Manifestations of reality….

Ffolkes,

“Be on your guard against a silent dog and still water.”

~~ Latin proverb ~~

siberian volcano from ISS

Siberian volcano as viewed from the ISS

Image from www.nasa.gov via Space.com

Hajime…. Having been assaulted in my sleep by a small, fur-bearing extortionist, to the point of meltdown before I was even awake, I sit to write, only to find myself with no inspiration whatsoever. In fact, a complete meltdown remains a definite possibility for the rest of the day, I’d say. I can’t say why I’m so fragile this morning, but, hey, that’s PTSD for ya. A lot of generals, and armies, could take lessons from PTSD, regarding stealth; it seems to be masterful at sneak attacks….

Since finding something in my head about which to write seems futile, I think I’ll skip the intro altogether, giving it up as a bad investment of time. I can’t see it getting much better than what you’ve already seen, although the possibility of getting worse doesn’t seem out of the realm. In fact, I can feel it getting away from me the longer I type. In the interests of saving face, and time, I’ll end this now, before it gets to a point from which I cannot save it. I’m not sure what the regulations say about that, but, it probably fits into the rudeness category, if naught else….

Rather than risk relatively undeserved rudeness, I’ll go on. You’ll probably see some archived material below; fresh stuff probably isn’t on the agenda for today. But, that also means no further whining, so, it all balances out. Let’s see what I can find to make this semi-okay, or, at minimum, inoffensive…. Oh, wait. Too late for that, and it’s against policy. Oh, well. We’ll see what we can do….

Shall we pearl?….

“There is a time in every man’s education when he arrives at the conviction
that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide;
that he must take himself for better or worse as his portion;
that though the wide universe is full of good,
no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him
but through his toil bestowed
on that plot of ground which is given him to till.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance ~~

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Naturally, since I’m in default production mode, you, and I, get classical music for today’s selection. I hope you enjoy it; I intend to do so myself….

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Classical Music

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Dont keep calm

“It is ridiculous to lay the blame of our wrong actions upon external causes, rather than on the facility with which we ourselves are caught by such causes.” — Aristotle

As I predicted in the intro, we’re hitting the archives. The following is one of the longest, and harshest rants I’ve written. It’s a subject about which I feel strongly, so, since I have nothing today of my own, here is something from my past…

From 8/20/2014:

 
This is a long rant, ffolkes…. When I start on this particular subject, I have a hard time stopping…. this time, to the tune of over 2500 words…. I figured I should give fair warning; this is not an easy rant to read, nor will it give any quarter to those it targets as the evil protagonists…. If you don’t feel up to it, then you can skip it…. However, this is an extremely important subject, to me, so, I’m asking you to take the time to read it, think about it, and maybe pass it on…. This needs to change, for sure, and for certain…. I’ve even given it a title, in case I decide to publish it alone, elsewhere….

A True Plague upon Our Houses….

In which we take issue with those who would call themselves Men, having none of the qualities of a Man…..

“Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.” — Susan B. Anthony

As we know now, 1976 has come, and gone, along with 1776, and 1876; yet, the oppression and ongoing abuse of women continues, unabated and unchecked, in spite of any progress shown by society, which would be thanks to Ms. Anthony, and others, for having instigated, and overcome a number of the legal challenges involved in securing full rights for women, efforts resulting in SOME legislation that SEEMED to make some needed changes, not the least of which was voting rights…

In too many ways, unfortunately, things are worse, due to the ubiquitous attitudes, of misogyny and unreasoning fear of sexuality, which is so ingrained in both the male, and female members of society, there are few who even acknowledge the issue, unless pressed…. at which time, they generally become either defensive, feign indignation, or go into active denial…. This fear, based on ignorance, of course, is complicated by religious attitudes heaped upon men and women from birth, which only encourage such ignorance, in favor of dogma….. Now, 40 years into the next hundred years since the beginning of the women’s movement in America, the same can be said to be absolutely true….. Nothing below the surface has changed at all….

