The labels are peeling off….

Ffolkes,

“It takes a very long time to become young.”

~~ Pablo Picasso ~~

Sonoma creek

Late spring at Sonoma Creek

Hajime…. Since the deadline for posting just went flying past my head, I suppose I’d best get started on today’s Pearl. Considering the fact virtually none of it is done, we’ll be lucky to see one today. Hope does exist, as I’ve begun, & don’t intend to stop until done. But, that could change, of course, well before getting there. Once again, the Metaphorse has stepped in, to apply the duality of nature to our undertakings, as is the Universe’s wont.Why we should wish the Universe to even HAVE a wont, I haven’t a clue, but, I suppose it really doesn’t matter for our purposes here today.

To our complete surprise, we find we have written a relatively normal first paragraph, (‘normal’ in that it is of a certain length, says nothing particularly worthwhile, and, is properly punctuated), we look up, to find ourselves deep in the second paragraph, still without any direction, or hint of a direction, in which to make our effort. It probably doesn’t matter anyway; what with the lack of anything resembling rational thought currently inhabiting my brain, there is little chance of finding anything we can use, without serious alteration, or padding, neither of which we are equipped to handle today. Damn! Y’all know what this means, don’t you? No. Well, if you don’t know, I probably shouldn’t say…

Having thus created the proper frame of stultified indignation, we can get this slow on the toad. What, you may ask, the hell does that mean? Well, if I knew, or cared, I might consider relaying that information. Since I don’t, and, I don’t, we’ll just use it as another fine excuse to go on, before this gets any stranger, and we start losing our audience…. like we ever had one. For all I know, nobody’s out there, and nobody will ever see this but me, and a couple die hards who come every day. But, whether anyone is there, or ever reads this, it still has to get done, or I melt down worse than usual…. So be it. Let’s do it….

Shall we pearl?….

“No law can be sacred to me but that of my nature.
Good and bad are but names very readily transferable to that or this;
the only right is what is after my own constitution;
the only wrong what is against it.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

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jimmy_buffett

I’m running late, as usual, so we’ll go with something easily available that fits my mood…. Since I feel like I should, or want to be, on the road to anywhere, we’ll take a little trip to the islands, imagining ourselves right onto some beach, where you’ll find us sipping margaritas, & dancing away…. Abondanza!….

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Jimmy Buffett
Live at Jones Beach

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Sandclock .jpg

“How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!”

~~ Sir Henry Wotton — The Character of a Happy Life ~~

I’m very late today, in terms of getting done, and posted. To save the time needed, we’re going to the archives. Don’t worry, it’s a rather light piece, just taking some random shots at some of the world’s biggest fools…. I’m sure I had fun, and you will too… Enjoy!….

From 2/11/2015:

INFIDEL, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does. (See GIAOUR.) A kind of scoundrel imperfectly reverent of, and niggardly contributory to, divines, ecclesiastics, popes, parsons, canons, monks, mollahs, voodoos, presbyters, hierophants, prelates, obeah-men, abbes, nuns, missionaries, exhorters, deacons, friars, hadjis, high-priests, muezzins, brahmins, medicine-men, confessors, eminences, elders, primates, prebendaries, pilgrims, prophets, imaums, beneficiaries, clerks, vicars-choral, archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, preachers, padres, abbotesses, caloyers, palmers, curates, patriarchs, bonezs, santons, beadsmen, canonesses, residentiaries, diocesans, deans, subdeans, rural deans, abdals, charm-sellers, archdeacons, hierarchs, class-leaders, incumbents, capitulars, sheiks, talapoins, postulants, scribes, gooroos, precentors, beadles, fakeers, sextons, reverences, revivalists, cenobites, perpetual curates, chaplains, mudjoes, readers, novices, vicars, pastors, rabbis, ulemas, lamas, sacristans, vergers, dervises, lectors, church wardens, cardinals, prioresses, suffragans, acolytes, rectors, cures, sophis, mutifs and pumpums. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

This space left unused for anything.

This space used for gold.

This space folded over into a ring.

This space remained untold.

No, I have not a single clue where the hell that came from, nor will you ever catch me asking, myself, or anyone else. In fact, I am going to state here and now, I didn’t say that, and you can’t prove I did.

I actually did leave this space blank, but, that was because I sort of intended to write a fresh rant this morning; I’ve got plenty of angst built up, trust me, what with crossing blades with large soulless corporate entities, butting heads with power-hungry local yokels, and dealing with my own personal inner demons as a result, well… trust me., I have more than enough about which to rant. But I’m tired of it all, and want something a bit more light hearted…. Let’s see what happens if I do this…..

Soft, intimate notes of romantic violins fills the air, while cooling breezes lift curtains to swirl and wave against the cerulean sky, peeking brightly through the tall windows. Mellow voices murmur quietly, spilling through the balcony doors, standing open to allow the elegantly dressed crowd pass in and out, enjoying the night air. As a young couple strolled hand in hand through the open passageway, a sudden scream rang out, stilling the crowd, piercing through the music as a hot knife through butter. Silence fell over the room, until a loud voice rings out, “Don’t worry, folks. She saw one of the clowns….”

Hmm… No, I don’t think that’s going to do it…. How about we go for an old-school pearl? I think, maybe, it’s the only chance we have left…. Since this is the ranting section, let’s see if SB can find us some nice, funny pokes to take at some of our favorite targets, shall we? (That is a rhetorical question, as, obviously, it’s now our ONLY chance…)…. Come on, we’d best get to it…. Oooh, here’s a good one to start….

We can’t really be wrong if we’re just following Gods orders
You know,
He wrote this book here
And in this book
He says that He made us to be just like Him
So if we’re dumb, then God’s dumb
(and perhaps a little ugly on the side)

~~ Frank Zappa ~~

Not too shabby for a beginner…. let’s see if we can finish this off with some style, or, maybe even some humor….

“I have no problem with God. It’s his fan clubs I hate.” — Smart Bee

“Yow! And then we could sit on the hoods of cars at stop lights!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Now playing: “Man of La Muncha”” — Hannibal Lecter Dinner Theatre

“It is only the superficial qualities that last. Man’s deeper nature is soon found out.” — Oscar Wilde

(Oops. Sorry, Oscar slipped that one by me…. It’s not too far out there, so, it stays…)

“Rush Limbaugh: The Pillsbury Doughboy on acid.” — Smart Bee

“Ooops.” — Captain of Titanic

“If God is so great, how come everything he makes dies?” — George Carlin

Well. That was…. something. Not exactly your average mind numbing, brain-blowing experience, was it? Oh well. I guess we should go do something else now…. Oh. I see the problem now. How could I have forgotten THIS?

“When a person cannot deceive himself the chances are against his being able to deceive other people.” — Mark Twain

Duh….

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Comedy_Tragedy

“Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get,
they’re things which get you.
And all you can do is go where they can find you.”

~~ Winnie-the-Pooh, ~~

~~ Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ~~

Is It Alive?

