The circus refuses to leave town….

Ffolkes,

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

ignoring me

“You’re not a real person until you’re ignored by a cat.”

Hajime…. The official title of this blog, as it says right at the top left, is Exploring Consensual Reality. Today’s version of Reality is simply too much for me to deal with; the sun came up, and I just don’t know what to do about it. Not that I’ll ever need to do anything about it, but, we humans do have our irrational fears…. It’s been said, with good reason, by a number of really smart ffolkes, worry kills more people than bullets. I can attest.

Since my mind is in revolt, (or, maybe that should be, my mind is revolting….), the mess you’ll see today will be a cheap imitation of a real Pearl, since most of it is destined to come from the archives. That is the only way it will get done at all, I’m afraid, even though it’s Sunday, and nobody really cares except me. Oh, well, he said, with some relief. That’s show biz….

That’s all, ffolkes. I’m off now, to go put this together, best I may; y’all can stick around to see what happens, or bail now. As ever, it’s up to you. In the meantime, I’ll go do what needs doing, and be done with it. Let’s get started, ‘kay?…..

Shall we pearl?….

“Around existence twine,
(Oh, bridge that hangs across the gorge!)
ropes of twisted vine.”

~~ Basho ~~

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

Naturally, in order to save time, we’re going with our default musical selection. Enjoy!….

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Classical Music

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Sandclock .jpg

While searching for a rant in the archives from 2014, I found this one, from 2012, which will do nicely….

From 6/26/2012:

IDIOT, n. A member of a large and powerful tribe whose influence in human affairs has always been dominant and controlling. The Idiot’s activity is not confined to any special field of thought or action, but “pervades and regulates the whole.” He has the last word in everything; his decision is unappealable. He sets the fashions and opinion of taste, dictates the limitations of speech and circumscribes conduct with a dead-line.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

When I picked out this pearl, I had intended to write a piece exploring human intelligence. However, my brain had a different plan, and all of the thoughts that I had marshaled to use went into the wind, poof, gone….. Since I’m feeling a bit lazy today, I’m keeping the pearl, and writing something about it anyway, so there….

Ranting about human stupidity is an endless challenge; there is so much of it to pick from that the choosing becomes harder than the actual writing. Every day’s news brings more examples of how dumb folks can be, and finding just one that is acceptable is merely a matter of deciding which is the better choice from a humorous view, or a serious view, or whatever viewpoint from which we will write. I’ve yet to see a single day when there weren’t at least four or five instances of stories that illustrate how talented people are at finding new ways to show how stupid they really are…..

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.” — Lazarus Long

We’ve all seen this one, I think; if not this one by Robert Heinlein, then one from another author or philosopher. It’s a pretty common theme, after all. Often, examples can be found on the front pages, especially during election years. But the back pages also carry numerous examples, taken from real life…. such as this one….

Back when I was attending the University of Utah, The Daily Utah Chronicle ran a joke ad for a debate between Phil Donahue and Whiskers the Lamb. Over 30 people showed up. (what they were expecting, God only knows.) — Smart Bee

In order to further prove my point, here is an example taken from today’s news….

http://www.fark.com/comments/7182500

This link leads to a very short article from Yahoo news, a perfect example of how the world is going mad, step by step….. I’m not even going to comment on the article, as it’s already too hard to think about it without laughing at the absurdity of the whole issue…..

Okay, I think my point is proved. The human race is pretty stupid, and getting stupider all the time. Sure, we’ve got men in space, we’ve raised the average age to 72 with medical advances, we’ve been to the moon. But we also are still making war on each other. We still abuse animals, and women, and children, and any thing else that is weaker, and will stand still. We are still killing ourselves, and denying that it is even happening. My only hope at this point is for something to happen to change human nature, to turn us away from this path we’ve chosen to walk. I hope it will happen, but I’m afraid the power of stupidity may just be greater than the power of hope….

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Comedy_Tragedy

The following was first posted on 5/13/2014:

I’m going with whatever serendipitously throws itself under the wheels of this bus we’re on…. Here is a thought, and a poem, from two classical Chinese poets, to whose translators I offer my complete admiration, and thanks, for such excellent work….

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?”

~~ Seng-T’San ~~

Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River

The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain — I’ve gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,
I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.
Poems, wine — even this profusely driven, I endure.
Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,
And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!
Among spring’s vociferous glories, I too have my place:
With a lovely wine, bidding life’s affairs bon voyage.

Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms,
I admire that stately Po-hua wineshop even more.
To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful
Dancing girls to embroidered mats — who could bear it?

East of the river, before Abbot Huang’s grave,
Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.
In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless,
Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark?

At Madame Huang’s house, blossoms fill the paths:
Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.
And butterflies linger playfully — an unbroken
Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease.

I don’t so love blossoms I want to die. I’m afraid,
Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous.
And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk
Things over, little buds —open delicately, sparingly.

~~ Tu Fu ~~

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pearls_3

I’m so late, and so discombobulated (fine word!….), I’m going to the archives for the final, old-school pearl today; why not? Here is one from 2014 that will do nicely….

From6/21/2014:

Once again, I had hoped to have more pictures today, but, the Wise Old Pine Cone has been busy with his new student, so we’ll have to settle for a fresh, old-school pearl….. We’ll make it a random, harlequin style pearl, as they’re the quickest to put together, as the parameters involved are so flexible…. Enjoy!….

“This is a wise maxim, “to take warning from others of what may be to your own advantage.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Heautontimoroumenos, Act i, Sc. 2, 36, (210.)

“The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.” — Max Lerner

“Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do ingloriously, by licensing and prohibiting, to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple: who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter?” — John Milton (1608-1674) — Areopagitica

“He who wears his morality but as his best garment were better naked.” — Kahlil Gibran

“After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.” — Olmstead’s Law

“…for the most part happiness consists in being willing to be what you are.” — Erasmus

“Honor is the reward of virtue.” — Cicero (B.C. 106-43)

Sometimes this process doesn’t work; this is NOT one of those times…. This is a good pearl, ffolkes…. Serendipity strikes again….

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Thanks to my extensive archives, it’s done, even if incredibly late. Oh, well. I’ll try again tomorrow; who knows? I may even get a real Pearl finished by then. Either way, I’ll be back; on that you may rely…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured Image -- 8916

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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No, no witch doctors…. I’m fine. Just a scratch….

Ffolkes,

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark;

the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”

~~ Plato ~~

Day the next 013

    ‘Tisn’t every day I start off with a trip to the ER, so, I suppose that makes today special, at least in that respect. So, rather than sitting here, trying to decide how to use the quote from Plate, in conjunction with my lovely picture of the sunset over the Northern Irish Sea, off the coast of Scotland somewhere, I am sitting here, trying desperately to ignore the dizziness that fills my head whenever I move it too quickly…. According to the nice young doctor at the ER, it is merely vertigo, a condition that can strike anytime, and is treatable, mostly, with medications to combat the two main symptoms of dizziness, and the nausea that goes with it most times.

For now, I’m just holding as still as possible, to prevent the dizziness…. and hoping I can hold it together long enough to get this done…. Fortunately, I had completed a good deal of it yesterday, during the breaks between sleeping to catch up, and battling the bones, which took up much of the day…. In at least one way, all this is a good thing for y’all, as it means the total amount to read will be much less than usual, and, minus any fresh ranting, as I am just not up to that now….

That being said, I’m going to also cut this intro to a degree unprecedented in previous Pearls…. In fact, we will be leaving this section very shortly, and going on to what is below… In actual fact, that is happening NOW….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, v, 6

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Phocion compared the speeches of Leosthenes to cypress-trees.

“They are tall,” said he, “and comely, but bear no fruit.”

~~ Plutarch  ~~

— (46-120 AD)  Phocion —

Day 3 and 4 013

    Above, you see my version of the typical tourist shot, of the British Houses of Parliament, including, of course, Big Ben, along with a glimpse of the obligatory double-decker bus, in this case, one of the tour buses, the “Hop on, hop off” variety prevalent in so many international cities now, as it makes a perfect way for tourists to see a great deal of a city in a short time, with the opportunity to get off to look more closely at something seen, and get back on when ready to go on getting the lay of the city…. I, naturally, had “hopped off” one of them, in order to walk out on the Bridge (never even asked which one it was….), to take the photo….

Today, it is here to show just one of the meeting places of the Beloved Ruling Class, this time in England, where that particular group of running dog lackeys has been shape-shifting, or, in their natural state, writhing sinuously around and through British culture, always managing to keep themselves in positions of authority and entitlement, for many thousands of years…. Many of them came to America in the early days, where they’ve been insinuating themselves into the US government since soon after its inception….

But, for centuries, aided by the natural Celtic tendency toward gullibility when confronted with claims of supernatural mandate, combined with an inherent national characteristic, or, if you will, curse, of possessing the emotional range of a teaspoon, and, an unbelievable stubbornness about ever admitting to being led by the nose, these latter-day Wizards of Oz continue to hide in plain sight, allowing their subjects to have complete (apparent) freedom, while, in truth, carrying out the same agenda as the elitists in this country have adopted, though for a shorter time, to wit: the long term con involved in converting the democratic forms of government, (call them Republican Democracies, or Democratic Republics, or, even, Constitutional Monarchies…. all same-same….) supposedly in place in both countries, into open Oligarchies, or the rule of the rich….

Now, I’m depressed again…. I’ll be back….

Obviously, I had planned to finish this today, after getting up…. Since my brain/body had different ideas for how I would start my day, I’ll have to leave it as is…. In looking it over, it is actually done enough; the point was made, and y’all will just have to do without the usual following verification/augmentation of the supporting evidence for my contentions…. I do see that I managed to put together an old-school version of a pearl, to act as a closing to this section…. so, we’ll take advantage of my forethought, and use it, here and now…. trusting to my instincts to see that it all flows together without any major welding required….

Whatever comes previously to this paragraph in this section, in the way of a rant, or discussion, or outburst of frustration and angst, sans rationale, or, whatever has tickled my fancy at that point, the following pearls will be included…. This group put itself together, at SB’s behest, apparently, as a means of poking some fun and sharp sticks at our alleged leaders in society…. Most of them are either obvious statements of how politicos think, if what they do can be so named, subtle indictments of their character, advice on how to deal with them, or Smart Bee’s take on what they want from y’all….

