv series

    Although Raul Julia was also more than perfect in the role, in my mind, John Austin, WAS Gomez Addams…. He had the proper crazy look in his eyes, whenever he talked of anything gruesome or horrifying, just as Gomez should look…. Although, it must be admitted, Raul’s delivery of certain lines is destined to be legendary…. Who can deny the sheer genius of his expression, and tone, in his line, “Two, ten, eleven. Eyes, fingers, toes.”?….. Not I…. But. for all around goofiness, this cast was the best, in my estimation…. For your pleasure today, I’ve included a movie, a reunion of the cast from 1977, called Halloween with the Addams Family…. or something like that…. Enjoy!…..

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The Addams Family

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Dont keep calm

    I’ve got nothin’…. Nada damn thing worth writing about is to be found anywhere in my head; nor is there anything particularly compelling NOT in my head pulling me to comment upon, oddly enough. The news in any one day is liable to set me off with little problem, but, today, I’m just not in the mood…. Therefore, we’ll start this section over, now….

Sandclock .jpg


My first blog was posted on WordPress sometime in the first week of June in 2011; the following entry is the fifth, or sixth, post I put up, in the format style then prevalent for Pearls, which evolved as an email document first…. I’ve updated, & cleaned up, the formatting a little, to bring it into line with what has evolved over time…. It’s not a rant, but, it will do….. I hope you enjoy this little peek into the early days here at ECR….

From 6/8/2011:

Ffolkes,

The morning light pours over the far hills, warming air gone still in the night’s cold, with amber drops of dew glistening along the branches of awakening trees, gilding the edges of the day. Birdsong trills, insects hum, as a meandering brook winds through the forest, rushing along in its desperate race to the sea. The water babbles as it moves, all the voices blending together into a continuous stream of just-unheard secrets, gravid with meaning. The air begins to move, heated by the burgeoning warmth swirling up through the leaves, adding it’own thoughts, dreams to the chorus thus formed. Thus does the world turn, unheralded, implacable, real. Thus is another Pearl born; ask me not how, or why, for I no longer know. Knowing I must, is all I know, or need to know….

“If you want to know all about the sea, you go and ask a sailor, or a marine biologist, or an oceanographer, and they can tell you a lot about the sea. But if you go and ask the sea itself, what does it say? Grumble, grumble, swish swish. It is too busy being itself to know anything about itself.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

Leave the past behind;
leave the future behind;
leave the present behind.
Thou are then ready to go to the other shore.
Never more shalt thou return to a life that ends in death.

~~ The Dhamapada ~~

It is the heart afraid of breaking
  that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking
  that never takes a chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken
  who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
  that never learns to live.

~~ Bette Midler, “The Rose” ~~


“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be “happy.” I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” — Leo C. Rosten

It may not be Art, but it is Frank, and Earnest….. y’all take care out there…..

Note from the future: I note there are only four pearls in this entry; it must have been before I decided odd numbers worked better…. Here is one final pearl to balance the whole deal…. Hopefully, it will fit in with the above….

“One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed.  As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king’s favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed. “You will not succeed,” they told him.  “No one can.”  To which the thief replied, “I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die.  I might die.  And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.” — The Mote in God’s Eye, by Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven

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Picture 158

Picture 158

Canal Image- Poem’s Inspiration

from the National Gallery of Ireland – see link below

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=70523


Seamus Heaney was considered the poet laureate of Ireland for much of the latter part of his life, a period of time covering most the twentieth century. I discovered his work a couple years ago, soon after he died, and have loved it ever since. The poem included today, his last published work, was sent to me by a friend, to whom I’m very thankful, and not just because it gave me an entry for this section…. It’s a beautiful poem, too….

Banks of a Canal

Say canal and there’s that final vowel

Towing silence with it, slowing time

To a walking pace, a path, a whitewashed gleam

Of dwellings at the skyline. World stands still.

The stunted concrete mocks the classical.

Water says, ‘My place here is in dream,

In quiet good standing. Like a sleeping stream,

Come rain or sullen shine I’m peaceable’.

Stretched to the horizon, placid ploughland,

The sky not truly bright or overcast:

I know that clay, the damp and dirt of it,

The coolth along the bank, the grassy zest

Of verges, the path not narrow but still straight

Where soul could mind itself or stray beyond. 

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~


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ankh

    This pearl, while a bit loose in association, nonetheless provides us with some pretty good ideas about how to live a life with which one might be content. I’d say that’s a pretty worthwhile goal, myself, but what do I know?…. You could do worse….

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,–
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.

~~ Robert Browning ~~
~~ A Death in the Desert ~~


“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anais Nin

“True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” — Halifax (1633-1695)

“In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh.” — W. H. Auden

“I grow old ever learning many things.” — Solon

“The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is …. Nothing should be able to harm a man but himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.” — Oscar Wilde

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

All things that pass
Are wisdom’s looking-glass.

~~ Christina Rossetti ~~

+ ————————————————- +
+ ———- Sic transit gloria mundi. ———— +
+ — “Thus passes away the glory of the world.” — +
+ ————————————————- +


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I suppose there is something to be said for serendipity in disguise, when it slaps us in the face…. Of course, it’s a little hard to think of that when your face is tingling like a big dog, but, hey, can’t have everything, right? Besides, it’s done, so, we, meaning I, officially, (it’s documented) don’t give a shit any more. In fact, I’m taking my shit on the road. Not permanently; in fact, unless someone faster, bigger, or meaner than me shows up, I’ll be back tomorrow morning, no doubt bright and early, (Why is it BRIGHT and early? It’s dark as hell outside….), since sleep seems to be a thing of the past…. As many of us who have spent time on the street would say, WAKE UP, YOU BOZOS! Or, maybe we’d say, see ya….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

North flew East, East turned West; South became irrelevant….