Fighting into the light, words push hard to exist
each step closer to real brings another unique twist.
Shedding meaning for meaning, until bright, alone, and right
sculpting useless shapes, yet undefined, in pale morning’s light.

Never knowing the face is part of the lasting charm
bringing elegant focus, before sounding the alarm.
Advantageous time sends out messages, fears finding voice,
mulling options for flexibility, virtually without choice.

Fortunate man, who embraces the power of change;
’tis magical knowledge, bonding common to strange.
Weaving words of wonder, made strong by love and duty,
into a tapestry of life, and everlasting beauty.

~~ gigoid ~~

1/10/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

It sucks, AND, it blows….

*******

“I can handle reality in small doses,
but as a lifestyle it’s much too confining.”

~~ Lily Tomlin ~~

*******

“It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

~~ ee cummings `~~

*******

“As for courage and will –
we cannot measure how much of each lies within us,
we can only trust there will be sufficient
to carry through trials which may lie ahead.”

~~ Andre Norton ~~

*******

“Entropy has us outnumbered.”

~~ Solomon Short ~~

*******

“Really, Crito, why should we care so much
about what ‘most people’ believe?”

~~ The character Socrates, in Plato’s “Crito”, 44d ~~

*******

“Remember: Silly is a state of Mind,
Stupid is a way of Life.”

~~ Dave Butler ~~

*******

“Pardon me, but do you know what it means
to be TRULY ONE with your BOOTH!”

~~ Zippy the Pinhead ~~

*******

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Color me amazed. It’s done, and, not too shabbily, either, if I do say so meself. Before I do something dumb, like try to be witty, we’ll bring this to a somewhat dilatory end. I can’t say it’s the worst ever, but, it certainly isn’t the best. Y’all can decide for yourselves just what you think about it, and, share if you must. Me, I’m gonna go back to bed; it’s supposed to be really hot today, & I’ll need my energy to keep fanning the cat…. Hah! See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; consider that all the warning you’ll get….

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….

Barkeep! Twisty bread for everybody!….

Ffolkes,

“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.”

~~ Philip K. Dick ~~

Zen Leelu

The Art of Zen Sleeping


Hajime…. In my opinion, the above definition of Reality is the best ever uttered, by anyone, anytime. But, then, Philip K. Dick spent much of his life in an epic battle with Reality, as his own mind tended to go into some strange landscapes, not all of which seemed under his complete control. His work, some fifty-plus novels, run the gamut from terrible to insanely brilliant, and all are good stories. If you stop to think hard about his words, you will see for yourself how accurately he nailed the concept.

Now, dammit, I’m stuck. The first paragraph is too deeply philosophical, if short, to continue pursuing in the intro. Hell, I probably already lost half the first group of Gentle Readers, even if I realized what was up, and faded at the end. I hate to go back & start over; it’s not THAT bad. Oh, wait…. I know. I’ll do this. Watch.

Cool, eh? What? Well, damn; it didn’t work. Oh, well, it was worth a shot, and, no, I’m not going to tell you what it was, because it wasn’t. Much as we like to tease Reality around here, we don’t fuck with the bottom line like that. We will, however, go off on some other tangent, since that one never took place. I hate when THAT happens, too… Don’t you? Oh. Never mind.

Where am I? I won’t say, where was I, because, as you have already observed, I haven’t been anywhere but right here, messing about inside my own head (and getting pretty lost, too….). Fortunately, we’re not on a deadline, not with a Tardis in the garage. But, I suppose we should probably get on with the slow, before it falls apart before we even start. (It may already be too late; that happens….) Why don’t we all grab our beverages, take our seats, and I’ll have Guido (Luigi’s alternate) take us out to the oyster beds…. You might enjoy this; Guido’s a real professional…. It says so right on his resumé….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Diligence increaseth the fruit of toil. A dilatory man wrestles with losses.” — Hesiod (c. 700 BC) — Works and Days, Line 412

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Morning muse

    I found today’s musical selection while searching out the selections from the two days prior this one. I’m also taking a risk, as I have yet to listen to this; it will be as new to me as to you. I do remember when Jerry was playing with ‘and Friends’, and, with Doug and Leon sitting in, I believe it shows good promise as something special. Enjoy!….

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Doug Sahm, Leon Russell, Jerry Garcia and Friends – Thanksgiving Jam – 11/23/72

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Aristotle_Bust_White_Background_Transparent

“I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

Boy howdy, I sure wish it wasn’t almost 1 AM, and, I was at least minimally coherent. Hell, I’d take semi-conscious, at this point. If I were any of those, I might be able to put together a pretty decent rant, given the most excellent starting point offered up by Mr. Russell, using is as a springboard to take some rather nasty shots at the Asininnies. However, all of the above is true, or, all of it is not true; in either case, I’m not very coherent, if that hasn’t been made obvious to this point.

In these situations, y’all know what to expect, I’d guess. Yep. Another rant from the archives, this time from a little over two years ago, when Pearls were constructed differently than now…. What is below was one of three sections, the one which eventually evolved into the ranting section you see today…. Well, when you do see it. For today, this will have to do. I’ll let y’all know when, or, if, I ever get to sleep again…. Enjoy!….

From 3/11/2013:

“The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinesses, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. One of their children, Cain, asked “Am I my brother’s son?” God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac on Mount Montezuma. Jacob, son of Issac, stole his brother’s birthmark. Jacob was a partiarch who brought up his twelve sons to be partiarchs, but they did not take to it. One of Jacob’s sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites.” — Richard Lederer, The world According to Student Bloopers

I would say, given what I know about people in general, this litany of errors on the part of students represents one of mankind’s best efforts at getting to the core of the issues in their religious philosophies…. NOT….. As is obvious, that was merely my attempt at a poor joke, an unnecessary one, as it turns out, as people tend to be a lot funnier, in reality, than I can ever make them in my imagination…. You see, this short paragraph, to me, makes as much sense as the story that the churches themselves are trying to get me to believe…. In some ways, it makes MORE sense than the official version, especially the last line…. But, I digress….

” It makes no difference who you vote for–the two parties are really one party representing 4 percent of the people.” — Gore Vidal

How’s that for a 180 degree turn? From religion bashing to the irony of political truth, in one swell foop…. Since that same four percent of people represented by the politicians includes the folks who engage in religion at the top levels (NOT the constituency; the politicians regard them as both tucker, and fodder….), I figure that it might be fun to lump them all together for a change…. I usually try to keep them separate while taking my shots, but, they do tend to work together, so I thought it wouldn’t be inappropriate to have them share some of the wealth I’m spreading around….

“If God were female, do you REALLY think men would exist?” — Smart Bee

Well, actually, I do, because, well, logically, she’d HAVE to? What point would there be in being female, without a male to torment? Of course, many, if not all, of the other issues we have today to occupy our time would not have ever become issues, as a female god wouldn’t have allowed that kind of shit in her house….. To me, this only goes to show that God, should such an entity exist, is probably neither male, nor female; just as likely, it is both at once, as the rest of the universe tends to be arranged in a duality of natural form and function, and it only makes sense that the creating entity would reflect that duality….