Also included, however, are two quotes from Thomas Jefferson…. One is included, patently, to provide contrast, and to demonstrate how the current crop of elected asininnies does NOT live by the same rules as did Jefferson…. The other is one of the warnings, or predictions, Jefferson issued to the people of this country who followed him, in his usual vein, which tells us to protect what they left to us…. His words have been preserved very well; the freedoms to which most of them referred? Not so well…..

“Vote Republican. It’s easier than thinking.” — Smart Bee

“A bone to the dog is not charity.  Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog.” — Jack London

“It is not honorable to take mere legal advantage, when it happens to be contrary to justice.” — Thomas Jefferson, POTUS III

“It had all the earmarks of a CIA operation; the bomb killed everybody in the room except the intended target.” — William F. Buckley

” We should declare war on North Vietnam.  We could pave the whole country and put parking strips on it, and still be home by Christmas.” — Ronald W. Reagan

“A society that will trade a little liberty for a little order will lose both, and deserve neither.” — Thomas Jefferson

“Vote Democrat. It’s easier than thinking.” — Smart Bee

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Yesterday, over the course of an hour or so, I was able to put down the following poem, ripped out of me whilst in the middle of an episode of intense pain from arthritis, in my hands, shoulders, hips, and UNIVERSE…. It may not be a traditionally formatted poem, and, as far as I know, it doesn’t rhyme, as I wasn’t thinking at all about that sort of expression… This bled out at a pace at which I was challenged to keep up, complicated by having to write in short spurts, as the hands were the worst…. Any who, I don’t care if anyone enjoys this, or not; I had to write it, or go mad, with no visible path on which to return from the trip…..

Of course, there will be some folks, and even, possibly, some folks, who will automatically place me into the “unsaved, and incorrigible” category, which is fine; it’s exactly where I prefer to be, if I must be in a category at all…. I forget who once said, “Not all poets are mad, but, it helps.”…..
Though I don’t remember who said it, I do tend to agree….

Elemental, dear Watson….
Don’t worry,
it’s not me
you hear
screaming.

It is
only
my bones,
giving in,
to
cowardly,
pathologically,
repetitive,
fucking,’
complaints
of
past abuse,
and
all the fun
we had.
playing,
hard.

I don’t mind
too much;
I can spend my
TIME
in another space
in my head,
pretending
my bones
don’t
exist….

It
is,
indeed,
a shame
they
always
come
back….

Fuck.

It
hurts.

More proof,
I guess,
either
God isn’t,
or,
He  is.

IF

He isn’t?
Oh,
Well….

Ante up.
Deal.

IF

He is?
Then,
I don’t fucking care
who
doesn’t like it,

I say,

He
is
a bully,
a coward,
a hypocrite,
and,
truly,
an enormous asshole.

I suppose,
God
 is
what comes,
to,
and
from,
People,

because

they
feel
a need,
for
someone
to
blame
for
a
Universe
they
cannot
understand
or
accept.

I
will
take the complaints.

After all,
they
are
my bones.

~~ gigoid ~~


Generally, I let the poem stand alone; today, in searching for a quote to put above the picture at the top of the page, Smart Bee presented me with the following, which provides some rather compelling evidence of the validity of the stanza in the poem, which begins with, “I suppose”….. This monumental delusional tendency haunting the species. homo horribulus, (that’s us, ffolkes….), on this planet has apparently been manifesting itself for quite some time…. since the early days of our history, to be exact…. This one shows it to be present over 2700 years ago….

“For full indeed is earth of woes, and full the sea; and in the day as well as night diseases unbidden haunt mankind, silently bearing ills to men, for all-wise Zeus hath taken from them their voice. So utterly impossible is it to escape the will of Zeus.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 101

Sorry, but, I’ll still take the complaints….

~~ gigoid

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“Any ordinary man can surround himself with two thousand books and thenceforth have at least one place in the world in which it is possible to be happy.” — Augustine Birrell

This section is the only one incomplete as I begin today’s post…. I’m going with my gut on this, and will put some additional pearls, to accompany the rather fine sentiment above, and to finish off this post, one of the more fractured Pearls to ever come down the pike…

“The long historian of my country’s woes.” — Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — The Odyssey of Homer, Book iii, Line 142

“Gort, klaatu nikto barada.” — The Day the Earth Stood Still

“Nothing can be produced out of nothing.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes of Apollonia, ii

“If good intentions are combined with stupidity, it is impossible to outthink them.”
— Marion J. Levy, Jr.

“Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.” — H.L. Mencken

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.” — Seng Ts’an, Third Zen Patriarch, — from Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on the Faith Mind

“…and I get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again.” — Pete Townshend

Wow…. SB is being really nice today…. Those seven pearls came one after another, with only two extraneous and useless quotes mixed in with them… Most excellent, as it went really quickly, as hoped…. Now, we’re done…. yay!….

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“There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.” — Bob Dylan

I get the feeling I am not the only one who feels like Bob…. But, all that is for another day. I’m done, and I’m outta here, to go hold still, and think of how to get through another day, with this added complication to adjust to…. SIGH…. Life is grand, isn’t it? See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

Kowabunga!

 

Building rapport by flapping gums, Mambo-style….

Ffolkes,

Zip….

Zilch….

Nada…. which translates as “Not a damn thing”….

Nothing….

Nope, not yet….

Hmm…. huh? Oh, sorry, no, nothing yet…

Hell, at this rate, I may as well go back to bed….

That’s it, I give up….

I was waiting for inspiration to strike, but, it seems to have taken the day off, along with Calliope, or whichever muse is involved with the written word, outside of poetry…. Calliope probably has more to do with music, by the sound of her name, and it really doesn’t matter a damn bit, because none of them are here, or are willing to help today, so, fuck ’em…. We can’t wait any longer, and I’m just getting more p.o.’d by the moment…. I should have know better than to take one of them at their word; they may be iconic forces of nature, but, they ARE female….

Before you get all pissy at me for being sexist, I’m not…. Well, maybe a little….  I have one (a sex, that is…), so, it’s natural to have a bit of an attitude that sees the issue from that perspective…. With that in mind, it remains my opinion, based on my experience, that it is the nature of women, as a separate entity from men, to be less than truthful, if they have a reason to believe the truth would not serve their purposes.

I’m not saying men are any better at it than women, sadly, but, our code of honor (at least, for those of us who have one…) will cause us to at least CONSIDER telling the truth SOME of the time…. From what I can tell from a lifetime of observation, the truth, to women, is something they use at whim, to suit their purpose…. I have yet to find ONE who is completely honest, at least when it comes to what they tell men…. Sorry, but, that is the truth, ffolkes, and you can call me whatever you like, but, it remains the truth….

I don’t hold it against them, most of the time; it’s part of their nature, one dictated by Mother Nature as part of their role as the primary care giver for children….. A woman must think FIRST of survival, of herself, and of her children; this is natural law, and not subject to change at this late date in our development…. Thus, it is clearly not in their interest to consider telling the truth, if it won’t help them survive, or protect their young…. The truth, to women, is primarily a tool, one they use to meet their needs, but, not something they consider written in stone…. which is fine, from an evolutionary standpoint….

On a personal level, however, since women are really no more ethical or moral than men, and possibly less, given this characteristic, this tendency on the part of the fairer sex has caused me no end of hurt over the course of my life…. Of course, the answer to the whole issue is clear, anyway…. All one needs to do to protect themselves against the kind of problems that untruthfulness creates is to cultivate the ability to NOT expect to be told the truth…. that’s it.

If one doesn’t expect the truth, it isn’t a disappointment when one is lied to…. It’s still a bother, and a mild pain, but, at least it doesn’t take one by surprise, which is usually what causes the worst of any reaction to such prevarication…. In other words, don’t expect women to be anything other than what they are…. human, and flawed, just like men… Once one sees the whole picture from this perspective, it becomes possible to appreciate the opposite sex in full, for what they actually are, not what we fantasize them to be…..

Okay, well, that was interesting, if a bit risky to my health & well-being…. I’m not sure, exactly, how we got off into THAT particular subject, but, I think we’ll drop it there, as it is one that tends to create more controversy than it warrants…. The ongoing war between the sexes, to my mind, is fabricated by the media, and those in society who spend more time thinking about other folk’s behavior than they do monitoring their own…. along with all the gullible fools who buy into that sort of nonsense to begin with….

It’s all a bunch of BS, anyway, as I’ve found, after many years of trying to disengage from the battle, the primary key to successful relationships is honest communication, something both sides of the human species need to work on, especially when dealing with each other…. An attitude of appreciative acceptance of the true nature of the beast, on BOTH sides of the issue, is the key to successful relations with the opposite gender….

Why, look, though! It seems my blathering, even if it’s about a real, honest-to-goodness issue from reality, has once again brought us sufficiently far down the page to call this a legal introduction…. Of course, it does nothing to introduce anything, other than as a sort of separating line between the silence, and the cacophony which now ensues…. but, then, around here, we don’t expect it to do that, nor would we know what to do if it did….

Besides, it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that if I ever do figure out how to do this section easily, it may just be the death knell of this whole process…. and we wouldn’t want that, now, would we? Would we? Hey, aren’t you going to answer that?….. Ah hell, never mind…. let’s get on with this….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Jo Jo was a man who thought he was a woman…” — Lennon & McCartney

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Having gone completely off the rails in the intro section (not to mention risking my male neck with a discussion of the ongoing battle between the sexes….) I think we’ll start today with an old-school pearl, just to sort of clear the pipes, or the air, or other such euphemisms for getting on with it…. Let’s see what SB has for us today….

“Life without learning is death.” — Cicero

“When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.” — Thomas Paine “Common Sense”

“All forms of government are pernicious, including good government.” — Edward Abbey

“The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.” — J. K. Galbraith

“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious. But the stupid have an answer for every question.” — Edward Abbey

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” — Seng-Ts’an

In a message announcing victory in the naval battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812, Oliver Hazard Perry informed the American land armies, “We have met the enemy, and they are ours.”

In one of the earliest expressions of ecological concern, Walt Kelley’s cartoon characters stood in their polluted swampland home, where Pogo sadly informed his companions, “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”
220px-Pogo_-_Earth_Day_1971_poster
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I’ve searched for some time now, and can’t make up my mind on a poem for today…. To save time, and because I can’t find anything more appropriate to today’s tenuous theme, here is a poem I wrote during the National Poetry Writing Challenge in April of 2013…. such as it is….

Rhyming is better than lying….

It’s all too, too much, he cried
   I can take no more!
It’s all crazy, my brain is fried,
   battered, bloody, and sore.