“You, you, you shouldn’t, you shouldn’t traumatize women with sexual intercourse. I should know, I’m a medieval doctor, I own a mansion and a yacht.” — excerpted from the AMA manual of advice for teens and newlyweds, 1910, 1926, 1933, 1947, 1955, and, every year since then, without changing a word….

Okay, so, it’s not really there…. but, it certainly would be, if they could get away with it…. and, is definitely there, in place, in the ingrained prejudices of virtually every male doctor alive…. This idiocy is an example of the attitudes of which I’m speaking; the hidden, slyly perverted belief that women are no more than the sum of the misguided and totally false characterizations placed on them by men, who insist on perpetuating the false image of women, in general and as individuals, as weak, feeble-minded, emotional, sex-crazed, or frigid, selfish creatures concerned only with using their beauty and sex to control men….

These claims are, of course, completely untrue in reality, but, the unreasoning, innate fear of their own sexuality, and the fear of being controlled by women, that permeates male attitudes, causes them all, or mostly all, to believe all of it, true or not… Thus, as the quote below from former President Jimmy C. notes, this belief in a full set of delusions, falsely accusing women of evil intent, is used to justify all of the pervasive objectification, abuse, and oppression of women throughout history, continuing today, no matter how much anyone says to the contrary….

Jimmy Carter sez:

jimmy sez

He would know, wouldn’t he?…..

Below this paragraph, I am placing a link, to the web site/blog of a woman who rescued herself from sexual slavery; there is no other term that fits. She was forced, at a young age, to become a prostitute, and spent most of her childhood and teen years trapped in the sex trade…. Her experiences should never happen to anyone; when I read her writing, it takes ALL of my control to keep from jumping up, buying weapons, and going hunting, for human males…. I get so angry it wouldn’t even matter to me WHICH males I started wasting; all bear equal guilt, from at least one point of view…. Otherwise, why would the rest of us, we males who do NOT wish to oppress our species’ mates, ALLOW this to take place? How can we know of this, and not act?

http://rmott62.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/are-we-not-human

Lack of honor is the only answer that occurs to me; there are not enough men, it seems, with sufficient honor to stem the tide of idiocy, gross perversion, and lack of moral fiber that infuses the greatest portion of humanity’s male members…. I would guesstimate that 98% of all males never even THINK about the issue of how women have been oppressed throughout history; most are perfectly happy to enjoy the lack of responsibility that such moral and ethical blindness allows; we are, as a species, after all, lazy by nature…. (Nothing wrong with lazy, as long as it’s not a way of life, but a tool, to make one look for smarter ways to do things….) But, to allow that laziness to act as an excuse for not acting in this respect, can only indicate a complete lack of what I call HONOR…..

This may sound like a harsh accusation; to that charge I say: Yes, it is and so fucking what? It’s a harsh world, and what men have been doing to women for millennia….. not years, not centuries, MILFUCKINGLENNIA, PEOPLE! No exaggeration or hyperbole is necessary or, in my case, desired….

Listen up, all of you men out there, because I am talking to YOU!…. It IS harsh, and I make the accusation without apology, because, I must in all honesty include myself in the group of those who have not done all they could to see the issue addressed; if it is never addressed, it can never be resolved…. I’ve done more than many, perhaps, and I do acknowledge the seriousness and urgency of the issue…. but, I, too, am guilty of NOT doing enough…. S’okay, it just makes me madder, & more determined to keep writing about this….

You see, the whole issue illustrates one small, but, critical facet of human nature that is part and parcel with those other character flaws in us which are leading us merrily down the road to hell, blithely wishing we had a bigger handbasket….. This tendency on the part of human males, to abandon honor and ethical behavior, in favor of allowing their fears and misapprehensions rule them, for our ENTIRE history, has held us back, from becoming all we have the potential to be, as rational creatures with an understanding and appreciation for what is good and beautiful in life.

Instead, we have witnessed, over those thousands and thousands of years, virtually unending wars, conflicts, slavery, abuse of women and children, or anyone considered weak and unable to defend their rights. We have seen people learn to use lying, cheating, aggressiveness, and self-interest as their primary tools for obtaining the resources needed to live, and to hoard what they have taken, by right or threat of force; this process is, in today’s world, considered to be a blueprint for successful living, with the ultimate goal in life being the fulfillment of one’s own personal goals and desires, at the cost of whatever it may take to wrest it from other people, and the world at large….