“If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.” — B.B. Franklin

Now, here is a piece of insight into human nature that most will admit is all too true for comfort. It is an old piece of knowledge, and well known to both the proponents of the God-theory, and by the Beloved Ruling Class, those lovingly solicitous self-appointed leaders of society…. Both groups are well versed in the use of lying to suit their own purposes, and know full well that the average person, upon hearing something told to them by either a member of the clergy, or a talking head on TV, one wearing a suit, and standing in front of a flag, will blindly accept what they are told, without ever examining it for veracity, or even asking themselves why they are being told at all…. They just say, “Duh, okay boss,” and go about what they believe to be their own life, ignorant of how little of it is actually under their own control….

“For me, all I can do is spit in the eye of my fears by living each day with as much passion and commitment as possible to what truly counts, such as love and justice. To give the into the fear and hopelessness would be to declare defeat, something I am not ready to do while there is still the will to struggle. — Lawrence Paradis

Here is the answer, the one that, sadly, 95% of humanity will never even hear; if they did hear it, they probably wouldn’t recognize it as their salvation, anyway. I know, that’s a bit harsh in judgment of my fellow man, but, in my thus far relatively long life, I’ve yet to see very many of them who have the wit to wipe their own drool, much less understand how they are responsible for their own misery and pain, by allowing unscrupulous con men to control them at every turn.

But, as the pearl says, I’m not ready to quit seeking love and justice, by trying to get folks, and ffolkes, to see how the people they believe are ethical,  have been lying and cheating and controlling them their whole life, and not for the benefit of anyone but themselves. So far, I’ve only managed to preach to the choir, but, eventually, my message will get passed around to a wider audience…. We’ll see then how the truth fares against the lies they spread so thickly…..

“It’s easier said than done. … and if you don’t believe it, try proving that it’s easier done than said, and you’ll see that it’s easier said that `it’s easier done than said’ than it is done, which really proves that it’s easier said than done.” — Smart Bee

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Comedy_Tragedy

    Sometimes, I really hate software…. I wrote a poem last night, but, apparently, when I closed the program in which I wrote it, it didn’t save it, and I had not already copied it into the Poetry folder…. So, it’s gone. I’m so pissed; it wasn’t bad, I thought. For now, this one will have to do….

Blithely Untitled

A poem came to me today, willy, nilly,
along with a sharp blow to the head.
Since it left me feeling just a bit silly,
anything that rhymes should lessen the dread.

Manifesting destiny into a small, insidious group
we push on toward sanity, concentrating hard.
Full engaging moments spent navigating the loop
shall ever make a difference to victims found in the yard.

Still corpses of creatures, straight out of nightmare
fill up the corners of our tortured minds.
While ever saddened, the iconic male, most debonair,
gazes softly, ironically, at all the mutual interest he finds.

Moronic public statutes compel outbreaks of sanity,
responding to momentary impulses toward inducing peace.
Still, the motions get completed, in fertile stages of inanity
while the bulk of our inmates can find no surcease.

Reluctant motivation to continue is unbound,
striving to ascertain how far there yet remains to go.
No precognitive guesswork will make any less of a sound
to soften the final strains, or teach us to truly know.


~~ gigoid ~~

Written 2/7/2014

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Yin-Yang-symbol-sun-and-moon

    This is an odd little pearl, the introduction to which was also lost to the aforementioned software failure. S’okay, this one doesn’t require a lot of introduction, anyway. It’ll speak for itself, so to speak….. Enjoy!….

Birth is pain,
Death is pain,
Beauty is pain.

~~ The Final Conflict ~~


“Tell the truth, and so puzzle and confound your adversaries.” — Sir Henry Wotton

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

“Clay is moulded to make a vessel, but the utility of the vessel lies in the space where there is nothing….Thus, taking advantage of what is, we recognize the utility of what is not.” — Lao Tze

“The truth is, laughter always sounds more perfect than weeping. Laughter flows in a violent riff and is effortlessly melodic. Weeping is often fought, choked, half strangled, or surrendered to with humiliation.” — Anne Rice, Taltos

“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell

“How did the great rivers and seas gain dominion over the hundred lesser streams?  By being lower than they.” — Lao Tzu

“To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand head-bowings in prayer.” — Saddi

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.

~~ William Blake ~~


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There are days this process is much more work than others; today, that was certainly so. But, it’s done, so, we’ll take it and run. I’ll see y’all tomorrow, sleep, or no sleep. If it’s anything like the last five days, that’s a negatory, big buddy…. That’s negatory on the the sleep; I’ll be back, regardless….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Fighting dogma is EVERYBODY’S responsibility…. Only YOU can fight the forest fires of ignorance, with the cool water of Reason!….

Ffolkes,

Hidden from sight by a looming, ominous hedge, mellifluous sounds of Mozart, played expertly on a well-tuned piano, escaped into the quickening night air, tossed away in the gentle breeze blowing from the woods beyond the hedge. Soft sounds of talk and laughter joined the music, filling in the picture of genteel life in the country.

As the silent man, dressed all in black, turned around the hedge, the party came into view; women in floating, soft-colored dresses and large floppy hats, men in leisure suits, with pale pink shirts, and the occasional short sleeve. White jacketed servers, unobtrusive, wound their way  between the formally clad attendees, offering hors d’oeuvre, or champagne in elegant flutes….

The sound of the Uzi’s safety release, followed instantly by the unmistakeable sound of the weapon being cocked, cut sharply across the conversation and music, stunning all into silence, until the man’s voice rang out, clear as a bell, ” Okay, everyone, strip!”…..

Damn! I am SO GLAD that is over! I started to write it, and it started to change on me, turning into the most boring piece of crap I’ve ever had the temerity to put on paper (metaphorically, of course….) I suppose it’s alright, from a technical standpoint…. that was the problem….. I wrote it, then went through it, cleaning it up, polishing it, making it flow….. until I realized what a pile of shit it really was….

By then, of course, my anal-obsessive nature had hold of me, and I had to finish it…. But, it’s over now, and I can go on to something perhaps less classy, but way more comfortable…. What a cock-up! And I hope I’m getting the meaning right there…. it SOUNDS right for the occasion, but, if any of my British or Euro friends have any idea of correct usage, I’d appreciate a head’s-up on that…. Thanks in advance for that….

This is, so far, a unique Pearl…. in one way only, so far, but, it remains to be seen as to whether that changes, or not. It’s unique because of the time it’s being created, which is well past any stretch of normalcy for me; it’s after 8 AM, almost 8:30, and I slept until 0749, meaning I got another nine hours of sleep last night, again….. This is such a new event, I’m not even going to try to analyze it at all, I’m just going with the flow, even if it is a very strange flow thus far…. I have lots of energy, in a relative sense, but, still little to do with it other than put it into this…. a good thing, for the most part, but, a bit limiting in other ways. I like to be active, and this getting old, in the sense of it limiting my ability to get around easily, is keeping me down more often than I’d like. I’m dithering aren’t I?