Talking heads shout out hatred and fear
   jam for my morning toast.
Pointing fingers far, middle, and near
   enemies everywhere, almost.

Women, gays, and seniors fall prey,
   easy targets, slow and weak.
Convenient fools, wanting only to play,
   used, and abused, even as we speak.

It enough to drive me floridly insane,
   or want to buy a gun.
I may end up in jail, or in massive pain,
   but, oh, it would be fun….

~~ gigoid ~~


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

“Believe me!  The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

This section was originally scheduled for another episode of the Life and Times of Wise Old Pine Cone, but, the Wise One has been busy with his new student, and he wasn’t able to let me get enough pictures to make an entry…. but, we’re working on it…. For today, I DO have a couple of pictures that I got one day last week…. We were talking about advanced techniques of meditation, and the Old Cone revealed his power by demonstrating the art of disappearing…. Look closely at these photos, and you’ll see an amazing feat of martial artistry, and the power of the mind….

The two photos below were taken in the space of two seconds, which is enough to show the effect, though not the actual disappearance, which is too fast for even a digital camera…. Watch….

Here is the master, seated on his meditation stool….

June 18 2014 003Now, two seconds later, the same stool….

June 18 2014 004Amazing, isn’t it? Next, in the picture below, we see the master, almost naturally hidden by his own natural camouflage, standing by a bush….

June 18 2014 005Without moving the camera, two seconds later, this is what it saw…..

June 18 2014 006    Absolutely incredible, eh? That would be a handy little trick, if one was involved with say, a group of NSA myrmidons, who want to discuss my politics, at THEIR house…. Being able to leave whenever I wish could be a good thing…. Regardless of my paranoia, though, it’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!…..

“The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.” — Lao Tzu

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

It seems I’m done…. which, given my lack of mental organization today, is not just a surprise, it’s a moral victory…. Hell, I would have laid even money today’s post would end up mostly from the archives; since it didn’t, I figure it’s got to be counted on the positive side of the scale…. But, then, I do tend to foster delusional beliefs in my own free time, so, I suppose we’d best take that, and just play it as it lies…. All of which means, of course, that I can now bring this to a close, which will greatly please my thumb, throbbing with each keystroke as it is…. It’ll be fine tomorrow, most likely, so, see ya, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

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NOTHING begins until AFTER coffee….

Ffolkes,

As a matter of both policy and custom, the title of these Pearls each day has nothing to do with what is inside; that is a deliberate act on my part, from the early days of Pearling, when I made the decision to not connect the title and text. This decision, of course, gave me license to make up titles out of my head, willy-nilly, without being constrained by the subject matter…. If you watch my titles closely, you will have noted this quality, I’m sure, as they are ALWAYS a bit strange, and (almost) never have anything to do, directly, with the text of the blog…. Oh, once in a Blue Moon, the title will reflect some part of the body subject, but, 99.99% of them are not connected, at all, at all…

Today, of course, is one of the exceptions, at least in the sense that the title makes sense, AND is connected to the material inside… indirectly, but, connected…. Any who, I just wanted to clear that up, as it sometimes will confuse the Gentle Reader, especially the newbies, who are not yet accustomed to the idiosyncrasies that abound on this site… Well, there was that…. plus, it got me this far down the page, without ever suffering any angst, or upset at not having anything to put here…. Bonus!….

Of course, NOW I’m stuck with it, at this painfully awkward point, where I again try to come up with something more than just nonsense to get this started…. Now, I know that nonsense is useful, and is well-used around here, for sure…. but, somehow, it just doesn’t seem appropriate this morning…. I haven’t a clue as to why that may be; it’s not as if nonsense isn’t well-known in this venue. Maybe I’m being too stringent this morning; that has been known to happen, especially before I’ve sucked down enough coffee…. If that were actually the case, though, I probably would have found a body or two on the way to my chair….

I don’t know, ffolkes…. it all seems so futile some mornings…. I write, and write, and spout off about stuff that should be important to many people, yet, nothing changes out in the BBR, not in any significant way…. If I weren’t so damn concerned about the state of the world, and about how long that world is going to last, I wouldn’t be writing at all… I’d be traveling, and making sure I see all those places on this beautiful old planet I’ve always wished to see, before it is all sent down the proverbial tubes by our common stupidity, inflicting upon us the near-certain species extinction we have courted with our ignorance, an event that is now all-but-unavoidable, according to all the evidence….

Well, that was fun…. NOT!

Having thus put myself into a semi-deep depressive state with that mild diatribe, I think I’d better get on with today’s Pearl…. I’m not certain exactly how I got myself to this point so quickly…. I didn’t start out to be so depressive, or feel such a depth of futility…. but, within five paragraphs, I managed to kill any good mood I had going, from having slept fairly well for the third day in a row…. I think, in fact, I’m going to forgo any further attempts to rant, or be serious…. I feel more like having fun today, so, from this point forward, there will be no further ranting allowed…. Instead, we’ll go seek out some fun….. gigoid-style……

That means, of course, that y’all will need to make sure your seat belts are well-secured, and that all of the provided safety devices are deployed (that includes the Kevlar vests, and the emergency stash of Valium included in the first aid kits…. In fact, if I were you, I’d just swallow the Valium now….); we’ve been known to use ALL of them on such days as this… and THAT includes the transgender disguises….

Oh, stop worrying; usually we only need to use about half the included protective devices; it’s not as if we seek out those carnivorous predators…. It’s just that they live nearby, and have learned the signs that we are going to be there, thus giving them ample warning to plan surprises for us….

But, not to worry, nobody has ever died on one of our nonsensical quests for a lightened spirit; it’s come close a few times, but, those were the times we had a replacement pilot, who didn’t know all the ropes…. Also, this is all a load of crap, so, all you really need is your earplugs, to be able to ignore the tour guides spiel when it gets tiring, or actively boring… a state of affairs that this intro is approaching rapidly…. Hmm, maybe we should go for a dive…. In fact, I believe that is becoming imperative….

Shall we Pearl?….

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-T’san


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

Since this Pearl, and these pearls, are dedicated to fun stuff, here is something I found yesterday on a random mouse-click, an interactive web site that is really neat…. and that phrase just gave everyone a big clue as to my age, I’m sure…. Any who, here  is a link to the site, so, check it out, and enjoy… then we’ll go into an old-school pearl with parameters set to nonsense, or, funny, or whatever SB thinks might fit in with those concepts….

Really cool website and picture from a project completed by NASA, with the help of the people of the world…. …..    http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/155294

“I resolved no to be offended easily by human nature, but I think I blew it.” — Hobbes

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”– George Bernard Shaw

“Puritanism — The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.” — H. L. Mencken

(Well, I think it’s funny….)

“Although war is cruel and brutal, it is also dangerous and stupid.” — Yakko Warner

(I know, marginally funny…. but, it stays, because it’s all-too-true…)

Brutha: “What could I say?”
Om: “Believe in the Great God Om.”
Brutha: “And then what?”
Om: “What do you mean, and then what?”
Brutha: “…Believe in the Great God Om or be stricken with thunderbolts.”
Om: “Sounds good to me.”

— How to be a prophet (Terry Pratchett, “Small Gods”)

AND NOW ANOTHER WORD FROM THE PENTAGON: “Oh, and by the way… about those 45,000 body-bags we had shipped to Saudi Arabia. They’re actually going to be used to smuggle booze in to our troops; otherwise we couldn’t get it to them. Honest. We’re not really sure what we’ll carry back in them though. Any ideas?” — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA.

Lister: Love is what separates us from animals.

Rimmer: No, Lister — what separates us from animals is that we don’t use our tongues to clean our own genitals.

— Red Dwarf – ‘Confidence and Paranoia’

Okay, well, that was…. well, that was…. okay, I have no idea what that was…. I thought it was funny, though, so, it will have to do for now…. Let’s go on, & see what happens…..

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

When one wishes for light hearted poetry, Ogden Nash, or Shel Silverstein will always come through for you…. But, I’m going to go with one of my own today, just because I can…. I’ll try to make it as light-hearted as I can…. In fact, I’ll try twice, as one is really short….

Striking Gold

Madness comes and goes, it’s true,
whenever it chooses to do so.
Living’s much like wearing a shoe,
when all you are is a toe.
~~ gigoid ~~

Roses for Noses

I have a bozoid personality, of the first degree;
 nobody, I mean nobody, knows that better than me.
I often wonder, as the world goes around, and around
 how many others have realized just what I’ve found….

I know for a fact, I’m not the only bozoid one;
 too many people laughing out there, having fun.
Is their laughter, though, at themselves first?
 Or is it some other impulse, like purple liverwurst?….

I’ve always loved to make others laugh and giggle,
 since my tender youth, when my ears began to wiggle.
 The world is full of humor,  but not always easy to find
  so laughing at myself I learned never to mind….

We bozos know each other, here, there, and everywhere
 there’s no hiding such joy, it just wouldn’t be fair.
We all have one feature, our great bulbous nose,
 and there’s no doubt at all, cuz it just grows….

There’s nothing like a good, big mistake, a disaster,
 to show us the folly of living life faster and faster.
Nothing in the world can ever take the place,
 of seeing in the mirror, a happy, smiling face….

Don’t be shy, just let it all hang out;
 we bozos have more fun, there’s no doubt.
Life’s too somber and gray if we let it get on top
 if we don’t stay loose, the pain won’t ever stop….

My advice to all of you, out there in the world,
 let noses grow round & red, keep hair tightly curled.
Find a way to let your spirit out often to play,
 you’ll never once regret any price you pay.

~~ gigoid ~~

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

I found this the other day, and put it here…. without any clue it would be perfectly appropriate for the day’s theme… (which is because I don’t generally have a theme….)…. Any who, it fits right in, so, it can stay, too…. By the date, this was written just before leaving on our trip to Alaska, so, I must have been in a pretty good mood, if a bit hyper…. not an unusual state for me, at least, not in my head….

From 6/28/2013:

I confess to feeling too hyped to write…. I have a lot in there that wants to come out, but, a bigger part of me just wants to dance, or fall asleep to pass the time until we leave, tomorrow in the early afternoon….. So, I’ll cheat again, and dip into the archives…. This is a short little piece I wrote the day before Halloween in 2011, as part of a pearl created using a really old format, one that encouraged ranting a bit too much…. History aside, I like this one, just because, and it’s a good one to finish with on a day like today…..