Ffolkes,

Normally, my travelogues feature more artwork, in the sense that I generally post pictures that I’ve taken myself, of the places and people I’ve seen in my ramblings for the day. Since it will be eight or so hours until I actually embark on the ship, which then sets sail at about 4 PM, I am as yet without my camera, which is packed away for the ordeal of getting through the security checkpoint….

I suppose I could have taken a few pix of me and my lady, or my son, who will be driving us today in his limo, but, none of us particularly care for fame, or photos of ourselves, (in my case, there is the danger to the camera itself; my visage has been known to freeze digital cameras instantly….), and who wants to see pix of a street corner, with no people in it?…. So, y’all will have to wait until tomorrow, when I’ll have some shots from the first night on board….

In past travelogues, I concentrated a lot on pictures of where I was visiting, and neglected to show off the ships I’ve been on, which are part of the attraction for me in traveling. It makes perfect sense to my hedonistic side to travel in luxury if possible; I’ve traveled the cheap way, staying in hostels or cheap motels, eating out of the markets and fast food joints, and taking trains and buses to where I wished to go. Often, before I was married, I’d even resort to hitchhiking for my travel mode…. cheap, and you meet some great ffolkes, but it can be a bit inconsistent if traffic is slow, and can take a LONG time to get anywhere…

That sort of travel is great fun, but requires a lot of energy and physical stamina that I no longer possess, so, having a place to take a nap when I get tired, in a five star hotel, with three gourmet meals a day (or more….), along with staff eager to provide service, is a better choice for someone of my age and condition…. Plus, on those voyages on which my luck holds, the casino can help reduce the overall cost of the trip….. I came out about $500 ahead of the game on my Alaska cruise, with my winnings exceeding my bar bills by about that much…. Of course, I went a bit crazy on souvenirs for everyone, but, hey, I tried….

This trip, I’ll try to remember to take more shots on board, to let y’all see what it’s like to cruise with a crazy old long-haired, long-winded blogger…. or, at least to give you a better idea of what it looks like on board…. Plus, it keeps me from having to think too hard about what to include in the Pearls, which will give me more time to just screw around and do nothing…. which is, after all, the whole point of cruising, to have all the time one wishes to just do nothing….

Doing nothing, in our culture, tends to be looked down upon severely, especially by those who suffer from Christian guilt, and the whole concept of “the near-occasion of sin”, wherein the church assumes that everyone WILL give in to temptation, and everyone WILL act on their worst impulses to (GASP!….) sit around and do nothing, thus becoming undisciplined, immoral, and worst-case for the dogmatists, reduce their guilt, making them less amenable, and more resistive, to behavioral control…. They HATE that!….

So, I encourage hedonism at every turn, as should every other person of a like mind; it’s the best method I’ve found for providing almost immediate relief from the constipated, bloated feeling of constriction that goes along with allowing the dogmatists to draw the patterns of your life. A good, meal, with just a little too much wine and conviviality, is the perfect antidote to the most stringent attitudes…. Why, a prime rib, and a bottle of good Cabernet, has been known to destroy six years of Catholic denial in one sitting, given the proper company, and perhaps some after dinner brandy…. And, even if it doesn’t completely eradicate ALL one’s prior conditioning, the process of removing it, meal by wonderful meal, is one that appeals to even the most hardened ascetic…

Hmm…. I seem to have strayed a bit afield from the concept of an intro…. not unusual, I suppose, and possibly much better than the typical rant I’ve been saddling y’all with of late. I can see that, no matter what I’ve been babbling about, it’s certainly long enough to meet the legal standards for which we shoot, so, I’m opting to go with my usual technique, to just go with it, without worrying at all about what the hell it means, or what it may or may not do in terms of stimulation of cogitation…. That, of course, is, ultimately, the personal responsibility of each gentle reader, at least for the cogitation part…. I’ll try to supply the stimulation, but, no promises, eh?…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“If any man asks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” — Horace Mann
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“Anger is a tool, not a master. Anger is meant to be tapped into and drawn upon. Used properly, anger is useful. Sloth, apathy, and despair are the enemy. Anger is not. Anger is our friend. Not a nice friend, not a gentle friend, but a very loyal friend.  It will always tell us when we have been betrayed. It will always tell us when we have betrayed ourselves. It will always tell us that it is time to act in our own best interests. Anger is not the action itself. It is action’s invitation.” — Julia Cameron  “The Artist’s Way”

“He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior.” — Confucius

Lao Tzu sez    I had originally intended to write a piece to accompany these three statements, the latter of which are from two of the most revered philosophers in history…. but, there really isn’t any need to expand on this idea…. It’s pretty perfect, as wisdom goes, so, I’m going to do the unusual, for me, and leave it alone, to allow you the space to consider the concept in your own way, and in your own time….

Just know this…. if there is a single key to being happy in life, this is it…. This is the key to ALL wisdom, ffolkes, so just let it become part of your inner self, and you’ll find your life has fallen into a pattern of serenity, and an inner peace that you have never known….. Oh, didn’t I say what that key is? Hmm, imagine that…. I guess I forgot…. Well, it’s probably best if you articulate it yourself; it seems to work better that way…. Okay, if you insist, one last hint….

“A person never so beautifully shows his own strength, as when he respects another’s weakness.” — Smart Bee

If that doesn’t do it, well, then, we’ll just have to try again another time, won’t we?….   😆
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“I have thought many times since that if poets when they get discouraged would blow their brains out, they could write very much better when they got well.” — Mark Twain

Hmm…. I’m not sure, but, perhaps Mark was feeling a bit curmudgeonly toward poets that day…. If not, well, we all know his fondness for sardonicism, don’t we?…. Here’s one I think you’ll enjoy, from a poet I’ve only recently begun to explore….

Song

A rowan like a lipsticked girl.
Between the by-road and the main road
Alder trees at a wet and dripping distance
Stand off among the rushes.