I can feel it…. I’m starting to dither, flipping from one subject to another, in my head, so fast that I can’t keep up, and neither can reality…. It gets a little confusing at times, but, sometimes, some of my best stuff gets done when this happens…. It’s a matter of balancing the creative flow of ideas that are thundering down, like a waterfall over the edge of my mind, with some intense, yet subtle, mind-control techniques, hidden, but effective,  that allow me to surf along the edge of the water, letting it take me wherever it wishes to go…. Since I’ve blathered again for long enough to suit the authorities who give a shit about that sort of thing, we can get on with today’s dive, late as it may be in getting started…..

Shall we Pearl?…..

“Love is a place
& through this place of
love move
(with brightness of peace)
all places

yes is a world
& in this world of yes live
(skillfully curled)
all worlds”

— e.e. cummings
_____________________________

“Late, I’m late, for a very important date…” — The White Rabbit

This could very well become the iconic statement for today’s post, were we at all interested in appointing one…. Since we are not, I’ll just explain that starting this now has given me the heebie jeebies, and it could affect what comes after…. just so’s you know, okay?…. I’m going to go right into another pearl now, as I think it would be in all of our best interests to keep moving, and hope we can get out of here without any serious injury…. This way, ffolkes, and for heaven’s sake, stay together!…. Whatever you do, stay on the path!….

“Vivid words hook misquotes in the mind.” — Keyes’ Rules of Misquotation, Axiom 1, Corollary 1A

Lord of himself, though not of lands;
And having nothing, yet hath all.

— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“Time and trouble will contain an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force.” — Dorothy Sayers

“Gentleman: A man who knows how to play bagpipes — and refrains.” — Fred Tart

“Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age.” — Albert Einstein

“Good people are good because they’ve come to wisdom through failure. We get very little wisdom from success, you know.” — William Saroyan

“How we deal with death is at least as important as how we deal with life wouldn’t you say?” — James T. Kirk, “The Wrath of Khan,”  stardate 8130.3.

Sorry about using J.T. in the ending…. if you wish, attribute the line to the screenwriter who wrote it for the movie, which, as we all know, is a cult classic for the competition between Kirk and Khan to see which could sustain the stiffest acting pose throughout the movie…. “Khan! Khan!….” It’s really kind of cool, with both of them vying to be the more convincing Macbeth, while playing characters in a science fiction space opera….

The line, nonetheless, is the perfect ending to what turned into a fairly decent pearl…. What, you weren’t paying attention? Ah…. Well, your loss…. though there is no charge for going back to read them again, should you so choose… Just don’t let the one by Ms. Sayers throw you off…. it fits, if you’re flexible enough…. If not, well, just try to keep up, we’re running late, as might be expected today….
_____________________________

Yep….. ’tis, indeed….

Shoes

when you’re young
a pair of
female
high-heeled shoes
just sitting
alone
in the closet
can fire your
bones;
when you’re old
it’s just
a pair of shoes
without
anybody
in them
and
just as
well.

~~ Charles Bukowski ~~

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I don’t care what the contract says, it’s my blog, and I can change things around if I want….. Anyone who doesn’t like that, well, they can walk back to the main office, and welcome… I’m going old-school again for this section, for two reasons…. One, I want to….. any questions, or problems with that? Good…. Second, it will end the agony sooner….

Whoa, wait a minute, no need to knock me over in your enthusiasm…. I get the picture now…. the sooner, the better, eh? Well, if that’s the way you feel about it, I guess I have no alternative but to carry on with what consensual reality demands, which is a speedy end to this, yes?….. Besides, I don’t feel up to ranting, and the BRC has been suspiciously quiet in the last few days…. I guess the cold weather is slowing everyone down right now…. but, not Smart Bee, thankfully…..

“Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.” — Robert A. Heinlein

On a huge hill,
Cragged & steep, Truth stands,
and hee that will Reach her,
about must, and about must goe;
And what the hill’s suddenness resists, winne so.

— John Donne

“We judge individual man and women as we do nations and races–by the character of their achievement and by their achievement of character.” — Edward Abbey

Too long a sacrifice
Can make a stone of the heart.

— William Butler Yeats

“It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Just how normal are we? Just who are the people we nod our hellos to as we pass on the street?  A rather good question to ask–particularly in the Twilight Zone.” — Rod Serling

“Always store beer in a dark place.” — Lazarus Long

“The way to keep you from becoming foolish is to never think you are clever.” — Smart Bee

Well, I tried, and that’s the important thing, isn’t it? I keep hoping so…. Besides, no animals were hurt, or used for testing without their permission, during the filming of this commercial…. unless, of course, Eddie’s been losing at the track again…. but, that hasn’t happened for a long time, and he’s on vacation, anyway….
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It’s probably best if, at this point, I DON’T make any moral or ethical judgments; I’ll just read it, and weep….. I think I’m going to pass on the weeping, because, it ain’t too bad…. It’s good enough to suit MY standards, for sure and for certain, so, we all know what that means…. Which also means, bye bye, then…. until 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

dozer3

Illusion, adeptly applied, as an ointment….

Ffolkes,
Pillows, soft with feathers light, pound the walls and floors in flabby anger, until only the linens in the hall remain unsullied. Vast differences plagued the malodorous jack o’knapes, forgotten in all the noise. But the platoon of badgers gave a good golly, in honor of their fallen comrades, and the absentee butler stocked his pantry with everything from Forsythe and Spritz, not Dumbry. It was a real stand-up, as far as it went….. and the critics were struck speechless for once, missing deadlines, on the phone to their liaison with the Pope, losing bonus minutes by the truckload….. but, then, it’s only April.

Thank you, very much… it is an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the Academy….. oh, wait, that’s for a different speech…. sorry, forgot where I was, thanks to the disorienting paragraph that started this menagerie today….. That stuff builds up, like plaque on the teeth, and if I don’t get it out of my head, it can cause all sorts of trouble, especially if I try to talk to anyone else…. I get some funny expressions, you betcha….. It almost makes it worthwhile getting up….. 🙂

I’m feeling giddy today, in full-on waiting mode…. I’ve done all I can do, and all you can do is all you can do…. yabba dabba do.  See, it even rhymes! To say that I am hopeful of a positive outcome is to say the very least; I am TOO hopeful. It’s enough to make me look around furtively to see if Murphy is hanging about….. though I don’t know which would make me more nervous…. having him standing here looking at me with that fatuous smirk, or not seeing him at all, and knowing he is just waiting for the proper moment to deliver his coup de grace….. rather a poor choice, eh what? Sort of like the choice between two sisters…. whichever you choose is going to hurt, no matter how hard one tries to be fair… and in Murphy’s case, he doesn’t care a whit about being fair…. as long as he causes the maximum of hassle for his victims, he’s happy….

Rather than tempt him too much, by mentioning his name more than twice, I believe we should get on with the day’s business…. yes, I think that would be wise….. Shall we Pearl?…..