_____________________________

“His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools:  the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans – and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, ‘You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.'” — Terry Pratchett, ‘Small Gods’

Laughter is probably my favorite part of Life; I can’t think of a single time in my life when laughter was unwelcome. Conversely, I can think of any number of times when it was not only welcome, but life-saving, or at the very least life-preserving. In its way, it also affirms life; it lets you know that you are alive, and that life is good.

The sound of a child’s laughter can bring a smile to the grimmest curmudgeon, and the laughter of a beautiful woman can be either joyous, or cruel. Laughing is our best defense against the tyranny of repressive thought; it can bring a tyrant to his knees, for tyranny lives in fear of ridicule. Laughter cannot cure pain, but can ease it, and make it more bearable.

In its way, laughter prolongs life, actually reversing many of the effects of time. When laughter is in our lives, everything is more colorful; vision, hearing, touch, smell, all are more acute when under its influence. And, when it is long absent, the world turns dreary, washed of all color. Without laughter, our lives become drudgery, merely a time to survive, in silence and despair.

The Universe is one huge joke, and the punch line has yet to come. We can spend our lives in black and white, trudging along the dusty road of Time with head hanging down and steps heavy as sorrow. Or, we can look for the brighter side of Life, and laugh at ourselves and everything around us, marching ahead with eyes up and seeking new vistas, hopeful for the dawn of each new day.

Your choice…..

“Excuse me, but didn’t I tell you there’s NO HOPE for the survival of OFFSET PRINTING?” — Zippy the Pinhead

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

I’m not sure what to think about this one; it FEELS as if it got away from me, but, it LOOKS okay…. Maybe I’ll read it, to see how it came through the ordeal…. Be back in a few….

Okay, so, it must be okay, because I’ve read it, and STILL don’t have a clue as to its value, or even its nature…. which makes it completely typical…. That, of course, means I’m outta here, having done all the damage I can do for one day…. See ya, ffolkes….

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

Featured Image -- 2780

A schlemiel, or a putz?… Not an easy choice….

Ffolkes,

There are moments, when I sit to begin each day, when my mind wanders, into places that other people know not…. which is something about which they should be very glad…. But, in a real sense, that could easily be said of just about anyone’s mind, not just mine, so, y’all probably have an idea of the kinds of places I mean; I don’t believe for a minute that I’m all THAT different than the rest of mankind, even if a great deal of the available evidence says so….

This difference is one I’ve always tended to cultivate, actually, as the general run of ffolkes in the world are involved in stuff that holds no interest for me; they pay attention to people that I consider to be manipulative and self-serving, and spend a lot of time wasted, to my way of thinking, engaging in activities that don’t either improve their lot, or make them, and those they love, happy, both of which I see as our primary goals in this reality. Other ffolkes, I know, seem to think there are goals more worthwhile, but, to my mind, those two cover all of our REAL responsibilities in Life….

Anything else you hear in place of those activities is most likely something someone else told you, or convinced you to believe, in spite of how silly it sounds, or how much it doesn’t seem to help at all…. I know that all of my life there have been numerous silly asses who have tried to convince me of the rightness of their ideas (about God, about Life, about Government….), each of them more strident and more insistent than the last….

Fortunately, in my mind, I learned at a young age (4-5 years…) how to spot them, determining back then to NOT listen to them, as they were only trying to get me to do what THEY wanted, not what I thought I needed to do…. and somehow, what seemed right to me, with my young, unfettered mind, and no prejudices, was that what THEY were telling me was a bunch of bullshit; it was ALL so unbelievable, I couldn’t buy into it, so I’d just nod my head, and go my way without bothering to pay much attention…. I believe it drove several Sunday School teachers to drink….

I’m not sure what prompted this, except possibly the email I found in my inbox this morning…. Supposedly, it’s from Google, but, the link it wants me to connect to is suspicious, to say the least, (it connect to a private domain, with a dot.me suffix, so, I suspect it’s some hacker, phishing for whatever idiots he can find to click blindly on the link, just the way they are instructed to do in the letter, which threatens to close my account if I don’t click on it…. I didn’t, of course, and will check with Google later….. Somehow, I don’t think they’re sending out official emails at 0317 AM, to get people to verify their accounts….

But, because most people in this country are programmed to obey instructions from official sources, this guy will no doubt end up with a lot of fools who are giving them a clear path to steal their information, all because they never learned to use the crap detector their brain came equipped with when they were born…. They forgot, or got distracted, and never used or registered the software in their head that allows them to see the world with clear eyes, unhindered by the delusions/illusions that much of the world uses as their basis for belief…. I’ll say this, it’s a lot simpler when you can see the shit coming, ffolkes; it allows one the time to duck, thus saving us from getting hit in the face with that crap, or getting it on our clothing….

Okay, so, there you have it…. A complete, unbearably long, complicated, rant-like diatribe, right there at the front of the Pearl, where it can do the most damage, and serve as today’s excuse for an intro…. Six paragraphs should certainly be enough to satisfy any official myrmidons, and the unofficial ones aren’t armed, so I don’t pay them any mind…. For now, this will do, and, since my thumb and wrist are beginning to get rather painful as I type, it would no doubt be best to get on with today’s effort….

Shall we Pearl?…..

REVEILLE, n.  A signal to sleeping soldiers to dream of battlefields no more, but get up and have their blue noses counted.  In the American army it is ingeniously called “rev-e-lee,” and to that pronunciation our countrymen have pledged their lives, their misfortunes, and their sacred dishonor. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

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

Since my thumb is paining me, I’ll switch this intended rant about Ed Snowden, and the aftereffects of his heroic act of bravery, to a newer model Pearl, where I will provide links, then comment on the contents of the included articles, and the subject of those reports…. Let’s see what I’ve collected for us to poke at today….

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/09/westminster-may-have-to-concede-edward-snowden-had-a-point

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/may/10/the-battle-to-retake-our-privacy-can-be-won-in-the-halls-of-congress-really

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/guide-deceptions-word-games-obfuscations-officials-use-mislead-public-about-nsa

https://www.eff.org/nsa-spying/wordgames

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2013/07/nsa_lexicon_how_james_clapper_and_other_u_s_officials_mislead_the_american.html

“First as to speech.  That privilege rests upon the premise that there is no proposition so uniformly acknowledged that it may not be lawfully challenged, questioned, and debated.  It need not rest upon the further premise that there are no propositions that are not open to doubt; it is enough, even if there are, that in the end it is worse to suppress dissent than to run the risk of heresy.  Hence it has been again and again unconditionally proclaimed that there are no limits to the privilege so far as words seek to affect only the hearers’ beliefs and not their conduct.  The trouble is that conduct is almost always based upon some belief, and that to change the hearer’s belief will generally to some extent change his conduct, and may even evoke conduct that the law forbids.” — [cf. Learned Hand, The Spirit of Liberty,– University of Chicago Press, 1952, The Art and Craft of Judging: — The Decisions of Judge Learned Hand, — edited and annotated by Herschel Shanks, The MacMillian Company, 1968.]

The five or six articles above are a series of reports on the NSA spying fiasco, complete with some articles that show us just how the assholes who run the spy agencies, and the politicians who are supporting them in  their paranoia, all tend to use a different set of words than the other English speaking members of this country, having decided to assign new meanings to old words, so they can justify the lies they tell on a regular basis, merely pointing at their actual words, and telling us we didn’t understand what they actually meant by them….

I won’t belabor the point here, as the articles are pretty clear about how they do it, showing EXACTLY what words they have altered to suit their purposes, thus, in THEIR minds, making what they say the truth, not the lie it actually is, to anyone using the language in a normal fashion. They do it on purpose, to try to hide their chicanery, and, in many cases, they may actually BELIEVE their own lies…. which makes them all the more dangerous to the rest of us….

“Necessity is the plea of every infringement of human freedom.  It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.” — William Pitt (1759-1806) speech on the India Bill, Nov. 18, 1783

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/10/judge-says-arkansas-gay-marriage-ban-is-unconstitutional

This one is here not because it is terribly controversial, (to me, this is no longer a question of anything but time until the laws of this country reflect reality more closely in this respect….), but, rather, because it is yet another example of the STUPIDITY displayed by so many in government….. Once again, because the Constitution is what it is, the illegal discriminatory laws are overturned by yet ANOTHER Federal judge who can read….

Yet, in spite of this, and in the face of EVERY OTHER decision that preceded it, in every case where such discrimination is challenged, the idiot assholes in the Arkansas Attorney General’s office are planning to appeal this, just as all the OTHER fools who keep trying to force their own beliefs on the rest of us keep trying to do, in the eight or nine states where this identical scenario has already been played out….

Talk about banging your head against the wall, to show your objection to having built it in the first place; it’s rather counter-productive to refuse to see what is real…. Sad to say, though, these folks are accustomed to believing many things which have no basis in reality, so I suppose it isn’t really surprising they would keep performing the same unreasoned response to an issue whose conclusion is no longer in doubt…. Stupid is as stupid does, as Forrest’s mama used to say…..

The Bible is true this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.

— Jordan Henderson

(Just for fun…. if you don’t already know it, look up the meaning of the Latin phrase, “ipse dixit”….)

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Give a man religion and he’ll starve to death praying for a fish.” — Smart Bee

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/A-look-at-all-that-Benghazi-stands-for-5469335.php

I finally figured out this whole Benghazi issue…. After reading some of the historical perspective presented in this article, I can see that most of it, if not all, is just an argument between the two major political parties about who can lie the best, and when they’re allowed to do so…. It’s all a mass of pots calling each other black, the whole thing…. The whole mess apparently began because the elephantine idiots in the Republican Party thought they could make some points with the public by making a stink over the lies told by the other side, the donkeyites in the Democratic Party

(I find it interesting to note the two terms for these parties, one hundred years ago, were reversed in terms of party philosophy…. The Republicans were the party of the people, and the Democrats were the rich fat cats; now it’s the opposite, image-wise… Philosophically, of course, neither one resembles anything close to a democratic organization, not anymore; they’re both oligarchies, plain and simple….)

The Republicans, in their self-imposed image of “disloyal opposition” have created an unholy cacophony of accusations and allegations of conspiracy, most of which came straight from their own imaginary fears of things that MIGHT have been true, if reality were not what it is….

The Democrats, having been caught making a paper trail, of their attempts at spin-doctoring all the information about the incident, are naturally upset at the Republicans, who are the reigning champions of lying to the public without a qualm or quiver of guilt. The Dems are upset because the Repubs are accusing THEM of lying, which is actually, to me, rather hilarious….