There are the mud-flowers of dialect
And the immortelles of perfect pitch
And that moment when the bird sings very close
To the music of what happens

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~

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As might be guessed from what has gone before, I’m a bit anxious to be on the road… It will take all of my patience and fortitude to wait until 1 PM, when we leave for the embarkation pier in SF….. especially as leaving dead bodies behind me could conceivably cause problems upon my return…. SIGH…. People get SO upset when I do that!….

Any who, I’ll try to not kill anyone today, so I can have a worry free cruise…. In hopes of getting to that point sometime in the near future, I’m going for an old-school, random, harlequin pearl, to finish off this very skimpy Pearl….. Don’t worry, I’ll make up for it with art work tomorrow…. the camera’s all charged up and ready to shoot…. Until then, here are some thoughts from SB to help y’all get through the day…. or not….

ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

(Oh! Oh! So, THAT’S what I’ve been doing all this time!! I love it, and now feel very justified in my work here…. I am just loving the idea of putting the OCI after my name, to signify my identity of a member of the Order of Curmudgeonly Iconoclasts…. My sig. line is starting to look impressive, with all my initials after it…. as in, gigoid, MCA, BS,  OCI…. [which, BTW, is the correct way to write ‘gigoid’, with no capitals…. it’s a user-name, and caps aren’t required, nor, in this case, desired….].  If I’m not careful, all these titles will start to go to my head, or something equally inane… Okay, I’m done fooling around now…. We’ll get on with the rest of this pearl….sorry, got distracted…)

“Make your enemies by choice, not by accident. The same applies to friends.” — Xavier R. Quinton

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

“In every country and every age, the priest has been hostile to Liberty.” — Thomas Jefferson

:interesting: adj.  In hacker parlance, this word has strong connotations of `annoying’, or `difficult’, or both.  Hackers relish a challenge, and enjoy wringing all the irony possible out of the ancient Chinese curse “May you live in interesting times”.  Oppose {trivial}, {uninteresting}. — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423

(Note: This definition of the word “interesting” is the most frequently applied here at ECR, in terms of meaning and connotation, used almost exclusively; just so’s you know….)

“It seems, in fact, as though the second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has accumulated during the first half.” — Feodor Dostoyevski, “The Possessed”

“The zoo is not an exhibition
I view with much enjoyment,
when I notice beasts in a position
To learn the weaknesses of men.”

— John Brunner
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I’ve done it again, I suppose, and I’ll just have to deal with it…. I’ll be back shortly, I hope….

As I suspected, that took a while, but, it’s done now, and I can get on with my day…. which, as might be imagined, promises to be one of greater than usual import, and all around fun… or, as has been intimated, more interesting…. hopefully without the negative connotation that generally applies…. See y’all tomorrow, even if there are technical issues… I’ll figure out a workaround of some kind….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

“Cake, or death” , as a manifesto, royally sucks wind….

Ffolkes,

Fair warning, ffolkes…. Today’s effort could conceivably break me, and, in the current state of my mind, that event will (not COULD, but WILL…) produce an explosion roughly equivalent to the one dropped on Nagasaki in 1945…. Not the largest device ever used, but, close enough, and more than enough to level a city of about half a million people, killing at least half of them, reducing the city to a massive pile of rubble and bodies, for the most part, and creating the world’s largest conclave of radiation casualties outside Hiroshima…. If that isn’t enough of a ugly, scary image to start the day with, I can do another…. No? Okay….

I’m in a strange mood, (originally, I said “sort of a strange mood”, but, decided there’s no “sort of” about it; it’s strange….), half-glad, half-sad, and all pissed off, all due, for the most part, to the ongoing display of childishness and stupidity being played out on the national political scene, which, if it isn’t already clear, serves to offer complete and utter proof that NONE of those elected to any of the offices in this government have enough common sense to come in out of the rain, much less enough of that precious quality to be anything but disasters as leaders of a nation…. I’ve stated previously that I believe that ALL of the elected officials at that level are insane, clinically, and demonstrably, and the scenario being played out in Congress right now certainly goes a long way toward providing incontrovertible proof of that assertion….

A small group of disgruntled, (random query: what does a “gruntled” person look like?….) conservative, Tea Party fanatics, goaded on by even more fanatical supporters, who have more money than IQ points, has accomplished the complete shutdown of the US government, in a belated but ongoing protest of a law passed three years ago, without a single thought in their tiny little minds of a) how little what they’re doing will help ANYONE other than themselves, b) how stupid they appear, and c) how much damage to their own agenda they are causing, by their intransigence and stubborn desire to maintain a status that is no longer quo….

I mean, it’s ridiculous to me to see how hard these conservative fundamentalists struggle to deny the reality of the demographics of this country, which, no matter how they feel about it, no longer exists as a white, Christian majority, but, has evolved into a much more diverse collection of ethnic cultures from all over the world, with skin colors to rival the rainbow in their complexity. Caucasians are NOT the majority in America any more, and I say, it’s about damn time!….

The whole problem with these white assholes is they’ve become accustomed to having everything their way, because they have, previously, always had the voting power, and the law, on their side; no historian today will deny the facts of the matter, which clearly show how the last two hundred years in this country have exhibited a definite prejudicial bent, favoring the white, Christian subgroup in this country…. In turn, this ingrained prejudice has led us to some of the problems our society now faces, as that demographic, formerly a certainty, has become less definite, and the voting power has shifted away from its conservative roots, into a more diverse, and liberal outlook, that has evolved along with the mixing of the races….

This mixing, in spite of what the fundies would like to believe, has already happened, ON THE STREETS, although, not in the seats of power; this discrepancy is what is now causing many of the issues that continue to arise over time. As the power base shifts to reflect the more diverse population we now enjoy in this nation, the old forces, used to their entitlements, are throwing tantrums, and trying to maintain a status quo that is no longer feasible, not if reality is to match what we believe it to be…. and, regardless of how much they WANT it to be otherwise, that much social momentum cannot be stopped…

There are just too many powerful social forces at work, changing the face of the American demography, and trying to have everything stay the same only causes pain for those who try to keep from acknowledging the changes. Plus, it should be noted that attempting to deny reality, and fighting against it, are sure signs of insanity in humans, more proof of my assertion regarding political animals, and those who are determined to support them in their insanity….