“Get it while you can!” Do unto others before they do unto you.” Bigger is better!” “One nation under God!” (It would be more honest if they just said what they REALLY believe which is, “As a Christian, I have more rights than anyone who isn’t….”)

Okay, so the last line, in parentheses, is one most people will only say under their breath; you can be sure, though, that every “Christian” alive believes they are the elite of the species, the only ones with the true answers…. This, you see, naturally gives them all a completely unwarranted and false sense of entitlement, one that really annoys the rest of us, who haven’t fallen under the spell of that particular delusion, and couldn’t care less who they think they are…. I GUARANTEE, even if there WERE a God, such as the figment they seem to believe in, I’m pretty sure, as an omnipotent entity, She wouldn’t want to have anything to do with such idiotic wastes of sperm….

Ooh! That was harsh, too, wasn’t it? Oh well… Again, I have to say, so fucking what? If people insist on showing their lack of intelligence in public, they are fair game for anyone who cares to come along and poke holes in their lack of logic, and/or foolishly naive belief in delusions that someone taught them before they could defend their own minds…. It isn’t my problem if they are offended; that is their own reaction, for which THEY bear ALL the responsibility….

I welcome dialogue, and will listen to any argument, as long as it is evidence based…. However, don’t even think about coming at me with something that has nothing more to verify its veracity than “ispe dixit”…. You will regret it to your dying day….. And, so will I, for I am not really mean, or cruel by nature; I just can’t abide people acting as if being stupid is better than ANYTHING else; it isn’t, and wishing won’t make it so…. But, it’s better to put such folks out of their misery, before their ignorance can spread to others….

Men and women are in this together, ffolkes; neither sex can possibly survive without the other, and why would anyone wish to? But, the way things are going now, if we don’t figure out, soon, how to take care of each other, instead of being at odds all the damn time (as all the people who spread jokes about the “war between men and women” keep yelling about, thus keeping the divisiveness alive, and actively harmful….), we will surely reach the point, in the not so very distant future, when our insistence on making the worst of our differences will result in the only possible ultimate end, to wit: our own extinction as a failed species.

The abuse of women, and anyone else; war; sales of drugs and/or arms; and the relative insanity of the divisive elitism as acted out by all organized religions….. All of these blights and plagues upon the spirit and growth of Man, carried out for thousands of years by those in our species who refuse to embrace any sort of beliefs that do not serve their own ends alone, all spring from one source in human nature; the expression of that negativity in our spirit has held sway since the beginnings of recorded history……

It is that part of our inner selves which compels us to use our innate talents for violence, treachery, and selfishness, using them to take advantage of others for our own benefit, using fear, and the threat of reward or punishment to control others, the use of which has led us to the impending threat of doom we face in coming days…. In order to survive, human nature MUST change…. Hmm…. not terribly good odds, I should guess….

I wish I had the ultimate answer; I wish I knew just the right words, and could say “THIS, THIS, and THIS…. just do that, and we’ll all be okay….” I don’t have them, though, any more than anyone else has had so far…. The worst part is, I know what needs to be done; but, due to the fact that I can only make changes to myself, I can’t just DO it, or even just SAY it…. It has to come from all of us, or it won’t work at all….

SIGH…. Damn if I know what to do…. I guess I’ll just go out, shoot a couple of pimps, and call it a day….. Oh, and if those pimps happen to be wearing a uniform of some sort, you may count on them being fully guilty as charged, with sentence carried out according to the dictates of justice…. in spite of any loud noises they might make to the contrary. Any noise they make in these situations is merely an automatic defense against the insistence on them taking responsibility for their actions….

Any lawyers who may try to involve themselves may try to make us feel differently, but, we can discuss that later, right? (We can decide what to do about them when we figure out where to dispose of the bodies….) For the moment, my day will be over, and justice done; it’s all I need to get to sleep….. especially knowing the women freed by my good aim will have the choice and opportunity to start the process of changing out of their slave clothes, into something a bit more free, and of their own choice….