I mean, talk about chutzpah! The Republican Party, calling someone ELSE a liar! It HAS to be one of the most egregiously arrogant, ignorant stances I’ve ever seen, having personally watched over 50 years of this circus called American politics. In the last national election, in 2012, I believe the average speech by their candidate, Romney, never passed 50% on the fact-checking done by several organizations…

This translates to mean the candidate they chose to represent them to the world at large was lying through his teeth, at least half of every time he opened his mouth to speak…. This is a statistic you may check yourself, but, I’m pretty sure of its accuracy, as I read the reports at the time; they all had him telling an untruth with every other statement he made…. I should add, most of the rest of what I heard was either wrong-headed, selfish, or completely lacking in compassion for anyone other than his own narrow group of supporters…..

Yet, these same liars are upset because the Dems lied to the public about this attack on an embassy, an attack that came as much of a surprise to them as it did to the entire rest of the world…. The attack wasn’t one of those big, planned events…. It was a clusterfuck of incompetence, all around, diplomatically, militarily, and intelligence-wise, on BOTH sides of the issue, and the war; nobody knew it would happen until it did…. Then, of course, the media and the pols get hold of it, and it becomes an issue for them to exploit in the public eye, for their own aggrandizement….

And people wonder why I don’t like ANY of them…..

Well, that’s certainly enough for one day…. even I can only take so much of the news before getting nauseous, so, rather than use up more of my anti-nausea meds, ( medications which double, fortunately, as pain relievers…. Cannabis is wonderfully flexible, sort of a multi-tasker when it comes to what it can do for us….) I’ll leave you with these final pearls, to send us on our way to the next section….

“The simple realization that there are other points of view is the beginning of wisdom. Understanding what they are is a great step. The final test is understanding why they are held.” — Charles M. Campbell

“In a state-run society the government promises you security. But it’s a false promise, predicated on the idea that the opposite of security in risk. Nothing could be further from the truth. The opposite of security is insecurity, and the only way to overcome insecurity is to take risks. The gentle government that promises to hold your hand as you cross the street refuses to let go on the other side.” — Theodore Forstmann

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

I’m going with whatever serendipitously throws itself under the wheels of this bus we’re on…. Here is a thought, and a poem, from two classical Chinese poets, to whose translators I offer my complete admiration, and thanks, for such excellent work….

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” — Seng-Ts’an

Alone, Looking for Blossoms Along the River
The sorrow of riverside blossoms inexplicable,
And nowhere to complain — I’ve gone half crazy.
I look up our southern neighbor. But my friend in wine
Gone ten days drinking. I find only an empty bed.

A thick frenzy of blossoms shrouding the riverside,
I stroll, listing dangerously, in full fear of spring.
Poems, wine — even this profusely driven, I endure.
Arrangements for this old, white-haired man can wait.

A deep river, two or three houses in bamboo quiet,
And such goings on: red blossoms glaring with white!
Among spring’s vociferous glories, I too have my place:
With a lovely wine, bidding life’s affairs bon voyage.

Looking east to Shao, its smoke filled with blossoms,
I admire that stately Po-hua wineshop even more.
To empty golden wine cups, calling such beautiful
Dancing girls to embroidered mats — who could bear it?

East of the river, before Abbot Huang’s grave,
Spring is a frail splendor among gentle breezes.
In this crush of peach blossoms opening ownerless,
Shall I treasure light reds, or treasure them dark?

At Madame Huang’s house, blossoms fill the paths:
Thousands, tens of thousands haul the branches down.
And butterflies linger playfully — an unbroken
Dance floating to songs orioles sing at their ease.

I don’t so love blossoms I want to die. I’m afraid,
Once they are gone, of old age still more impetuous.
And they scatter gladly, by the branchful. Let’s talk
Things over, little buds —open delicately, sparingly.

~~ Tu Fu ~~


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

This is going better than I’d hoped, so rather than push my luck, we’re going old school now; I’ll take my chances with the critics…. Enjoy, ffolkes, serendipity has been good to me so far today, so, I have high hopes for this pearl….

“All history shows that every man who has authority is led to abuse it; he does not stop until he comes up against limitations…Things must be so arranged that one authority checks another.” — Montesquieu

“Imagine me going around with a pot belly.  It would mean political ruin.” — Adolf Hitler

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.” — Goethe

“What a fool cannot learn he laughs at, thinking that by his laughter he shows superiority instead of latent idiocy.” — M. Corelli

“Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.” — Jean de la Fontaine

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” — Aesop

“Fear has its use but cowardice has none.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Hmm….. Sometimes, pearls can be dense, unfathomable, inscrutable…. This one certainly is all of those, even though the actual quotes are not…. I mean, hey, maybe the one by Adolf requires some thought, but, the rest should be pretty clear…. Together, though, it’s a bit of a poser, so, just flow with it; it will come, if and when it does, and not before…. Some pearls are like that….Yeah, they are….

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

No matter what anybody says, I’m NOT doing it over!…. Nope, no way! This is actually a good one, so, as John Lennon said, so aptly, “Let it be”….. See ya, ffolkes…..

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

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid the dubious

dozer3

Worldwide Celebration Held to Honor History’s Greatest Scam….

Ffolkes,

A huge CRACK! boomed outside the cheap apartment door, just as a neat, round hole appeared in that door, as well as in the forehead of the small, weaselly-looking excuse for a human who sat, forlornly, and now, deadly, in the middle of the couch…. Turning quickly, I moved away from the door, ducking into the next room, where I grabbed the small bag containing the gems…. Drawing my own gun from under my coat, I moved to the opposite door, carefully looking around the corner to the mirror on the hallway wall, placed there for just that purpose, to see if anyone tried to come through the now sacred door …. Sacred…. holy…. holey, get it? Well, nobody ever accused me of being a comedian, just a thief…. It’s a tough job, but, hey, somebody’s, etc…. Well, you know the rest….

Even if you do know the finish to that line, I think we’ll let it slide by without picking it up…. When I wrote that short paragraph, last night, it seemed better than when I look at it now, in the light of day (or, actually, in the dark of an early morn, which is more accurate….). It does, however, sit nicely there across the top of the post, looking just as if it were really the opening to a novel, or, at minimum, a short story, and, since our society believes firmly in the value of illusion, we’ll let it stay where it is…. It’ll get in less trouble that way….

So, how are y’all this fine Oester morn?…. (Oester would be the Wiccan, or possibly Druidic term for the date associated with the rites of Spring…) It looks to be a pretty nice day around here, weather-wise, though I can’t say how it will be INSIDE the churches, where all of the various categories of Christian cults will be holding their mass delusional celebration of history’s greatest scam…. (Yes, I know, that’s what the TITLE said, and we NEVER do that…. get over it, we did….)…. Yep, today’s the day when the whole story gets told again, and all the preachers, priests, and “reverend sirs” will be repeating the talking points of the story we all have had crammed down our throats since we were little, and had no defense against it….

I know my opinion about the Christian faith is unpopular, and, in many cases, reviled by those who have strong faith…. That’s okay, I expect nothing less from anyone who can fall for that story year after year, in spite of a) the sheer unbelievability of what they are asked to believe, and b) the glaring lack of ANY sort of conclusive evidence of ANY of the basic premises upon which the story is based…. At four years of age I spotted most of the flaws in the logic of the whole mess, and over time have come to believe the same as Thomas Paine, who famously said, “Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.”

Mr. Paine, one of our earliest true patriots, also said this about religion, to wit: “All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” This, too, I firmly believe, as, every day, I see the hypocrisy and lies told by the BRC, which are then repeated in the pulpits around the nation in different words, complete with remonstrations to defer to secular authority, to support the ruling class, without whose cooperation their whole elaborately complex scam would fall apart…. It’s a good deal for both of them, as they perform the old “one-two” on the unsuspecting public, who believe these assholes actually have their best interests at heart….

Ah well, the intro probably isn’t the best place to rant, but, that’s what happens on days like today, when the sheer idiocy, not to mention all the wasted time, and loss of dignity that go hand in hand with the whole religion concept…. well, it gets to me, and I have a hard time not yelling at people to “GET A FUCKING CLUE!”….

Sorry, I don’t mean to yell, but, it’s just so frustrating to see how easily people will give up the use of their own minds, allowing these assholes, and their myrmidons, to tell them what they should think, so they don’t have to make the effort of doing so themselves, or to save themselves from the fear, and the necessity for self-reliance, honesty, and courage, that goes along with facing up to the big, bad world, and all of its scary inhabitants….

As far as I’m concerned, the Christian religion, or, more accurately, the dishonest suckwads who foist those outright lies on unsuspecting fools, for the purposes of their own aggrandizement, are responsible for much of what is wrong in today’s world, and, in my opinion, deserve nothing more than our disgust and anger, for being lied to, and for the endlessly manipulative attempts to control the lives of the less intelligent, and more gullible, members of society…. To my way of thinking, they deserve to inhabit the lowest depths of their own version of Hell, for the lies they have LIVED, and tried to pass on to others….

There, I got that off my chest, and may now go forth to finish this Pearl, which, no doubt, nobody will ever read, having been offended somehow by the above…. SIGH…. S’okay, I don’t mind…. much. As long as nobody tries to get ME to join in the festivities, or tries to convince me I am wrong, it should be a fairly nice day….

If someone DOES make that mistake, they will find me all-too-ready to discuss the issue, with passion and verve…. perhaps, a greater degree than that to which they may be accustomed, or desirous, but, that can’t be helped…. It’s been building up a long time, and I’ve never let it out on anyone, except here, on this blog, so it would probably be best for all if it never happened at all…. Trust me, I don’t think there would be much left, of whomever got the wild hair far enough up their ass to test me on this….

Shall we Pearl?…. I think we’d better do it now, before this gets me feeling any more aggressive than I am already….

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,
None but ourselves can free our minds.

— Bob Marley

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Since the intro section turned into the rant for today, we’ll go old-school to start off the rest of the Pearl…. I’m not sure right now just what parameters I’ll use, but, you can be sure that whatever comes up today will have sharp points, so use some caution when handling them, okay? I am a bit low on sterile bandages, after the last few attempts to skim the treetops of religious dogma…. Those sycophantic dogma dogs can be vicious when they are made to feel exposed in their lies and scamming…. Let’s see what SB can find today, shall we?….