“Someone asked someone who was about my age: “How are you?” The answer was, “Fine. If you don’t ask for details.” — Katharine Hepburn
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“My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.” — Clarence Buddinton Kelland

I am a fortunate son, and have known so for many years; it is a source of quiet joy to me that I was given, and took, the opportunity to let my father know how I felt about him, and how much I appreciated what he had given me, before he died. The year he died, 1984, is still sort of hard for me to think of, and there are still moments, even now, at 61, when I wish I could ask him his advice. But, then I realize he already gave it to me, and I know what to do…. In fact, most of my life, if I was confronted with a question of what was right to do, I would imagine that he was standing behind me, watching me, as I did him as a boy…. that usually helped me to remember what the right thing was, and made clear the choice to the honorable path….

My dad’s own father died when he was 14, whereupon he left school, and went to work to support his mother and two younger brothers. He never would talk much about those years of his life, saying only that he did what he needed to do to survive, and ensure the same for his family. To give you an idea of how difficult it must have been, the 1929 Crash, and subsequent Great Depression, took place when he was 17, and had been the family’s source of support for three years already when it happened….. He got everyone through it well enough that he and his brothers were all able to marry, with my father meeting and marrying my mother in 1939….. and my grandmother was still alive to celebrate the event…..

“The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

“Excellence is its own reward.” — Axiom # 4, Peruaosophy, c. 1990 ~~ by gigoid (1950-????)

As a result of what I learned from my father, I have always known the rightness, and the real joy of acting honorably. He also taught me that doing one’s best, at whatever one turned their mind, and hands, to, was, in both the short and the long run, the most effective, and ultimately the most satisfying  method of approaching life. Paying attention to detail, observing alertly, reading with attention, thinking about what is learned, applying what is learned in practice, all were brought home to me as important elements needed to be successful at anything. When used conscientiously, these become habitual, and excellence becomes not just a desirable outcome, but one that is completely achievable on a regular basis. And, having done it well, it does indeed become a reward unto itself….

“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me.  That means nothing.  People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” — Albert Einstein

My dad died, as I said, in 1984, and I still miss him (as I do my mother, too, who passed on last year; apples and oranges, and another post, for another time….). But, as I said, I saw him just before he passed on. I brought my 3 year old son, and almost one year old daughter, with me to see him in the hospital, after he had decided not to go to any lengths to stop the spread of the disease, to save the expenses, which would then be available for my mother when he was gone…. it was just the way he was…. He got to play with the kids, and had the biggest goofy smile on his face, as my daughter Kelly pushed and pulled on his nose, babbling at him in toddlerese….. I asked him to leave me some trail sign wherever he went in the next dimension, and he said he would do so, so I am content. I know he will always be there, behind me, watching me, as I do my best to make sure I live up to his standards, and his memory….. and am therefore providing the same example for my children…..

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

“When someone loves you for a long time, really loves you, then you become Real. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, but this doesn’t matter . . . when you are Real you can’t be ugly.” — The Velveteen Rabbit
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I’ve been waiting to fill this space, hoping a poem was percolating on one of my back burners…. alas, nothing has surfaced, so you’ll just have to settle for one of the classics…. hmm, let’s see….. whom should we choose today?…… How about….. Keats? It’s been awhile, and he IS one of the best…. I’ll see what I can do about finding one I’ve heard quoted often, The Eve of St. Agnes…..

Hmm…. well, so be it…. having found it, it turns out to be about three days long…. well, almost. It’s a long one…. but, you know what? I don’t care…. it’s beautiful, and I loved every line of it. So, you’ll have to just put up with the entire poem, epic read though it be….. I’m not afraid, are you?….. Don’t feel bad if it takes more than one sitting… it is indeed, a long one…

The Eve Of St. Agnes

ST Agnes’ Eve—Ah, bitter chill it was!
The owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold;
The hare limp’d trembling through the frozen grass,
And silent was the flock in woolly fold:
Numb were the Beadsman’s fingers, while he told
His rosary, and while his frosted breath,
Like pious incense from a censer old,
Seem’d taking flight for heaven, without a death,
Past the sweet Virgin’s picture, while his prayer he saith.

His prayer he saith, this patient, holy man;
Then takes his lamp, and riseth from his knees,
And back returneth, meagre, barefoot, wan,
Along the chapel aisle by slow degrees:
The sculptur’d dead, on each side, seem to freeze,
Emprison’d in black, purgatorial rails:
Knights, ladies, praying in dumb orat’ries,
He passeth by; and his weak spirit fails
To think how they may ache in icy hoods and mails.

Northward he turneth through a little door,
And scarce three steps, ere Music’s golden tongue
Flatter’d to tears this aged man and poor;
But no—already had his deathbell rung
The joys of all his life were said and sung:
His was harsh penance on St. Agnes’ Eve:
Another way he went, and soon among
Rough ashes sat he for his soul’s reprieve,
And all night kept awake, for sinners’ sake to grieve.

That ancient Beadsman heard the prelude soft;
And so it chanc’d, for many a door was wide,
From hurry to and fro. Soon, up aloft,
The silver, snarling trumpets ‘gan to chide:
The level chambers, ready with their pride,
Were glowing to receive a thousand guests:
The carved angels, ever eager-eyed,
Star’d, where upon their heads the cornice rests,
With hair blown back, and wings put cross-wise on their breasts.

At length burst in the argent revelry,
With plume, tiara, and all rich array,
Numerous as shadows haunting fairily
The brain, new-stuff’d, in youth, with triumphs gay
Of old romance. These let us wish away,
And turn, sole-thoughted, to one lady there,
Whose heart had brooded, all that wintry day,
On love, and wing’d St Agnes’ saintly care,
As she had heard old dames full rnany times declare.

They told her how, upon St Agnes’ Eve,
Young virgins might have visions of delight,
And soft adorings from their loves receive
Upon the honey’d middle of the night,
If ceremonies due they did aright;
As, supperless to bed they must retire,
And couch supine their beauties, lily white;
Nor look behind, nor sideways, but require
Of Heaven with upward eyes for all that they desire.

Full of this whim was thoughtful Madeline:
The music, yearning like a God in pain,
She scarcely heard: her maiden eyes divine,
Fix’d on the floor, saw many a sweeping train
Pass by—she heeded not at all: in vain
Came many a tiptoe, amorous cavalier,
And back retir’d; not cool’d by high disdain,
But she saw not: her heart was otherwhere;
She sigh’d for Agnes’ dreams, the sweetest of the year.

She danc’d along with vague, regardless eyes,
Anxious her lips, her breathing quick and short:
The hallow’d hour was near at hand: she sighs
Amid the timbrels, and the throng’d resort
Of whisperers in anger, or in sport;
‘Mid looks of love, defiance, hate, and scorn,
Hoodwink’d with faery fancy; all amort,
Save to St Agnes and her lambs unshorn,
And all the bliss to be before to-morrow morn.

So, purposing each moment to retire,
She linger’d still. Meantime, across the moors,
Had come young Porphyro, with heart on fire
For Madeline. Beside the portal doors,
Buttress’d from moonlight, stands he, and implores
All saints to give him sight of Madeline,
But for one moment in the tedious hours,
That he might gaze and worship all unseen;
Perchance speak, kneel, touch, kiss—in sooth such things have been.