To my mind, the issue of the sanity of those who seek public office was settled a long time ago; it is obviously quite crazy to believe that ANYONE at all has the ability to successfully handle the issues that go along with a nation of this size and complexity. It is simply too big a job, as are the other positions we elect people to fill, and only someone who has an unreasonable opinion of their own abilities would think they were capable of doing so…. If you believe there is anyone alive who is smart enough, or honest enough, or even cares enough, to be able to deal with all the details and responsibilities that go along with being President, or Senator, or any of the other positions we allow people to assume, then I am sorry to say that you have learned to deny reality as well as they do….

It isn’t a matter of whether what they believe is true or not; it is their BELIEF that they can that is the issue, because, quite simply, and quite demonstrably, they can’t….. But, they won’t admit it; to do so would mean admitting they were wrong all along…. and that is the whole problem, because they believe they can, and, sadly, they are able to convince others that they are right…. This kind of logic is what is called an eternal loop, a closed circle of false ideas that support each other by their denial of reality; in the field of psychiatry, we called it clinical INSANITY!….

Well, I see that once again, I’ve crossed over into ranting, without the slightest hesitation, and without realizing how early I was falling into venting mode…. I can only plead exigency, and a bit of emotional pressure…. All the above has obviously been in there, percolating, and had to come out in order to clear the decks for anything remotely creative to find its way into the light of day. Sort of like clearing the throat before singing, I guess… Oh well, that means that I don’t HAVE to rant in sections one or three, unless I want to, or see something that compels me to enter into ranting mode…. which is probably a good thing for y’all, in the final analysis….

Shall we Pearl?…. Though it’s repeating myself, it’s about damn time….

“‘If everybody minded their own business,’ the Duchess said, in a hoarse growl, ‘the world would go round a deal faster than it does.'” — Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
_____________________________

I see by the above that my ranting needs a bit of work…. I’m falling into the mode too easily, and resorting too often to general indictments, without much solid evidence to back it up…. Not that much is needed, or that it isn’t available; the news web sites, and papers, are full of plenty of stuff to support the points I’ve made in my rants….  I have been trying to supply links to such articles, that provide such evidence, when I can….

Howsomever, I don’t want to fall into the less than perfectly moral methods used by the opposition, which can and does regularly include flat out lying, and/or complete fabrication of the truth…. I mean, it is almost impossible for me to go through a single day of reading the news without finding another lie told by a politician, or if nothing else, a piece of truth that somehow got left out of whatever they said….

I also see that I am falling right back into rant mode, and I was trying NOT to do that, even though the current state of affairs out in the BBR (Big Blue Room…. that place outside the room where my computer lives….) is in dire need of being ranted over…. Things are so damn far off the track that we may as well just start building new tracks in the direction we’re going…. That may get us to our extinction faster, but, it couldn’t hurt any to be a bit more comfortable on the way to Hell, could it?….

Any who, I’m going to go with an old-school pearl here, if I can ever break free of this urge to take shot after shot at the politicos today…. Bloody assholes… I’ll try to sublimate by giving Smart Bee some strict parameters for selections today…. These will all point at elected officials, or appointed ones, as they are generally appointed by someone who was elected; taking my best shots, so to speak, in one way or another….

A moral, sensible, and well-bred man
Will not affront me,–and no other can.

— William Cowper (1731-1800) — Conversation, Line 193

“Modern diplomats approach every problem with an open mouth.” — Arthur J. Goldberg

“Prejudice is when you don’t hate an individual, but you hate what they stand for, when without knowing them personally, you decide they are worthy of your derision.” — Callan Williams
(Oops… I guess that makes me prejudiced against people who act stupid in public, doesn’t it?…. Oh, well….)

“Since when is “public safety” the root password to the Constitution?” — C. D. Tavares

“You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time,. And that’s sufficient.” — Rose King
(Ms. King was obviously the teacher of many, many politicians in her time…. and she taught her lesson well….)

“Can’t refute the message?  Attack the messenger!” — Conservative Rule #9

If you want to get the plain truth,
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind.

— Seng-Ts’an

Wow…. it took a while, but, I think it was worth the time spent looking for that final pearl…. which, to my mind, is damn near perfect….
_____________________________

Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet-laureate while he lived; I only heard of him after he died, earlier this year, but, since first reading his work, have come to realize how little that phrase says about his poems, or the way they affect me. It seems he felt many of the same sort of feelings as I do, feelings he was able to set into verse with much more panache and style than I have ever achieved, at least to my mind…. Any who, this poem seems to fit in with my mood today, so, I hope you enjoy it….

Exposure

It is December in Wicklow:
Alders dripping, birches
Inheriting the last light,
The ash tree cold to look at.

A comet that was lost
Should be visible at sunset,
Those million tons of light
Like a glimmer of haws and rose-hips,

And I sometimes see a falling star.
If I could come on meteorite!
Instead I walk through damp leaves,
Husks, the spent flukes of autumn,

Imagining a hero
On some muddy compound,
His gift like a slingstone
Whirled for the desperate.

How did I end up like this?
I often think of my friends’
Beautiful prismatic counselling
And the anvil brains of some who hate me

As I sit weighing and weighing
My responsible tristia.
For what? For the ear? For the people?
For what is said behind-backs?

Rain comes down through the alders,
Its low conductive voices
Mutter about let-downs and erosions
And yet each drop recalls

The diamond absolutes.
I am neither internee nor informer;
An inner йmigrй, grown long-haired
And thoughtful; a wood-kerne

Escaped from the massacre,
Taking protective colouring
From bole and bark, feeling
Every wind that blows;

Who, blowing up these sparks
For their meagre heat, have missed
The once-in-a-lifetime portent,
The comet’s pulsing rose.