“Bullshit detector: when alarm sounds, please reengage brain.” — Smart Bee

Damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer,
And without sneering teach the rest to sneer;
Willing to wound, and yet afraid to strike,
Just hint a fault, and hesitate dislike.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot, Prologue to the Satires, Line 201

(At first, this may seem out of place…. But, look at what Mssr. Pope says in these four lines, and think about any of the preachers or priests you’ve known…. Each of them (well, all of them that I ever met….) is a master at these techniques, all of which are taught to them in seminary, to use when arguing with us ideologues who don’t buy their line of BS…. They’re not actually argument techniques, that rely on logic or reasoning, but, rather, are conversational tricks, designed to make the one at whom they are directed feel as if they are lesser, that their words are foolish…. in short, dismissing any arguments without actually considering their merit…. A very valuable, and well-used tool from the bag, chock full of such trickery, that every preacher or priest is given upon graduation from their brainwashing seminaries….)

“Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.” — H.L. Mencken

(This one may not fit exactly, but, I couldn’t resist a pearl that takes a shot at both of my favorite targets….)

“Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” — Anais Nin

(And, is exactly what happens when one is more afraid of living than they are of death….)

SCRIPTURES, n.  The sacred books of our holy religion, as distinguished from the false and profane writings on which all other faiths are based. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand.” — Josh Billings

“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences.” — Seng Ts’an, Third Zen Patriarch, — from Hsin Hsin Ming, Verses on the Faith Mind

There you go…. a bit esoteric, but, hey, it’s always a good thing to have to think harder than you expected…. trust me….

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Given the subject matter that has dominated today’s effort, we’ll go with a poem of mine that speaks to that issue, directly… I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it…

Rejection

“Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so…”
I’d be crying a river, I thought
if ever such crap I bought.

Sorry if it hurts your sense of style,
but, hypocrisy always gives me bile.
Being lied to accidentally is okay,
but, deliberate lies make me angry, and fey.

Oh, God, hear what I pray!
Keep me from your followers today.
Having to listen to so much that is wrong
makes me puke, before it makes me strong.

I don’t know why it isn’t clear to other folks,
which is alright, you know; different strokes.
But, why should that mean that they must
force me to believe, or fail in trust?

Spare me the lies, and the make-believe,
fairy tales are easier to hear, and to weave.
They give us a lesson which we can feel
but don’t pretend at all to be real.

Reality can scare us, that’s a given fact;
still, met with care it will leave us mostly intact.
Met without fear, standing tall and alone
Life will allow us to make it our own.

Folly beckons, and so many follow;
mass delusions seem to me most hollow.
I’ll have to stick to my own chosen way
while so many go so sadly astray.

It’s lonely at times, it may seem sad,
but really isn’t, and I’m quite glad,
that knowledge is always stronger than fear,
year after year, tear after tear…..

~~ gigoid ~~

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I’ve already ranted, and made an old-school pearl, so that leaves me little choice, but to pull something from the archives for this section, as I’m not quite sure I’ve got more in me to write, at least, not anything worth writing…. This one, at least, is a good follow-up to yesterday’s discussion of this particularly volatile issue…..

From 4/20/13:

Quis custodiet ipsos Custodes? [Who guards the Guardians?] — Smart Bee

This is the perfect opening for a discussion of gun control, for me, as I believe strongly that this is the bottom line issue for that particular subject…… Sure, taking guns out of the hands of people who are insane is a good thing; nobody, I think, can argue that. The problem lies in figuring out WHO gets to decide what sanity is, the same issue that comes up in discussing getting rid of firearms altogether.

You see, I’m sorry, but, I just can’t bring myself to trust the Beloved Ruling Class to decide who is sane, and who isn’t. Part of this stems from the fact that I don’t consider anyone in public office to have a very tight grip on sanity to begin with…. How effective can it be to have insane people making the rules for deciding who is insane? Not very, I suspect….

Yet, I read many articles that profess the belief that the police, and the army, who naturally would have to have guns, (Why? If nobody is supposed to have them, why would they need them?), are more trustworthy than the common citizen. I’m sorry, but, just what planet did you say you came from?

It certainly isn’t Earth, because, last time I looked, all the police, all the folks in the army, and all the folks who tell them what to do, are all PEOPLE, just like anyone else, suffering the same fears, the same delusions or preconceptions, and the same lack of morality, as does the average Joe on the streets. In fact, due to my experience at observing and identifying psychiatric symptoms common to the insane, I can honestly state, I consistently see a higher percentage of police and military personnel who have a demonstrable lack of moral compass than I’ve seen in the general public.

Part of the problem is that the police and military, by their nature, end up as being attractive to the type of person who enjoys having power over others, whose self-image requires them to be in positions of authority, to be able to view themselves in a positive light, as successful. They equate money and power over others with success, and so gravitate to those sectors of society that deal in those commodities.

Normal, stable personality types seldom need to exercise power over others, and so avoid such pastimes, but to the selfish, and the sociopathic, the police and the army are seen as a path to what they term as success. If you see a flaw in this logic, please, enlighten me…. Until I see some evidence to the contrary, though, I find this to be a valuable, and accurate summation of the situation, thereby affording myself the opportunity to avoid the majority of their machinations, at least in a directly personal sense….

We all have to deal with them eventually though, so it’s good, I think, to be aware of the above arguments, as it will forewarn anyone who absorbs it, and takes it to heart, allowing them to defend themselves from the worst of the BRC’s attempts at repression, or oppression, if not all. 

I’ve always found it to be the best policy to maintain a high level of doubt when considering announcements and decrees, to constantly stay alert to the news, as well as to the meaning behind what I do see there, and, finally, to be ready to jump when the balloon goes up.

Things out in the Big Blue Room are getting a bit serious in spots, with potentially disastrous possibilities threatening us from several directions, so it would be a good thing to be ready for whatever may take place, no matter how insane it may appear to be from our current vantage point…. And remember, guard yourself, against the Guardians themselves, if need be…..

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift; the rational mind is faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” — Albert Einstein

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Today’s Pearl may lose me a few readers, but, that’s always true on those days when I start picking on religion…. It’s one of our species most strongly held beliefs, delusional or not, and it is of no matter who judges the truth of those beliefs…. any opposition at all is going to create some resentment, or at minimum, mistrust….and, for that, I’m sorry…. I have no wish to alienate people.

But, I also am compelled to tell the Truth, no matter how hard to swallow it may be…. It’s just the way I am, and the way I insist on living…. and, I’m enough of a curmudgeon to not care at all who is offended by that…. In my world, Truth comes FIRST…..  and THAT is a policy subject to no debate, whatsoever….

So be it…. gigoid the dubious has spoken…. 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

“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”
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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….
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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 ~~

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“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.”….
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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

Now renting parodies of human existence….

Ffolkes,

Oh. My. Gosh…. (Hmm… just doesn’t have the same punch as the blasphemous version, does it?…. Oh, well, I like to be polite, and blasphemy so early in the morning is rude, even for me….) Any who, color me both surprised and dismayed…. Yesterday, or rather, night before last, I slept so hard, I hurt  myself! All day yesterday, my left shoulder was killing me, no matter how much I tried to get ahead of the pain with an extra dose of meds. You can only go so far in that direction before being compelled to turn back, due to side effects, or overdosing concerns. No, I realized, around noon, the pain was because I slept so long on my left side, the shoulder was suffering from being held in one position for too long, and not being at all adult about suffering the pain in silence…..

In spite of the agonizing and contortions this caused during the day yesterday, you can see that it was such an unnerving episode that it’s still bothering me today…. It’s either that, or I’m being a weenie, and I don’t want to hear anything at all from the peanut gallery about that statement….. It was unnerving due to the ironic nature of the pain; if I hadn’t slept so well, I wouldn’t have been in pain…. I could easily attribute that kind of thing to Murphy, but, it’s a bit subtle for him; his sense of humor runs more to pie-in-the-face, or keystone kops, than it does to irony or subtlety…..

Hmm, I hate to say it, but, that only leaves the weenie option, which is just wrong, and doesn’t deserve the screen-time I’m giving the whole issue…. But, then, isn’t that what the intro section is for? Long-winded, barely sane, ironic, or sardonic, statements about issues that have no meaning outside my bathroom walls, for the most part, meandering for what often seems like forever through strange landscapes and even weirder concepts, all to get to some obscure, semi-intellectual question about matters that are unresolvable in light of modern technology, or modern culture, combined with some rather odd habits and beliefs about human nature….. But, think of this…. where would you be if you weren’t here?

Aha! See, you can’t answer that, not without stopping to read, and think about it…. And, the answer you’d find wouldn’t make you anywhere nearly as happy and amused as you are here, so, see? It’s not a waste of time, for you, or for me….. This concludes our exercise in the dangers of using logic before 6 PM….. I hope you have enjoyed learning about the most pressing problem faced by our society today; please feel free to take the handouts with you when you leave, and don’t forget to stop in the gift shop…. the starving children will thank you for all you purchases, 25% of which will go to their care and feeding….

How did we get there? And who was that guy? Just what is going on here? Sheesh, step away to get a cup of coffee, and two whole paragraphs appear on the screen! Ignore the last two, ffolkes, that was Murphy, doing his thing….. Though I do implore y’all to forget these excessively weird paragraphs even exist, I AM going to take them as part of the legal requirements for this section, and bring this to a close…. Alright, I can hear those of you not snickering breathing huge sighs of relief out there, so, I’ll take the hint, and get on with the business for today….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

“HEY CONGRESS! What ever happened to the Constitution?” — Smart Bee

You would, as would anyone in this position, assume this to be the beginning of another rant against politics, and those wonderful examples of broken morality, our beloved ruling class. But, nope, it’s not…. Oh, it could be, if I wished it. In fact, that is what I started to do, when I first put it up there for your perusal….. But, to be honest, I’m just not in the mood for ranting today. Not that I don’t feel the outrage at their daily shenanigans…. My opinion of Obama took another nosedive day before yesterday, when he canceled his trip to speak with the leader of what’s left of the USSR, Alex Putin, because the Russians refused to extradite Eric Snowden, the former tech worker turned whistleblower….

I think that what Mr. Snowden did deserves the thanks and support of all the American people, for bringing to light still more of the clandestine activities being perpetrated by those in power. The reaction of the Obama administration has gone a long way toward destroying his image of a President who is concerned for the common man, as he continues to completely ignore the illegality of the entire issue (of the prisons, of the torture, of the internal spying, of the court with no oversight…) and refuses to even address his own part in all of it….. It’s infuriating to see a man of such patriotism and bravery (Snowden) being persecuted by his own government, though it shouldn’t come as a surprise….