He ventures in: let no buzz’d whisper tell:
All eyes be muffled, or a hundred swords
Will storm his heart, Love’s fev’rous citadel:
For him, those chambers held barbarian hordes,
Hyena foemen, and hot-blooded lords,
Whose very dogs would execrations howl
Against his lineage: not one breast affords
Him any mercy, in that mansion foul,
Save one old beldame, weak in body and in soul.

Ah, happy chance! the aged creature came,
Shuffling along with ivory-headed wand,
To where he stood, hid from the torch’s flame,
Behind a broad hall-pillar, far beyond
The sound of merriment and chorus bland.
He startled her; but soon she knew his face,
And grasp’d his fingers in her palsied hand,
Saying, “Mercy, Porphyro! hie thee from this place;
“They are all here to-night, the whole blood-thirsty race!

“Get hence! get hence! there’s dwarfish Hildebrand;
He had a fever late, and in the fit
He cursed thee and thine, both house and land:
Then there’s that old Lord Maurice, not a whit
More tame for his gray hairs—Alas me! flit!
Flit like a ghost away.”—“Ah, gossip dear,
We’re safe enough; here in this arm-chair sit,
And tell me how”—“Good saints! not here, not here;
Follow me, child, or else these stones will be thy bier.”

He follow’d through a lowly arched way,
Brushing the cobwebs with his lofty plume,
And as she mutter’d “Well-a—well-a-day!”
He found him in a little moonlight room,
Pale, lattic’d, chill, and silent as a tomb.
“Now tell me where is Madeline”, said he,
“O tell me, Angela, by the holy loom
Which none but secret sisterhood may see,
“When they St Agnes’ wool are weaving piously.”

“St Agnes! Ah! it is St Agnes’ Eve—
Yet men will murder upon holy days:
Thou must hold water in a witch’s sieve,
And be liege-lord of all the Elves and Fays
To venture so: it fills me with amaze
To see thee, Porphyro!—St Agnes’ Eve!
God’s help! my lady fair the conjuror plays
This very night: good angels her deceive!
But let me laugh awhile, I’ve mickle time to grieve.”

Feebly she laugheth in the languid moon,
While Porphyro upon her face doth look,
Like puzzled urchin on an aged crone
Who keepeth clos’d a wondrous riddle-book,
As spectacled she sits in chimney nook.
But soon his eyes grew brilliant, when she told
His lady’s purpose; and he scarce could brook
Tears, at the thought of those enchantments cold
And Madeline asleep in lap of legends old.

Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose,
Flushing his brow, and in his pained heart
Made purple riot: then doth he propose
A stratagem, that makes the beldame start:
“A cruel man and impious thou art:
Sweet lady, let her pray, and sleep, and dream
Alone with her good angels, far apart
From wicked men like thee. Go, go!—I deem
Thou canst not surely be the same that thou didst seem.”

“I will not harm her, by all saints I swear,”
Quoth Porphyro: “O may I ne’er find grace
When my weak voice shall whisper its last prayer,
If one of her soft ringlets I displace,
Or look with ruffian passion in her face:
Good Angela, believe me by these tears;
Or I will, even in a moment’s space,
Awake, with horrid shout, my foemen’s ears,
And beard them, though they be more fang’d than wolves and bears.”

“Ah! why wilt thou affright a feeble soul?
A poor, weak, palsy-stricken, churchyard thing,
Whose passing-bell may ere the midnight toll;
Whose prayers for thee, each morn and evening,
Were never miss’d.” Thus plaining, doth she bring
A gentler speech from burning Porphyro;
So woeful, and of such deep sorrowing,
That Angela gives promise she will do
Whatever he shall wish, betide her weal or woe.

Which was, to lead him, in close secrecy,
Even to Madeline’s chamber, and there hide
Him in a closet, of such privacy
That he might see her beauty unespied,
And win perhaps that night a peerless bride,
While legion’d fairies pac’d the coverlet,
And pale enchantment held her sleepy-eyed.
Never on such a night have lovers met,
Since Merlin paid his Demon all the monstrous debt.

“It shall be as thou wishest,” said the Dame:
“All cates and dainties shall be stored there
Quickly on this feast-night: by the tambour frame
Her own lute thou wilt see: no time to spare,
For I am slow and feeble, and scarce dare
On such a catering trust my dizzy head.
Wait here, my child, with patience; kneel in prayer
The while: Ah! thou must needs the lady wed,
Or may I never leave my grave among the dead.”

So saying, she hobbled off with busy fear.
The lover’s endless minutes slowly pass’d;
The Dame return’d, and whisper’d in his ear
To follow her; with aged eyes aghast
From fright of dim espial. Safe at last
Through many a dusky gallery, they gain
The maiden’s chamber, silken, hush’d and chaste;
Where Porphyro took covert, pleas’d amain.
His poor guide hurried back with agues in her brain.

Her falt’ring hand upon the balustrade,
Old Angela was feeling for the stair,
When Madeline, St Agnes’ charmed maid,
Rose, like a mission’d spirit, unaware:
With silver taper’s light, and pious care,
She turn’d, and down the aged gossip led
To a safe level matting. Now prepare,
Young Porphyro, for gazing on that bed;
She comes, she comes again, like dove fray’d and fled.

Out went the taper as she hurried in;
Its little smoke, in pallid moonshine, died:
She closed the door, she panted, all akin
To spirits of the air, and visions wide:
No utter’d syllable, or, woe betide!
But to her heart, her heart was voluble,
Paining with eloquence her balmy side;
As though a tongueless nightingale should swell
Her throat in vain, and die, heart-stifled, in her dell.

A casement high and triple-arch’d there was,
All garlanded with carven imag’ries
Of fruits, and flowers, and bunches of knot-grass,
And diamonded with panes of quaint device,
Innumerable of stains and splendid dyes,
As are the tiger-moth’s deep-damask’d wings;
And in the midst, ‘mong thousand heraldries,
And twilight saints, and dim emblazonings,
A shielded scutcheon blush’d with blood of queens and kings.

Full on this casement shone the wintry moon,
And threw warm gules on Madeline’s fair breast,
As down she knelt for heaven’s grace and boon;
Rose-bloom fell on her hands, together prest,
And on her silver cross soft amethyst,
And on her hair a glory, like a saint:
She seem’d a splendid angel, newly drest,
Save wings, for heaven:—Porphyro grew faint:
She knelt, so pure a thing, so free from mortal taint.

Anon his heart revives: her vespers done,
Of all its wreathed pearls her hair she frees;
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one;
Loosens her fragrant bodice; by degrees
Her rich attire creeps rustling to her knees:
Half-hidden, like a mermaid in sea-weed,
Pensive awhile she dreams awake, and sees,
In fancy, fair St Agnes in her bed,
But dares not look behind, or all the charm is fled.