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~

_____________________________

“The goal of all life is death.” — Sigmund Freud

Like the finest pearls, sometimes the smallest ones shine the brightest…. I’ve been thinking about death a lot recently; it’s not morbidity, merely the natural curiosity of all humans as we more closely approach our own end time on this old ball of mud. I don’t exactly fear death, though it’s not a comforting subject to consider…. but, I think that discomfort arises from a somewhat different source than is common for most folks…. You see, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever about what happens after we die…. I also have no clue as to what that might be, but, whatever happens to us after we die, our consciousness will NOT flicker out, like a candle in the wind….

This belief is not based on some ridiculous notion of supernatural intervention that will determine my “necrodestination”, as Frank Zappa called it…. Rather, it is based on a more rational idea, that, though logical in nature, is nonetheless good, solid reasoning…. My idea is that it doesn’t make any sense for us to assume that, when we die, we no longer exist as a conscious being, because that would be a waste of energy, most simply put, and the Universe doesn’t work that way, so far as all we know about it….

“There is no conclusive evidence of life after death. But there is no evidence of any sort against it. Soon enough you will know. So why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert Heinlein

One of the laws of the physical universe in which we live is the Law of Conservation of Energy. This law has been known to science for many hundreds of years, and has been the subject of innumerable experiments, ALL of which proved it to be factual. Simply put, it states, “Energy cannot be destroyed, only altered in form.” In other words, any part of this physical universe that can be defined as a form of energy is immortal, in the sense that it never goes away, it only alters its type…. Electric to kinetic, kinetic to electric, nuclear to atomic, magnetic to electric , and vice versa, etc, ad lib, ad nauseam….. It never goes away, it only changes form….

To my way of thinking, consciousness is a form of energy. It is one we don’t completely understand, along the lines of both magnetic, and gravitational energies, both of which, so far, have eluded our full knowledge, and remain mysterious in many ways… Consciousness is in a similar situation; we can perceive it, and define it. There are even some instruments that seem to register its presence, peripherally, if not precisely. We can observe its effect on reality, and we can understand, to a degree, how it behaves….

But, we don’t know anywhere nearly all about it, nor can we do anything other than observe it in action, and only from within its boundaries!  We cannot observe consciousness in ourselves, only in others, and then only by perceiving their actions, not a direct perception of the energy that makes it act, or makes it real…

To a certain extent, this is a handicap, but, fortunately for us, the power of our imagination can assist us to understand its more complex characteristics, eventually…. So far, though, it is not a form of energy that we have under our complete control, and, at this point in our mental development, cannot perceive where it goes, or what form it takes, after we reach the end of our biological lives here on Earth….

“History does not record anywhere at any time a religion that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But, like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure from fiddling with it.” — Lazarus Long, again

All my life, my sense of curiosity, my knowledge of science and philosophy, and a healthy sense of doubt, has kept me from ever falling under the influence of any of the major religions of the world, and I generally tend to take Lazarus’ view of the matter as being the most reasonable one can assume. If people wish to believe in that stuff, well and good, as long as they don’t try to force it down anyone else’s throat, we won’t have any issues….

My own take on the whole matter of life after death is this: it seems to me, whatever happens after we die, it must be more interesting, and more complex than what we are doing here, as it seems to take much longer to be dead than it does to be alive… which makes dying just another adventure, for an inquiring mind….

“After all, to the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” — J.K. Rowling, The Man with Two Faces, — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1997, — spoken by the character Albus Dumbledore

Getting all worked up about who has the biggest, most powerful imaginary friend in this world, and who will go to the most attractive place when we die, all based on a delusional system of rewards and punishments for desired, or undesired, behaviors, isn’t the way I intend to spend my time here on Earth…. There’s too much really cool stuff going on in other areas of human existence to make that very attractive as a way to spend time. Instead, I’ll learn as much as I can of what is real, and what is important, and maybe, when I die, someone will be helped in some way by whatever I’ve found out, and left behind as a legacy….

“We are here and it is now.  Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.” — H. L. Mencken

Blessed Be, ffolkes…. You may as well enjoy life; as the Scots are fond of saying….”Be glad of living, for you’re a long time dead.”….
_____________________________

Today’s Pearl is the result of a short night’s sleep, and a long morning’s meandering through the fertile, if confusing, fields of my imagination and will…. It promises to be an epic struggle to proof, so I’ll get right on that…. while I still have the wherewithal to do so….

“Epic” was certainly the correct word choice for this Pearl. I know I write a lot, and I know it’s a lot to take in at one sitting; keep in mind it takes me a number of sittings each morning to produce these missives, so don’t feel bad if it’s hard to finish it all at once. But, I think this one is well worth it, as I got a lot of stuff out that has been percolating, and feel like I’ve tidied up a lot of space in my head that needed it….

If nothing else, I feel as if I’ve gotten in a sufficient number of direct hits on the BRC, so, I’m happy, for the nonce…. At least, until one of them goes and does something stupid, again, right out there for all of us to see… Be sure, I’ll point it out for y’all, and do my best to help y’all see some of the humor, and stupidity, that runs rampant in our society….

There, I even got in a little mini-rant in the closing section…. how’s that for going overboard, eh?…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Avoiding those odd “Elvis” moments….

Ffolkes,

It is not without a certain degree of trepidation that I come to this decision; no one at all could ever consider taking such a step without thinking about what might happen, if things do not go as planned. If things don’t work out as hoped, the carnage will be extensive, and the world, as we know it, will never be the same…. Contrarily, if what I am contemplating works as it should, no one will ever know they were mere seconds from annihilation, destined to exit this plane of existence, not with a bang, but with the poet’s whimper….