Well, we all have our fantasies, right? Now, the trick is to remove all the above from the realm of speculation and imagination, and make it so, in Reality…. I guess we’ll see how it goes, eh?…. Later, ffolkes, & remember…. Free our sisters, and we free ourselves….

This took a long time to write, because it’s important to me…. Hence, I took a long time to pick a closing pearl, one that had the right feel to it, to express the depth of emotion involved, while still giving a nod to importance of addressing the issue’s less palatable aspects, such as the way women having to live in today’s world, or any world we have seen, are consistently, often brutally, abused, made to feel secondary, and at the very least, completely misunderstood, by their own alleged mates.

I am speaking of men who, in the final analysis, are failing their own species, not to mention failing to understand the concept, or to comprehend the importance, of such old-fashioned words as honor, compassion, and duty…. any one of which requires much more strength than any sort of aggressiveness, or shows of physical prowess…. Such behaviors are those of a child, based on fear, a child who never grew out of being selfish and/or afraid of girls, (i.e., afraid of their own sexuality, and of women’s….), refusing to grow up and truly BE a man…..

We need each other, men and women; nature’s other creatures have shown us how it is supposed to work, using the blueprint of nature’s design…. Each gender of a species is made to contribute certain characteristics to the solving of the puzzle of living, in concert with their opposite half, with the caveat being the simple FACT, that neither can survive, one without the other. Both are needed for the species to prosper, and grow…… It’s a shame there are so many men in the world who are so afraid of themselves, and of women, they can’t learn to act as men….

Between the acting of a dreadful thing
And the first motion, all the interim is
Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream:
The Genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The nature of an insurrection.

— William Shakespeare ~~

Julius Caesar — Act ii, Sc. 1

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Comedy_Tragedy

Between what I see and what I say
Between what I say and what I keep silent
Between what I keep silent and what I dream
Between what I dream and what I forget:
Poetry.

~~ Octavio Paz (1914-1998) ~~

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Shot in the dark….

Nothing old will do
to soothe such internal fire;
only new haiku.

Infernal chaos
bites with vicious teeth of steel.
Starts the day poorly.

Routines fill an hour
seeking a sort of balance.
Not easily found.

To bring serenity
is a task for a lifetime.
Today’s morning chore.

Five times seventeen
seems to have brought me some peace.
Counting words for hope.

~~ gigoid ~~

7/25/2016

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Naked Pearls

A path to freedom…

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“He said that there was one only good, namely, knowledge;
and one only evil, namely, ignorance.”

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Socrates, xiv ~~

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“The only tyrant I accept in this world is the still voice within.”

~~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ~~

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“Before you can be creative, you must be courageous.
Creativity is the destination, but courage is the journey.”

~~ Joey Reiman ~~

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“To be possessed of a vigorous mind is not enough;
the prime requisite is rightly to apply it.”

~~ Descartes ~~

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“The aim of life is to live,
and to live means to be aware,
joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware.”

~~ Henry Miller ~~

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“I’ve wrestled with reality for 35 years,
and I’m happy, Doctor, I finally won out over it.”

~~ Jimmy Stewart in Harvey, 1950 ~~

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“When I speak to you about myself,
I am speaking to you about yourself.
How is it you don’t see that?”

~~ Victor Hugo ~~

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The mere fact this is done should be recorded in the Book. But, it probably won’t be, and, that’s okay. It’s done, so, I win. For now. To maintain my record at that, I will warn y’all now, I’ll try again tomorrow, without any claims as to any sort of improvement, or even change. All I know is, I have to try. See y’all then, provided the meltdown has been averted, once again….

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

Kowabunga!

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Being alone can be a gift….