Hmm….. It seems that if I allowed myself to do so, I could  put out a pretty vitriolic rant; I guess my mood is more flexible than I had assumed for so early…. But, I still don’t feel like going all the way off, because, well, getting all emotionally worked up is not a good way to start the day, at least, not today…. Any who, to avoid any further complications due to angst or emotional outbursts, I’ll let Smart Bee put together a pearl, using the political scene of today’s society as a starting point for search parameters….. Or, as they are fond of saying downtown…. whatever, dude….

“Do thou restrain the haughty spirit in thy breast, for better far is gentle courtesy.” — Homer

“I’m just here for moral support. Ignore the gun.” — Smart Bee, channeling a Senator

“I see it as a compensation. I feel like I’m doing a good job. If no one is recognizing my good job, I recognize it.” — Orlando Arias, Los Angeles county health inspector, — after being filmed accepting a $200 bribe, — as reported by AP, November 10, 1998

“Let a fool hold his tongue and he will pass for a sage.” — Publius Syrus (42 BC) — Maxim 914

“The Three Stooges, the sinking ship, and the lone lifeboat: Ronald Reagan: “Maybe we should save the women and children.”
Richard Nixon: “F**k the women and children!”
Bob Packwood: “Gee, do you really think we have time?”

— the Stilt Man

I think “immoral” is probably the wrong word to use…I prefer the word “unethical.” — Ivan Boesky, inside stock trader

“All military type firearms are to be handed in immediately… The SS, SA and Stahlhelm give every respectable German man the opportunity of campaigning with them.   Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above named organizations and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon… must be regarded as an enemy of the national government.” — SA Oberfuhrer of Bad Tolz, March, 1933

I’m going to stop there, because it’s beginning to get a bit obscure, and I don’t want to anyone to lose the message…. which, simply put, is this…. Despite all they will tell you, the elected officials in this country, from the top, all the way to the bottom, are NOT doing their jobs with YOUR best interests in mind, nor are they overly concerned with following the precepts of governing as set down in the Constitution by our forefathers. They are doing the best they can do to fill their own pockets, and the pockets of their friends, and anything other than that they tell you is a bare-faced lie…. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but, somebody has to….

Of course, the last guy who did so is now hiding out, being protected by the Russian (!!!???) government, not out of humanitarian impulses, but for political gamesmanship…. These days, it’s not a good idea to be publishing the secrets of the politicians… They get so annoyed, and swarm around, looking just like a hive of beetles under a rock, exposed to the light of day…..

Unfortunately, they’re more dangerous than beetles, because they have guns, and, sadly, the force of the laws they’ve written to protect their rights to plunder, and to allow them to lie to us….. Watch your step, ffolkes, or you may be their next target for exploitation (not that you aren’t already being screwed over…. but, it could become specific and personal, rather than just as a part of the general fucking of society that is taking place…..)

I’ll leave you with two final thoughts on the subject, just because I can….

“I don’t pick on politicians. They ain’t done nothin’.” — Red Skelton

“Truly, you are a person who speaks the truth, lives the truth, abides by  the truth. And truth is, of course, stranger than fiction, and you certainly are too.” — Smart Bee
_____________________________

Strangely enough, I’m still in the mood for Emily, so, you’ll have to put up with her insane genius for another day….

I cannot live with you,
It would be life,
And life is over there
Behind the shelf

The sexton keeps the key to,
Putting up
Our life, his porcelain,
Like a cup

Discarded of the housewife,
Quaint or broken;
A newer Sevres pleases,
Old ones crack.

I could not die with you,
For one must wait
To shut the other’s gaze down,–
You could not.

And I, could I stand by
And see you freeze,
Without my right of frost,
Death’s privilege?

Nor could I rise with you,
Because your face
Would put out Jesus’.
That new grace

Glow plain and foreign
On my homesick eye,
Except that you, than he
Shone closer by.

They’d judge us–how?
For you served Heaven, you know
Or sought to;
I could not,

Because you saturated sight,
And I had no more eyes
For sordid excellence
As Paradise.

And were you lost, I would be,
Though my name
Rang loudest
On the heavenly fame.

And were you saved,
And I condemned to be
Where you were not,
That self were hell to me.

So we must keep apart,
You there, I here,
With just the door ajar
That oceans are,
And prayer,
And that pale sustenance,
Despair!
 
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

This section’s pearl is a tribute to perseverance; I’m tired, and just want to be done for the day, but, I must live up to my own standards, because nobody else will… any who, no worries, we’ll just do a random harlequin old-school style pearl, and all will be well…. provided SB doesn’t give me a hard time…..

“For the wise men of old, the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to reality. And the solution has been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. But for the contemporary mindset the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of man.” — C.S. Lewis  “The Abolition of Man”

“He is the MELBA-BEING…  the ANGEL CAKE… XEROX him…  XEROX him –” — Zippy the Pinhead

“A State which is incompetent to satisfy different races condemns itself; a State which does not include them is destitute of the chief basis of self- government.  The theory of nationality, therefore, is a retrograde step in history.” — Lord Acton (1834-1902)

“If you don’t run your own life, somebody else will.” — John Atkinson

“Never create by law what can be accomplished by morality.” — Charles-Louis Secondat Baron de Montesquieu

“It is so basic. A human being is an innocent part of nature. Our civilization has distorted this universal quality that allows us to feel at home in our skin. Other animals have coats that they accept, but the human race has yet to come to terms with being nude.” — Ruth Bernhard

“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” — Seng-Ts’an

See? All in the wrist….
_____________________________

Producing these Pearls has, of late, been an epic undertaking…. but, since there isn’t anything else that is pulling at me to get done, I can only be grateful for having something that keeps me out of trouble, for the most part….. I’m not going to comment on what that may be costing me in terms of self-respect, but, whatever it is, my ego can take it…. and, no, I have no idea what any of that means, particularly…. Let’s see what kind of damage I’ve done so far…..

Okay, then…. That there is some serious business…. I didn’t realize I had come down so copiously on the BRC today, but, that’s okay by me, they deserve all the crap we can throw at them, just to keep things balanced…. Plus, it’s done, so, hey, I’m outta here…..  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

Use the flammable artichokes first….

Ffolkes,
Today’s Pearl will be brought to you by the letters E and Q, and by the number six (6)….. Even though I’m now getting my SS, I figured out a way to earn some income, by selling off this intro space for advertising purposes…. I thought to myself, “hey, if Kermit can do it, why can’t I?”…..  Hence the corporate disclaimer and beginning information blurb, indicating today’s sponsors…. If you could spread the word for me, to let folks know that the space here is for rent to anyone who wishes to have the exposure…. Of course, it’s not exactly NBC in terms of how many folks will see it, but, hey, it’ll get SOME hits…. five or six, maybe, so that’s a start….

For close to two years now, the creation of this blog has been the focus of my day. I arise at 0600 or so and spend the first three to four hours of the day putting together the Pearls of Virtual Wisdom that you see every morning, wherever you are….. Then, for most of that two years, the remainder of the day was spent on activities at home, like reading, cooking, reading, washing clothes, reading, surfing or reading blogs, and generally, stuff I can do around here, as I had only enough money coming in to pay the rent, the phone and other bills, and buy a couple hundred bucks worth of food, to last an entire month… that was it. Without the help of my friends, especially TC and S, I would have been hard pressed to survive without extreme hardship…. As it was, it was not an experience I care to repeat, but, it didn’t crush my spirit, so I’m good with it….

During this period, creating the Pearls went a long way toward maintaining my sanity, as well as improving my typing speed, and keeping me from the worst enemy of the recluse, boredom. It had to be that way, because I didn’t have the strength to walk everywhere, or the money to ride buses and/or cabs…. I can do stuff, I just can’t stand or walk for long periods, so I was limited to what I could do close to where I live.

That has all changed, now that I have been awarded my Social Security benefits, and I find myself in the midst of a small conundrum…. How do I keep writing my blog while doing stuff out in the Big Blue Room?…. Trying to do both isn’t working so well, as I don’t feel I’m giving either one my absolute best, due to time constraints……

Making Pearls has been my focus for quite a while now, and it’s hard to give it up altogether; besides, I really don’t want to stop writing, nor do I think I could…. It’s become an important outlet for me, and I enjoy it a lot…. Plus, just thinking about NOT writing gives me the heebie-jeebies; I get the shakes, and can’t catch my breath, all the while feeling waves of anxiety, and a failure of hope for the future…. Not exactly the way I want to feel for long, so have no fear, I won’t be stopping altogether…. I will, however, be making some changes, and I’m not certain at this point what they may be…..

Since I’ll be traveling, and given the lessons of my first trip (to Texas last week) while trying to post a Pearl each day, I have a feeling that the overall length of what I write myself will go down a bit…. many might say that’s a good thing…. In any case, I would like to start writing more about what I see when I’m traveling, as well as post some of the pictures I’ll be taking with my new camera… It will be great if for no other reason that I won’t have to give any attribution for the pix, since they’ll all be mine….

There may also be fewer rants, as it is hard to maintain outrage when one is not suffering as much from the effects of the BRC and the 1%. Money cannot buy happiness, but it can sure make life nicer while you’re looking for it. Since I don’t think so much about where the next meal is coming from, I find myself less angry, less focused on what is wrong with our world….

Oh, don’t worry, it will still hit me, as it does almost every day, how rapidly our freedoms are disappearing, and how many lies are told every day by the people in charge, and how near the end may be…. I’m sure that as I travel, I will see things that cause me to think, and to realize how things are…. but, I’ll also be looking for the beauty that I know is out there to be seen, and intend to spend a lot of time watching people in other countries.  People watching is the pinnacle of entertainment, for me, and I’m looking forward to doing it a lot, wherever I go…..

So, be aware, ffolkes, “the times, they are a-changin'”, and will never be quite the same…. I see that I’ve rambled and blathered quite enough for two or three intros, so we’ll just get on with today’s dive….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

I forgot to mention, this will also mean a return to using old-school pearls more frequently, as they can have the same impact as a rant, but take far less time, and less energy, to put together…. So, we’ll start today with a randomly chosen group, all on one theme, leading to one particular bus stop, where you will find shelter from the rain…..