On the other hand, I could quit fooling around, and tell you that all of the above is just another silly collection of words, put together in such a way as to draw your attention, and engage your mind in some sort of fictional scenario, with no real connection to reality…. How’d I do? I don’t know about y’all, but I was completely fooled….. and I was the one writing it! Now, THAT’S some powerful writing!….. Just kidding, ffolkes….. I’m fully aware of how my pomposity, my arrogance, my regular and harsh criticism of religion and its icons, and my so-far-left-I’m-right political positions, have a tendency, no doubt, to make people uncomfortable, or, at the very least, leave them with feelings of guilt, which nobody cares for at all….

The guilt, if I’ve done my job correctly, comes from knowing that we, the American people at large, are responsible for the mess we are in, due to our long-term habit of putting our head in the sand every four years, and voting for yet another batch of lying, cheating, immoral assholes, establishing them in their elected positions, where they will proceed, like every other politician in the last 100 years, to fuck things up beyond all belief….. Sometimes, I think that what they studied in college was not law, but bozoid technology….. how to make best use of those tools we all employ at one time or another to make fools of ourselves…..

What is THIS all about? Good question…. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been looking back at all I’ve written in the last couple of years, since beginning this blog, and I realized that I’ve been beating a horse so dead, it’s petrified, and has been erected as a statue in the local park…. I’ve ranted and railed against the machine, belittling the churches and their deliberately delusional perpetrators, and accused ALL politicians of psychopathic greed, not to mention congenital prevarication….

I’ve pointed out the lies that the politicians tell us, either by omission, or by commission, and bemoaned the entitlement and arrogance of the para-military police forces that most of our towns and cities have espoused…. All to little purpose, and littler effect, as it turns out, as the same people keep on screwing us over in the same old ways…. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m getting a bit tired of putting out so much effort to such small effect; I’m accustomed to my work having some kind of positive outcome, but, it’s hard to call the response I’ve had as being overwhelmingly so….

While it’s true that most of the ffolkes who do comment here tend to agree with my take on matters, it is also true that, even given the 315 followers I reportedly have, the number of people who SEE it isn’t exactly what can be called a huge audience…. Now, that’s okay, in one respect, which is, I don’t care about the numbers, very much…. I write to get this stuff out of my head before it rots, not for the usual purpose of stimulating action in the public; it’s always been more about saving my sanity than it has about saving society….

BUT…. and it’s a big BUT…. saving society wouldn’t be such a bad thing, now, would it? It would be nice if I could tell myself that what I say here has some positive effect in that direction, even if I wasn’t telling the entire truth…. SIGH…. As a curmudgeon, though, and as a self-made, self-taught, self-reliant philosopher, no matter how much better it would make me feel, I can’t do that, because it just isn’t true….. If we don’t stick to the truth, it’s all just an exercise in futility, and we may as well just go lay down in our graves now….

So, anyway, I see now that this has turned into not merely a rant in the intro, but has become what seems to be a series of personal revelations about the relevance of what I’m doing here…. Though I don’t really care about how many ffolkes read this, as it is written for another purpose altogether, there is another part of me that would like to have the world pay attention to what I’m saying, for their own benefit…. It’s a bit frustrating, and that frustration may prompt some radical changes around here, in how I approach the entire subject of ranting….

If I can make it more effective, I’d be willing to put more effort into publicizing it, to get more ffolkes to read and spread it around…. I’d even be willing to take more meds, so I could spend more time reading and commenting on other blogs (which I would LOVE to be able to do, but for the pain it causes me physically…), so that my readership would continue to grow, to a level that had some real power of distribution….. Ah well, it’s all just speculation, at this point, so, we’ll just have to see how it goes…. but, expect SOME changes, for sure…. I’m just not certain what form they’ll take, or how it may affect the rest of what I write, but, I HAVE to do SOMETHING, or I’ll drive myself crazy…. which, I admit, is not a long drive…

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Don’t take the bull by the horns, take him by the tail; then you can let go when you want to.” — Josh Billings

(Trivia note: This statement is a more effective method of animal husbandry than is first apparent, which only strengthens its metaphorical nature…. As any farm boy knows, you can’t persuade a large animal to go anywhere by putting a  rope around its neck, and yanking on it, especially large animals such as cattle, or mules, or donkeys, of either gender; they’re all quite stubborn, and stupid, to boot. However, any and all of these animals will go wherever you wish them to go, if you will merely grab them by the tail, with a good strong grip, and give it a firm twist…. Guaranteed, the animal will move IMMEDIATELY, and briskly, in whatever direction they were pointed at the time the tail was twisted….   🙂    )
_____________________________

“Ignorance is temporary. Stupidity lasts forever!!!” — Smart Bee

A few days ago, in the news, one of the Republican Senators, John McCain, took some heavy shots at a freshman Republican Senator, some guy named Cruz, a desperately confused young Latino, for his useless, and even harmful, use of a filibuster-like speech to delay a vote that was going to happen anyway…. It was actually kind of cute, the way they bickered over the issue, and provides a perfect example of how, even amongst themselves, these psychopathic idiots cannot figure out how removed they are from real life, or how little all their contortions have any positive effect on the public… They all just look like little kids, running around getting mad over trivial stuff, and never getting anything done that would benefit anyone other than themselves….

“He probably just wants to take over my CELLS and then EXPLODE  inside me like a BARREL of runny CHOPPED LIVER!  Or maybe he’d like to PSYCHOLOGICALLY TERRORIZE ME until I have no objection to a RIGHT-WING MILITARY TAKEOVER of my apartment!!  I guess I should call AL PACINO!” — Zippy the Pinhead

I don’t think even Al could help in today’s political world…. Any who, what McCain objected to in Cruz’s speech were some comments he made comparing certain people with a certain view to Nazis… I’m not sure to whom he referred, but, it definitely offended McCain, and he made some comments of his own…. over which I had to laugh, heartily, as I could think of nothing other than “the pot calling the kettle black”….. If there is ANY political group that has shown characteristics shared by the Nazi Party in the last 50 years, it is the Republican Party, which can barely figure out how to phrase the planks of their platform without resorting to racist epithets….