Ffolkes,

“Being intelligent is not a felony.  But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long

cats_14

  Deipnosophist: a person adept at conversation at table. From Greek, deipnosophistai,  title of a Greek work by Athenaeus (3rd century), describing learned discussions at a banquet, from deipnon  meal + sophistai  wise men (from Dictionary.com)

Yesterday’s post began with a quote from Athenaeus, the author of the book described in the above definition; at the time, I didn’t know what the word deipnosophist meant, which is why I looked it up…. Being one who considers himself a deipnosophist, it was the only thing to do…. Besides, I always enjoy learning new words, ideas, or just about any old thing at all, so, it was a no-brainer for me to seek out the meaning…. I can’t help it, it’s the way I am; if I don’t know, I want to find out….

This morning, I find myself very, very late, having indulged myself in an extra hour and a half of sleep…. In order to soothe my guilt, and the slight emotional edginess I get when my reality refuses to respect my plans, I’m going to have to go old school a lot, and will dip into the archives heavily to fill out the three sections below…. The first section should be okay; it’s a short mini-rant, or two, I started on yesterday, so I can just finish them with an old school target practice session…. I’ll pick from the archives for two and three, so, be prepared, if you please, and don’t forget to update your log sheets….

That’s it, that’s all I’ve got today…. Just some minor housekeeping, a short bit of self-aggrandizement, disguised as self-deprecation, and a touch of honesty; it’s not Ibsen, but it’s Art…. or, at least, it’s imitating Art…. Oh, that’s right, I’m trying to work on Art’s fraternal twin, Rufus, so, maybe today’s material will resemble him, in the eyes, or maybe the chin…. Ah, the hell with it, I’m jumping in, ffolkes; y’all can come along if you like….

Oh, almost forgot…. the picture again came from a feature on the London Daily Telegraph, but, I forget when…. just google the picture itself, if you really want to know who took it….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Again, our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the earth is circular, but also that it is a circle of no great size.  For quite a small change of position to south or north causes a manifest alteration of the horizon.  There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward.  …All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but that it is a sphere of no great size:  for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent.  Hence, one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is a continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules [the strait of Gibraltar] and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one.” — Aristotle, De Caelo, Fourth Century B.C.

In case there are any among you who do not understand why this quote is here, I refer you to the opening quote from Bob Heinlein. Together, the two make the statement I’m hoping to share with you…. Remember what they did to Galileo, when he told the exact same argument that Aristotle gives here, to the prelates of the church, a thousand years later, and was found to be a heretic….

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Okay, so, here are two short mini-rants, whose point lies in the articles to which the link will take you. Please read, and then call your congressional delegates to tell them to stop giving in to the corporate interests, and give people the right to their own property….

http://www.sfgate.com/news/politics/article/Law-changed-to-allow-unlocking-cellphones-5663147.php

“CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents major wireless providers including AT&T, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless, said in a statement: “Even though the vast majority of Americans enjoy upgrading to new devices once their contract terms are fulfilled, we recognize that some consumers may want to unlock their devices to move to another carrier.” It noted, however, that even though the phone is unlocked it might not work on other carriers because platforms and spectrum holdings vary,”

    “….which is quite deliberate,to ensure we make a massive profit on those millions of useless pieces of toxic waste, as well as to ensure nobody else can make anything from them, once they are no longer on our network.”   …. as the statement didn’t continue, even though it is true….

Point made, I think, so, onward, to a discussion of the Plague of Evil that continues to shame our culture…. Read the article, and think about all the other ways our culture brainwashes its citizens into keeping women in the unenviable position of subjugation…. It’s not just prejudice ffolkes, it’s oppression in its worst incarnation….

This issue, by the way, is one I’ve been harping on for years; to begin this segment of the rant, here is a short diatribe on the same subject from the archives…..

From 3/31/2012:

“When you slithered out of your hole that day, and you spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s top 10 hit list. In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat…. And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if you don’t you will choke the wheat. Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can. It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92. That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery…. You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on. Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra. And I hope that if you last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir.  Get this scum out of here!” — A sentence passed by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County, Ohio

One down, several million to go…. I wonder if this judge is still sitting on the bench; we could refer all the cases of human traffickers, rapists, abusers of women or children, and others of that ilk to his courtroom, and trust they will receive the maximum legal punishment of which the law is capable…. then, once they are inside, we just leak to the other prisoners what they are in for; I imagine they’ll take care of the rest….