“There is nothing so simple that it cannot be made difficult.” — Merle P. Martin

“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

“Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has developer.” — Smart Bee

“The fire you kindle for your enemy often burns your self more than him.” — Chinese proverb

“Walking in a forest between two hedges of ferns transfigured by autumn – that is a triumph. What are ovations and applause beside it?” — E.M. Cioran

“If you love the sacred and despise the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.” — Lin-Chi

“Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life. (The conviction of the rich that the poor are happier is no more foolish than the conviction of the poor that the rich are.)” — Mark Twain

Don’t strain yourselves trying to figure out the point of this one, ffolkes; it came out just a little bit obscure…. and it won’t be on the Quiz anyway, so, just enjoy it for its strong sense of odd, and the insight provided….
__________________________________

Okay, so here’s another freshly made haiku, and another old poem…. This one, though, is on of my favorites, from fall of last year…. It’s still a valid vision today…..  As every day this month, these are being included as part of the April National Poetry Writing Month Challenge, with the updates to be found here:  http://www.napowrimo.net/    I hope you enjoy them…..

Haiku XVI

Beautiful morning.
Passionate life bursting out
surrounding us all.

~~ gigoid ~~

Raging at Aging

As old as you feel, we are told, is old as you are,
custom assures such vision will carry us far.
Reality begs to differ, may it be so bold
it is really quite painful, and very, very cold.

The power and strength felt in our halcyon youth
desert us with age, yet another unwelcome truth.
Irony rules our time here on this bountiful earth
as we reflect the changes over time since our birth.

As physical powers fade from this fragile shell,
we learn our mind can serve us quite as well.
The strength that once filled our bones and hearts
now is applied by our will, to more arcane arts.

Life’s greatest gift is our freedom of choice
no matter how often we forget, we still get a voice.
Energy, or apathy, by our will we may choose,
failing to do so, our only way to lose.

Each of us lives in the grip of time and space,
always seeking our balance, our own chosen place.
One must accept reality, for it is true at the core,
all we can do, is all we can do, and nothing more.

~~ gigoid ~~

__________________________________

In my no doubt too-lengthy dissertation in the intro section earlier, I mentioned how my outrage is less active, since my total amount of stress has been reduced. I haven’t been able to find a quote in Smart Bee today to tickle that sense in me, and I’m running short on time (merely a self-made deadline, but still compelling….)… Any who, here is another harlequin pearl of the old-school variety. This one will hopefully be a bit clearer, but if not, there is some Windex in the pocket on the side of your chair, and paper towels right there in the dispenser…..

“I was making donuts and now I’m on a bus!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“It is far easier to be wise for others than to be so for oneself.” — La Rochefoucauld

“If you expect something free to live up to your expectations, you had better be prepared to see your expectations shattered, since there is no such thing as a free lunch.” — Smart Bee

“Do not seek death; death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.” — Dag Hammarskjold

My guard stood hard when abstract threats too noble to neglect
deceived me into thinking I had something to protect.
Good and bad I defined these terms, quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then;
I’m younger than that now.

— Bob Dylan

“As near as I can tell you’re not any crazier than the average asshole on the street,” — Ken Kesey via R. P. McMurphy “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

“Only fools are quoted.” — Anonymous Fool

See? I told you it would be easy…..
__________________________________

I’m a bit worried about this one…. but, again, I’m too lazy to do it over, so…. Let’s see how it proofs….  Better than I’d thought it would be, so, definitely a go…. and without further hesitation, as well….  See ya…..  😀    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

Insert non-standard cliche here…..

Ffolkes,

The following is the post that was intended for posting yesterday, October 18th; it was written in time, but Reality intruded to prevent me from getting to an internet access point before the end of the day…. ah well, twice in a year and a half isn’t bad…. Enjoy, and I’ll do my best to see that I get posted tomorrow as well…
Wild horses, I swore, are not getting me up early again…. but, that was before the silly beasts started in with their neighing at scream volume, and pounding hoof beats. And what is with the ropes and shit, dragging my butt onto the floor?….. Any way you look at it, I lose, it seems…. At least today, I made it to 0700 before having to give up and get up, once more in the grip of sleeplessness, and more going on in the head than I care for this early…. Ah well, I’ve had it thoroughly drilled into my awareness that Murphy gives not a sh__, er, whit for what I care for, or about…. So, off I’ll go, into Pearl land, seeking, as always, excellence and enlightenment….

Yesterday, I read a pearl, in passing, that said something like, “You know you’re getting old when…. reading the obituaries is like reading a high school yearbook….” A bit grim, I know…. but, it reminded me that such events are catching up to me, as more of my peers, from high school, and beyond, are starting to bite the dust with alarming regularity….. And, in today’s day and age, other calamities can strike without warning, bringing sorrow and fear with them….

One of my friends, the wife of my oldest friend (we’ve known each other 52 years now, since grade school, and they’ve been married for over 23 years….), was very recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and will be having a double mastectomy on Friday, I believe…. My friend, of course, is very upset and afraid, though he is holding up well; he is an honorable man, and intends to be strong for his mate….. The prognosis for the surgery is good, as they caught it early-on, and have found no traces of spreading into the lymph system yet; this type of cancer has a very good survival rate, when caught at this stage, so we are all hopeful those statistics hold true….

So, any who, I only mention this so I can ask for you to send out good thoughts and, if you are so inclined, prayers for her good deliverance during surgery, and for many more years of sparkling (she’s good at that….). I’m not sure where the surgery is being done, so if you would just send them toward Northern California, I’ll make sure they get to the right vicinity…. thanks very much, she deserves, and needs, all the help she can get…. as can my friend….

Well, there’s a way to get the old juices flowing….. bring on a spate of tears, and the old metabolism just jumps right up into work mode… a bit harsh, though, I think, to have to put one’s self through that to find a muse…. But, then, when have we ever done things normally around here? That’s correct, that answer would be…. never…. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

Herein you will find a recipe for Life Well-Lived….. the first ingredient is illustrated here:

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

— Tao Te Ching

The second ingredient needed to add to the first is here:

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 these two parts are smoothly integrated into a malleable state, add this:

“I was standing in the kitchen one day, fixing a sandwich or something, when suddenly I heard a very distinct “sneeze” emanate from the fridge. Naturally curious, I opened the door and scrutinized the various food items. Suddenly, the mayonnaise began to scream, “The ketchup did it! The ketchup!” Of course, I was stunned. This, after all, was an inanimate object. And, truthfully, to this very day, I’ve never been able to coax the ketchup to say or do anything and have concluded the sneeze was my own imagination.” — Smart Bee

At this point, nearly uncontrollable giggles should emanate from either the substance being mixed, or from the mixer; both are a good omen for the success of the dish…. Now we can add the fourth ingredient, as below:

“The survival of the fittest is the ageless law of nature, but the fittest are rarely the strong. The fittest are those endowed with the qualifications for adaptation, the ability to accept the inevitable and conform to the unavoidable, to harmonize with existing or changing conditions.” — Dave E. Smalley

As any good chef or artiste knows, harmony comes, strangely enough, in odd numbers…. and thus with this final ingredient, blended well with what has gone before, you will find yourself in the presence of true beauty and grace…. This is a two-medium ingredient, textual/conceptual and visual….. (picture by Carol Welsh, from her blog at WordPress, here: http://carolwelsh.wordpress.com/  )

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living…. and above all, those who live without Love.” — Albus Dumbledore, from J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows”
__________________________________

I had no time to hate, because
The grave would hinder me,
And life was not so ample I
Could finish enmity.

Nor had I time to love, but since
Some industry must be,
The little toil of love, I thought,
Was large enough for me.

~~ Emily Dickinson
__________________________________

Here are some examples of the astounding depths of Stupid that can manifest in humans……

“The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson, Man of God and serious Republican presidential aspirant, in a letter to supporters
(My calculator broke when I tried to count how many wrong things there are in this statement…..)

“Trees cause more pollution than cars ever did.” — Ronald Reagan
(I had a hard time believing he actually said this in 1982, or thereabouts, but, there it was, right there in the newspaper…. and, in the annals of history, as it remains as the record for the stupidest thing ever said by a US President…. though Ronnie’s VP, Gerry Ford, later made some valiant attempts to break it, during his own stint in the Oval Office….)

Where Mind and each believing mind are not divided,
And undivided are each believing mind and Mind,
This is where words fail;
For it is not for the past, present, and future.

— Seng-T’San (540?-606 A.D.)
(Actually, this may not be stupid…. but I can’t tell for sure, because it is so opaque, and hides its meaning so deeply in complexity, it sounds stupid…..and is therefore subject to the Duck Test…. i.e., if it quacks, etc……)

“Facts can be used to prove anything that’s even remotely true. Facts, shmacts!” — Homer Simpson
(Come to think of it, ANYTHING Homer says could be included here…. I regard Homer to be the absolute incarnation of Human Stupidity, and thoroughly regret his popularity, though it doesn’t surprise me at all….)

Kinsey: “Oh, please. Given the chance, half of all American citizens won’t even vote, and the half that do vote are too stupid to know what they’re doing.” — from Stargate
(I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that, if you heard it on TV, it must be true…. or, in this case, be a pretty clear reflection of society….)

This kind of search, for pearls of real stupidity, as opposed to their opposites, is a slow one… Not that there are fewer examples of this kind of thing available, but, Smart Bee tends to lean toward the other end of the spectrum, keeping and displaying the most valuable and elegant aphorisms uttered through the ages, rather than these demonstrations of humanity’s other talents. So, here is a last example, which will, no doubt, be welcomed with open arms…. Just remember not to use these as Pearls Of Virtual Wisdom, or for goodness’ sake, real wisdom…. I won’t be responsible for the outcome….

I met a fool i’ the forest,
A motley fool.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), As You Like It — Act ii, Sc. 7
(In this case, what we see is a double dose of stupid…. one, what is written…. and two, all the fools who fall all over themselves to say that Shakespeare was so wonderful…. when what he was, was the best hack of his time, with a good PR man…. People still fall for this crap!…..)
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You may have noted a certain lack of original material in today’s Pearl…. which is not surprising, given my current state of mind….. It was all I could do to come up with commentary for this morning’s efforts, as I’m still a bit groggy from the hour, and quite empty of anything but the barest skepticism, my constant companion…. On days like these, I depend on Smart Bee, and the wisdom of others to carry me through this process, trusting that routine, of sorts, will produce an acceptable group of pearls. All in all, I don’t think I did too badly, and, as is the standard rule here, it’s done, and it’s not getting done over…. So be it…. 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!