Soon, trembling in her soft and chilly nest,
In sort of wakeful swoon, perplex’d she lay,
Until the poppied warmth of sleep oppress’d
Her soothed limbs, and soul fatigued away;
Flown, like a thought, until the morrow-day;
Blissfully haven’d both from joy and pain;
Clasp’d like a missal where swart Paynims pray;
Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Stol’n to this paradise, and so entranced,
Porphyro gazed upon her empty dress,
And listen’d to her breathing, if it chanced
To wake into a slumbrous tenderness;
Which when he heard, that minute did he bless,
And breath’d himself: then from the closet crept,
Noiseless as fear in a wide wilderness,
And over the hush’d carpet, silent, stept,
And ‘tween the curtains peep’d, where, lo!—how fast she slept!

Then by the bed-side, where the faded moon
Made a dim, silver twilight, soft he set
A table, and, half anguish’d, threw thereon
A doth of woven crimson, gold, and jet:—
O for some drowsy Morphean amulet!
The boisterous, midnight, festive clarion,
The kettle-drum, and far-heard clarinet,
Affray his ears, though but in dying tone:—
The hall door shuts again, and all the noise is gone.

And still she slept an azure-lidded sleep,
In blanched linen, smooth, and lavender’d,
While he from forth the closet brought a heap
Of candied apple, quince, and plum, and gourd
With jellies soother than the creamy curd,
And lucent syrops, tinct with cinnamon;
Manna and dates, in argosy transferr’d
From Fez; and spiced dainties, every one,
From silken Samarcand to cedar’d Lebanon.

These delicates he heap’d with glowing hand
On golden dishes and in baskets bright
Of wreathed silver: sumptuous they stand
In the retired quiet of the night,
Filling the chilly room with perfume light.—
“And now, my love, my seraph fair, awake!
Thou art my heaven, and I thine eremite:
Open thine eyes, for meek St Agnes’ sake,
Or I shall drowse beside thee, so my soul doth ache.”

Thus whispering, his warm, unnerved arm
Sank in her pillow. Shaded was her dream
By the dusk curtains:—’twas a midnight charm
Impossible to melt as iced stream:
The lustrous salvers in the moonlight gleam;
Broad golden fringe upon the carpet lies:
It seem’d he never, never could redeem
From such a stedfast spell his lady’s eyes;
So mus’d awhile, entoil’d in woofed phantasies.

Awakening up, he took her hollow lute,—
Tumultuous,—and, in chords that tenderest be,
He play’d an ancient ditty, long since mute,
In Provence call’d, “La belle dame sans mercy:”
Close to her ear touching the melody:—
Wherewith disturb’d, she utter’d a soft moan:
He ceased—she panted quick—and suddenly
Her blue affrayed eyes wide open shone:
Upon his knees he sank, pale as smooth-sculptured stone.

Her eyes were open, but she still beheld,
Now wide awake, the vision of her sleep:
There was a painful change, that nigh expell’d
The blisses of her dream so pure and deep,
At which fair Madeline began to weep,
And moan forth witless words with many a sigh;
While still her gaze on Porphyro would keep;
Who knelt, with joined hands and piteous eye,
Fearing to move or speak, she look’d so dreamingly.

“Ah, Porphyro!” said she, “but even now
Thy voice was at sweet tremble in mine ear,
Made tuneable with every sweetest vow;
And those sad eyes were spiritual and clear:
How chang’d thou art! how pallid, chill, and drear!
Give me that voice again, my Porphyro,
Those looks immortal, those complainings dear!
Oh leave me not in this eternal woe,
For if thou diest, my Love, I know not where to go.”

Beyond a mortal man impassion’d far
At these voluptuous accents, he arose,
Ethereal, flush’d, and like a throbbing star
Seen mid the sapphire heaven’s deep repose
Into her dream he melted, as the rose
Blendeth its odour with the violet,—
Solution sweet: meantime the frost-wind blows
Like Love’s alarum pattering the sharp sleet
Against the window-panes; St Agnes’ moon hath set.

Tis dark: quick pattereth the flaw-blown sleet:
“This is no dream, my bride, my Madeline!”
‘Tis dark: the iced gusts still rave and beat:
“No dream, alas! alas! and woe is mine!
Porphyro will leave me here to fade and pine.—
Cruel! what traitor could thee hither bring?
I curse not, for my heart is lost in thine
Though thou forsakest a deceived thing;—
A dove forlorn and lost with sick unpruned wing.”

“My Madeline! sweet dreamer! lovely bride!
Say, may I be for aye thy vassal blest?
Thy beauty’s shield, heart-shap’d and vermeil dyed?
Ah, silver shrine, here will I take my rest
After so many hours of toil and quest,
A famish’d pilgrim,—saved by miracle.
Though I have found, I will not rob thy nest
Saving of thy sweet self; if thou think’st well
To trust, fair Madeline, to no rude infidel.

“Hark! ’tis an elfin-storm from faery land,
Of haggard seeming, but a boon indeed:
Arise—arise! the morning is at hand;—
The bloated wassailers will never heed:—
Let us away, my love, with happy speed;
There are no ears to hear, or eyes to see,—
Drown’d all in Rhenish and the sleepy mead:
Awake! arise! my love, and fearless be,
For o’er the southern moors I have a home for thee.”

She hurried at his words, beset with fears,
For there were sleeping dragons all around,
At glaring watch, perhaps, with ready spears—
Down the wide stairs a darkling way they found.—
In all the house was heard no human sound.
A chain-droop’d lamp was flickering by each door;
The arras, rich with horseman, hawk, and hound,
Flutter’d in the besieging wind’s uproar;
And the long carpets rose along the gusty floor.

They glide, like phantoms, into the wide hall;
Like phantoms, to the iron porch, they glide;
Where lay the Porter, in uneasy sprawl,
With a huge empty flagon by his side:
The wakeful bloodhound rose, and shook his hide,
But his sagacious eye an inmate owns:
By one, and one, the bolts fill easy slide:—
The chains lie silent on the footworn stones,—
The key turns, and the door upon its hinges groans.

And they are gone: ay, ages long ago
These lovers fled away into the storm.
That night the Baron dreamt of many a woe,
And all his warrior-guests, with shade and form
Of witch, and demon, and large coffin-worm,
Were long be-nightmar’d. Angela the old
Died palsy-twitch’d, with meagre face deform;
The Beadsman, after thousand aves told,
For aye unsought for slept among his ashes cold.

John Keats

Well, there you have it, in all its glorious entirety….. good luck, and enjoy!…..
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This old-school pearl started off in one direction, then veered off into another…. and I don’t blame it a bit. I’m just as tired of all the political bullshit being flung around as the next guy, and the election can’t get here quick enough to suit me, that’s for sure. What with the amount of crap flying around, I feel like I’ve got to shower it off at least once or twice a day…… Any who, I was collecting the pearls for this, when I noticed that each one of them, from the first to the last, make a pointed statement that could easily be applied to this election, and most specifically, to the Republican party’s platform and candidates…. As far as I can see, they fail at every one of these, and this then becomes an indictment of their failings, all without intent, but with great accuracy….