A fella has to have his dreams…. and in my dreams, I can hear them, sisters, daughters, children, all crying out for help, waiting in anguish for someone to care…. who else, then, will stand up with me?….. During the 1960’s, in times of social changes gone ‘viral’, there was a poster I saw all over Berkeley…. It pictured men and women marching together, united in purpose…. the only caption said, “Free our sisters, free ourselves!”  This is a sentiment we all need to embrace, as valid now as it was over 40 years ago; if not now, when?…

Now, here is proof the problem not only still exists, but has worsened, if possible….

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/carroll/article/Whaddya-gonna-do-These-things-just-happen-5660879.php

“But wait: Here’s what the NFL did. It suspended Rice for two games. Two games! Most first-time drug users get suspended for four games; as we have seen, the penalty for the third time is one year. The NFL sent a clear message: Domestic violence is not that big a deal. It’s just, you know, women. They were probably asking for it….”

This one disgusts me, for it is all-too-typical in this society for women to be placed in this kind of situation, then, having nothing happen to the asshole who punched her out…. For me, the worst part is how the whole issue was played down by every level of reporting….. None of the men involved took any real responsibility, and that lack of integrity was echoed by the police, the hotel, the team he plays for, the press who covered it, and every other male individual who had any connection to the incident…. They all made it seem like the man had done nothing particularly bad, and, if he did, he was probably provoked into it by the woman

What a crock of shit!…. It’s probably a good thing I’m not going to rant on this any further, as my blood pressure is already spiking, from writing the above paragraph…. I swear, I am going to buy a gun, and I’m going to start using it on people in society who prey on the weak, the innocent, and the oppressed…. because society itself refuses to even acknowledge there is any problem. Fuck that, I’m sick of these assholes getting away with it, and never having to pay for their insanity and ignorance….

Fuck it, I’m gonna pearl now….

“Rumor has it that former Senator John Tower cheats at solitaire. Lengthy congressional investigation to discover source of dishonesty to follow.” — Smart Bee

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

“Bury me on my face,” said Diogenes; and when he was asked why, he replied, “Because in a little while everything will be turned upside down.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi

“I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature

(Note: It is little prejudices like this that perpetuate the lies and misconceptions that so litter the battle fields of the war between the sexes…. Plus, did you ever notice that it is only MEN who think of the issue as a war?…. The whole problem lies in the FACT that men are afraid of women; this fear causes them to react by making sure that women fear them, by using their physical attributes to oppress them…. thus, unknowingly, forsaking all honor….)

“I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to tell such LIES, LIES!  ALL LIES!” — Voltaire’s Evil Twin

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

” — How many NBC news producers does it take to change a light bulb? Three, one to drill a hole in the light bulb so it blows up when he turns it on, one to film it, and one to insist on the truth of the report despite the manipulation.” — Smart Bee

There…. I think I managed to find one shot for just about every one of the Asininnies in that pearl; not bad for someone not working very hard at it…. But, I think you can count on it to be effective; Smart Bee is bracketing the other quotes, which legitimizes and enhances each one…. I hope you enjoyed it, at least as much as the mini-rants….

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This needs no introduction; it does, however, demand your attention, as is its due, as a classical piece of our history…. and, an example of one of the few saving graces displayed by our species….

Ode on a Grecian Urn

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!

Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.

O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

~~ John Keats ~~

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Okay, so here’s the deal…. Below is another diatribe/discussion, but, not really a rant; it’s a bit more eclectic than the usual choice of subject matter…. I enjoyed it, both writing it, and re-reading it; I hope you enjoy it as well… It does make today’s Pearl a bit hefty, but, hey, I’m a hefty guy….

From 3/3/2013:

“As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body.” — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)

Each of us is faced at times with the consciousness of our own approaching encounter with Death, the moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, to once more join the rest of the conscious minds in the universe in roaming through realms of Reality we cannot see in this form. This Reality we cannot see is much larger, in one sense, than the one we can now perceive; it has to be, to be able to accommodate all the souls that have gone before, and all that are now present on Earth, that will someday join the rest of them, when they die…..