Not only the Republicans, but the entire government machine, by its very bureaucratic nature, at times will naturally fall into postures which remind one of the fascists who once ran Germany, but are now confined mostly to chat rooms, and a few conclaves in Minneapolis (I hope…)…. As a perfect example of what I’m saying here, I offer the following article, from yesterday’s SF Chronicle, which describes the latest events in the housing market in SF, wherein nobody cares when the elderly and the disabled are abused, all in the name of BUSINESS….

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Tech-boom-forcing-longtime-S-F-family-out-of-home-4843955.php

“Our eviction-assistance team has been there several times and left notice for the family to contact us, but the family has chosen not to do so,” said Fahey. “We certainly don’t want anybody going without a place to live, but we have our orders.”

“I feel bad for the old people being evicted, and I can see why there is so much controversy,” said Allie Crocco, 25, who works in finance and moved into an apartment a few blocks away this summer. “But on the other hand, there’s a lot of money to be made in these buildings.”

There you have it, ffolkes…. Rampant Nazi-like behavior, with quotes…. The first of the two highlighted phrases, both of which came from the above article, was uttered by one of the people responsible for evicting people, under the law that was specifically passed for that purpose, to make it easier for businesses to get around the existing laws that protect the tenants…. Please note how it echoes the statements of more than one Nazi prison guard convicted during the Nuremberg Trials after WWII…. The other quote is from a person who lives nearby the house where the old couple is being evicted, and clearly demonstrates the lack of empathy in those who are not involved in the issue…. To the average joe in our society, if there is money to be made, it justifies ANYTHING, no matter how egregiously immoral it may be….

IMHO, no further rant is needed to make my point, so, I’ll trust in the intelligence of my Gentle Readers to fill in the rest of what might have been said, and, mercifully, was not….

“Coming up: our definitive answer to the JFK assassination, the Iran contra coverup, the cure for the common cold, and our hidden videotape of Madonna’s torrid affair…” — Anchorman, “Zombies in PJs”, Eerie Indiana
____________________________

I’m hopeful for the quality of today’s Pearl, so the poem needs to be just right…. Let’s see what I can find….. Ah, this will do nicely….

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~

_____________________________

“It is quite untrue that British people don’t appreciate music. They may not understand it but they absolutely love the noise it makes.”–Sir Thomas Beecham

“Hateful to me as are the gates of hell, is he who, hiding one thing in his heart, Utters another.” — Homer (c. 700 B.C.)

As you can see, for this final section, Smart Bee has presented me with two directions to go… The two don’t stretch, in any way I can think of, to work together to make a point, at least, not one I’d care to make, so I’ll have to either make a decision, or trust to fate, an uncertain proposition at any time…. I’m feeling lucky, though, so let’s see what happens if I just dive in, like this… Oooh!, that’s cold!…. Okay, take a deep breath, and follow me…. Don’t worry, any sharks you see are just metaphors….

“Don’t take life too serious. It ain’t no ways permanent.” — Pogo, by Walt Kelly

“Here, let me show you.” — Famous Last Words

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Every society needs someone whose job it is to tell the Emperor he’s naked.” — Smart Bee
(Me! Me! Pick me! I’ll do it for free!…. Oh, wait, I already do that…. okay, well…. to continue…)

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.” — Albert Einstein

“At any price that I can pay, let me own myself. And the price is worth  paying if you keep what you have bought… A man may apply his independence to what is called worldly advantage, and discover too late that he  laboriously has made himself dependent on a mass of external conditions for the maintenance of which he has sacrificed himself. So he may be  festooned with the whole haberdashery of success, and go to his grave a castaway. Some men hold that the risk is worth taking. Others do not. It is to those that I have spoken.” — Rudyard Kipling, speech at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, 1923, — quoted in _Kipling’s Science Fiction_ edited by John Brunner

“Small change can often be found under seat cushions.” — Lazarus Long
_____________________________

“Within the oyster’s shell uncouth
The purest pearl may hide,
Trust me you’ll find a heart of truth
Within that rough inside.”

— Mrs. Osgood

And aren’t we all glad that is so!… Well, I’m glad…. You’ll have to make your own decision as to how you feel about it…. What I’ve done here today, well, it’s the same, but different, sort of…. which is exactly what I need to think about…. See y’all tomorrow, perhaps with a new gestalt….. No new physique, no altered proportions, of anatomy or build, perhaps, but, just maybe, a bit of a change in the silhouette, some contrast to the shadows that haunt the edges of my perception….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Such sang froid should be rewarded….

Ffolkes,

A fat moon blundered across the sky, hesitant and pale, as if afraid of the stars. The weak light revealed the face of my guide under the dark hood, throwing shadows like darts, adding to the uncertain terror filling my heart and mind. Without a word, the heavily cloaked warrior, hired to lead me through this den of poverty, moved away from the wall, slipping into an alley, unseen until right upon its opening. The darkness intensified as we moved deeper, silently gliding toward the fetid smells of decay wafting toward us from the alley’s shadowed depths. As we snaked through the narrow way between the buildings on either side, many eyes noted our passage, but no voice rang out to challenge, no alarms sounded…..

Okay, that’s enough of that….. I don’t think I’ll take that one any further, today, or anytime soon; it’s not really my cup of tea, I think, though it’s always good practice to set scenes, trying to make them into clear images that people can easily see in their minds…. Not bad for someone still suffering from coffee shortage…. but, that will soon be relieved, as I am sipping as I type…. Well, not exactly at the same time, but, you know what I mean…. I’ll be fine, soon, as long as nobody talks to me….