Every human being alive must face their own Death (I am capitalizing the word to give it the proper respect as one of the most important concepts we have as humans….); this is a truism no one can deny, or refute. Many people have banded together, to assume the belief that our universe was created this way by a supernatural being, who, for some unknown, and unknowable (self-explanatory, I think….) reason, decided that we are “special”, and gave us, and only us, the knowledge we have, and our very lives. This, of course, is rather hard to believe, as it doesn’t really account for much of what is observable truth in Reality, being, as it is, complete speculation, devoid of any concrete evidence to support it…..

“There is no conclusive evidence that there is life after death. There is also no real evidence to the contrary. Soon enough, you will know. So, why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein

I first read this aphorism when I was in my early teens; it codified, and made succinct, what I had already concluded about the major religions of the world, i.e., they’re a collection of unwarranted, and unproven, assumptions. What’s more, they are all highly unlikely, given the observable parameters of the real world. It became obvious to me, as it is to many, that what the religious folks were trying to get me to believe was intended merely to soften my mind, making it more amenable to suggestion, of which they have an endless supply. Preachers, priests, imams, nuns, all are quite willing to give other people advice and suggestions on how they should live, in exhaustive detail, for as long as they are allowed to do so….

Since I had very little desire to have other people decide for me how I should think, or live my life, I rejected the dogma they tried to force into my head, turning instead to other sources of thought about Life, Death, and Reality. I found an endless supply of folks who had thought long and deeply about all of these ideas, and gladly did I read all I could of everything I could find on the subject. In addition, I read science fiction, during the years when its popularity had just begun to climb to the heights it now occupies; sci-fi has always been literature that explored, and continues to explore, the very limits of thought, both in the real world, and the world of the mind.

As is seen by the first pearl above, these thoughts and ideas are not new with me; mankind has been thinking about these concepts since we first sat around the campfires, wondering at the beauty of the heavens we saw above our heads, and all around us. In all that time, no conclusions have been reached that seem to cover ALL of the questions we have about the universe. We still don’t have a clue as to “what is the mind”, or “what is thought”…. and if we cannot understand ourselves, what chance do we have of unraveling the secrets of the universe around us? Not much, would be my guess…

That, fortunately, does not mean it is impossible to know the truth, nor does it mean we are condemned to die in ignorance and fear…. I know this because I have learned in my time that our fear is a direct outgrowth of our ignorance; we fear what we do not understand. Now, if I were a God, why would I make people that way, unless for some ulterior motive, having to do with motivations that are human, not divine? No, it just doesn’t make sense to me to assume that we were put here with a deliberate handicap, just to see how we dealt with it; that seems more like an evil scientist at work than a compassionate deity.

“One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas.  That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.” — Etty Hilsum

Since I believe firmly in the Law of Conservation of Energy (proven true in this universe, to all our knowledge), and, I believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly, then the concept of Death is nothing to fear, as it merely means that my current state of energy will be replaced with another state, one I don’t currently have the ability to perceive. What that state may be like may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean it is something of which I should be afraid…. I prefer to look at it as the next great adventure….

So, when my father died, I asked him to leave me some trail-sign, to let me know how to find him in the next reality; he smiled at me, and said he would do that… and I was much comforted by that, knowing that our connection as family can never be severed, and that, someday, I would once more have the pleasure, and comfort, of his presence…. Now that’s something to look forward to, don’t you think?…. Much better than worrying that what I do now is going to determine what happens to me after I die, a silly proposition, at best……

“Do not think that man is but flesh, skin, bones and veins; far from it! What really makes man is his soul; and the things we call skin, flesh, bones and veins are but a garment, a cloak; they do not constitute man. When man departs this earth, he divests himself of all the veils that conceal him.” — Zohar

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I’d feel a bit of guilt, but, I gave it up years and years ago, and really wouldn’t know where to start looking for it… Besides, I told you up front there would be a lot from the archives…. I just wasn’t aware as to HOW MUCH there would ultimately be…. Oh well, it’s not like I’m charging extra, right? I’m outta here, ffolkes, and not all that late, either…. See y’all tomorrow….

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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