Which isn’t to say that all will be well right away; it’s too early to make such unwarranted assumptions. I’m merely going with the odds, which are in favor of no injuries or lethal casualties at this point, always a good thing. Of course, I can’t say for sure the odds won’t change; they often do, especially if we try to depend on them, and bet accordingly…. It’s a better idea to let it ride for a round or two of betting, and chime in when they are a bit more in our favor….. That’s the theory, anyway….. turning it into a proven theorem can be tricky, on the best of days….

No, I really don’t have any more idea of what any of that means, or if it really has any bearing on what we are about to do here today. Since that hasn’t really been decided yet, it would be silly to attempt any lead-ins, or directional hints, as they will just go wonky before I can possibly fulfill them; I’ve seen it happen too often not to know what’s what…. No, all that was just what I call literary bubble-wrap, only there to take up space, and afford some cushioning for the bumps and bruises that can occur when we change directions suddenly. I find it good planning to provide these little head’s-up messages for our passengers, and the insurance folks love it, because we have fewer injuries when people are aware of the hazards ahead of time…

Now that I’ve thoroughly confused y’all, and myself, as to just where in reality we are, I’ll begin the process of trying to find our way back to some semblance of that reality, if not actual normalcy…. Hey, it’s not Masterpiece Theater material, but it keeps me off the streets, mostly….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Happiness is a state of mind.  Not happy?  Change your mind.” — Smart Bee
_____________________________

Golly, Mr. Wizard, how did that happen? We seem to have gotten through the intro without major bloodshed, but only after a twitch in time to complete the poetry section.  Now, ready or not, it’s time for section one, and Smart Bee decides to be all cute and coy, throwing all these strange, and unusable, quotes at me, seemingly with no regard at all for anyone’s sensibilities, much less my own. I’m disappointed, to say the least, but, I’m thinking a fake tantrum will do the trick, and get it back in line, or at least guilt-trip it badly enough to push it into the proper frame of mind…. Before I completely mangle any more euphemisms, and lose my license to use metaphor, we’ll see what kind of pearl emerges after that happens…. Be patient, should only take a moment or two…. Ah, good, here we go….

“If we let people see that kind of thing, there would never again be any war.” — Pentagon official, on why US military censored graphic footage from the Gulf War

“Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.” — Pliny the Younger (61-105 AD) — Letters, Book i, Letter xviii, 5

IMMORAL, adj.  Inexpedient.  Whatever in the long run and with regard to the greater number of instances men find to be generally inexpedient comes to be considered wrong, wicked, immoral.  If man’s notions of right and wrong have any other basis than this of expediency; if they originated, or could have originated, in any other way; if actions have in themselves a moral character apart from, and nowise dependent on, their consequences — then all philosophy is a lie and reason a disorder of the mind. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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

“Silliness is the last refuge of the doomed.” — Opus

“But pain…seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?” — Lois McMaster Bujold, Barrayar

“Belief is not the beginning but the end of all knowledge.” — Goethe
_____________________________

Normally, or, as much so as that word ever means around here, I pick poems that aren’t connected to religion, or religious subjects…. It isn’t anything against the poets who write the poems, for some of them are incredibly good poets, such as today’s choice, W.B. Yeats…. The reason is, as you know, I’m not very supportive of the delusional system upon which I believe the entire concept is based, and don’t like to make it seem as if I am encouraging exceptions, or being hypocritical. However, this one, no matter how misguided its author may be on the subject of religion, is too good not to enjoy…. For balance, I’ll include another poem, from a poet relatively new to me, that has nothing to do with religion…… which will assuage my guilt, and give y’all a bonus…. Enjoy!….

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

Personal Helicon

for Michael Longley

As a child, they could not keep me from wells
And old pumps with buckets and windlasses.
I loved the dark drop, the trapped sky, the smells
Of waterweed, fungus and dank moss.

One, in a brickyard, with a rotted board top.
I savoured the rich crash when a bucket
Plummeted down at the end of a rope.
So deep you saw no reflection in it.

A shallow one under a dry stone ditch
Fructified like any aquarium.
When you dragged out long roots from the soft mulch
A white face hovered over the bottom.

Others had echoes, gave back your own call
With a clean new music in it. And one
Was scaresome, for there, out of ferns and tall
Foxgloves, a rat slapped across my reflection.

Now, to pry into roots, to finger slime,
To stare, big-eyed Narcissus, into some spring
Is beneath all adult dignity. I rhyme
To see myself, to set the darkness echoing.

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~

_____________________________

Once again, my outrage is on hold, while I recover from my travels, and the news coasts along building up levels of craziness for me to see and assimilate prior to commenting on it. While collecting the group of pearls for section one today, these gems kept popping up between usable quotes for that group (the theme of which is left for the gentle reader to define….). They weren’t exactly what I needed, or was looking for, but, they worked, sort of, so I kept them handy, to see if they’ll fall into place for another old-school version of a pearl…. and, they do. So, without further ado (what does that MEAN?….), I offer the following seven star pearl for your delectation….

“In morals, what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion, what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.” — Mrs. Jameson

“Although it is tempting to resent disaster, there is not much use in doing so… Whether we remain ash or become the phoenix is up to us.” — Deng Ming-Dao

“Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important.  They don’t mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them.” — T. S. Eliot

“Beware! Your brain may no longer be the boss.” — Firesign Theatre, Everything you know is Wrong

“As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies, for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task.” — Diogenes

“I drank WHAT????” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

“I like people better than principles, and I like people with no principles better than anything else in the world.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
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I don’t know if the well’s running dry, or I’m just getting dumber; either way, this one turned into an ordeal, so, I feel pretty good to have gotten it done, and without the loss of any more teeth, or more blood than I have on hand to replace. Now, if only it’s typo-free….

Well, the number of necessary tweaks wasn’t too large, and, it seems to be rather more okay than not, so, it can join the rest of the POVW that have been posted for the world to see here…. As is probably clear by now, I have no pride, so, take it as it comes, or let it lie…. Or, leave a comment, and start a dialogue… it’s all grist for my mill…. See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3