“The majority never has the right on its side. Never, I say! That is one of the social lies that a free, thinking man is bound to rebel against. Who makes up the majority in any given country? Is it the wise men or the fools? I think we must agree that the fools are in a terrible overwhelming majority, all the wide world over.” — Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The honest poor can sometimes forget poverty. The honest rich can never forget it.” — G. K. Chesterton (gigoid sez: There being none of those, to wit: honest rich, in this election, we can pretty much take this as gospel, or at least accept it at face value……)

“It is the edge and temper of the blade that make a good sword, not the richness of the scabbard; and so it is not money or possessions that make man considerable, but his virtue.” — Seneca (B.C. 3-65 A.D.) (gigoid sez: This could NOT be clearer…. since Mitt the Twitt feels compelled to rattle his scabbard at every opportunity…..)

“I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie.  I can lie, but I won’t.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)   (gigoid sez: In modern times, the concept of a politician lying is not merely common, it is expected, and, sadly to say, empowered by the voting public, by their passive acceptance of same….)

“It is discouraging how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit.” — Noel Coward

“Intemperate speech is a distinctive characteristic of man. Hotheads blow off and release destructive energy in the process. They shout and rave, exaggerating weaknesses, magnifying error, viewing with alarm. So it has been from the beginning; and so it will be throughout time. The framers of the constitution knew human nature as well as we do. They too had lived in dangerous days; they too knew the suffocating influence of orthodoxy and standardized thought. They weighed the compulsions for the restrained speech and thought against the abuses of liberty. They chose liberty.” — Justice William O. Douglas

“When they took the fourth amendment, I was silent because I don’t deal drugs.  When they took the sixth amendment, I kept quiet because I know I’m innocent.  When they took the second amendment, I said nothing because I don’t own a gun.  Now they’ve come for the first amendment, and I can’t say anything at all.” — Tim Freeman

“It is not the oath that makes us believe the man, but the man the oath.” — Aeschylus (525-456 BC) — Frag. 385

Yep, it’s going to be a real dust-up this year, as the forces of evil have gathered all of their minions and myrmidons, ready to sally forth on election day and try to lie and cheat their way into office. The degree of illegal, ill-advised voter suppression efforts that the Republicans have made are coming to light on a daily basis, with the money they’ve paid to companies dedicated to blocking the votes of seniors, poor people, and veterans being exposed as well. It’s truly a disgusting development, although it isn’t new to them; they’ve managed to steal two elections already, for the junior shrub, in 2000 and 2004, once in Florida, and once in Ohio.

They also managed to distract the public away from looking at those election results, by talking a bunch of Islamic militants into attacking New York City, right at the time when the Shrub’s chicanery in Florida was about to be investigated by an independent commission…… I always thought the timing there was a bit suspicious, and it couldn’t have been better for the Shrub, even though he probably wasn’t in on the planning of it himself…. his daddy never trusted him THAT far…..

But, you may remember, the senior Shrub was the head of the CIA for many years, before he was President, and is considered by many to be personally responsible for the establishment of the cocaine trade in this country; see the book “The Cocaine Papers” written in the 1980’s, if there are still copies around. There may not be; I’m sure the dark-side operatives snap them up for destruction whenever they come across one…. This man would suffer no ethical restraints, and would not even hesitate, to have some of his operatives clandestinely trick terrorists into attacking when and where he wished it…. Civilian casualties are always more compelling when trying to distract the public…. And, it is funny how nobody ever investigated where the money for the 9/11 attacks came from…. Usually, in any such event, finding out who paid for it is a primary goal of the investigating teams…. but, nobody ever did that for 9/11…. Kind of makes one wonder, doesn’t it?……

Ah well, conspiracy theories aside, this election is seeing every dirty trick the two parties can think of between them, with the most egregiously immoral actions taking place on the conservative side…. voter suppression efforts in swing states, outright lying, misinformation spreading, magical bean platforms, all are being employed with gusto…. The upcoming debate tomorrow promises to be quite a show for the American public, and it will be interesting to see the contortions that the Republicans go through to try to show their man to their advantage, when every time he opens his mouth, he drops another bomb that indicates just how clueless and uncaring he is…. I’m almost looking forward to it, if it didn’t promise to be so bloody…. c’est la vie, I guess, and we’ll have to see how time will tell the tale…..
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So be it…. since I don’t have the access time I’d like to have, the Pearls will just have to go out without major editing, or they won’t get done at all in the allotted time frame. I didn’t realize that the last section would turn on me, and become a mini-rant…. Romney/Ryan just lends itself to that process naturally, with every ill-considered lie they drop into the public well…. too bad it’s all toxic…. All will be well, though; that the Universe is proceeding as it should is perhaps my only point of faith. Therefore, let us get on with the day, such as it is, in full wait-mode…. toodle loo….  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!

Splendid specimens, sir….do they wiggle?

Ffolkes,
We go now, in search of cognitive dissonance… heavily armed with oodles of insouciance, and eager to wage war with words. Let us then take a foray into the day, spreading the contagious joy of living……

Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
— Henry W. Longfellow (1807-1882) — A Psalm of Life

Alrighty then, let’s have at it……
___________________________________

“With the first link, a chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.” — Picard, ST:TNG, quoting a fictional judge, The Drumhead

One doesn’t often find profundity in Picard’s words, though he has one of the best voices for delivering such gems. This one seems timely, considering that we Americans just watched quietly as Congress passed another version of the Anti-Bill of Rights (aka, the Homeland Security Act), abridging even more of our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties. I find it reprehensible that the fear of terrorism that followed the attacks on 9/11 was used to justify an attack on the Constitution, and even fanned into flames, by the very people who are supposed to protect the liberties outlined in the Bill of Rights.

We no longer have the right to freely assemble to protest, unless we meet stringent regulations. Our telephone conversations are being monitored, both land-line and cell, for key phrases that would indicate terrorist activity. This law alone has caused a number of illegal arrests, which were made possible by the easing of the restrictions on police when performing searches. They now have the right to invade your home, just because they “suspect” terrorist activity. Racial and cultural profiling is rampant, and long-time citizens of this country are being harassed and vilified, just because they are Muslim, or “appear to be” Muslim.

What I’m saying here isn’t paranoia speaking. The incidents I’ve mentioned are all documented in the news. What disturbs me the most about the whole situation is that the American public isn’t protesting at all, not about what is important. Yes, it is the 99% who are perpetrating all these incidents of oppression, but that is normal; they’ve always done whatever they could get away with in their single-minded pursuit of most of the money in our pockets. The real danger lies in what they are doing to our basic liberties as outlined in the Bill of Rights. 

They are accomplishing all this without censure, without oversight, and without conscience. I can only hope that enough people like me can shout it out loudly enough, and often enough, that the sheep out there masquerading as adult humans will become afraid of the correct enemy, to wit: those attempting to erode our rights. These are not necessarily the rich, though they are paying for it; these are the hired gunslingers of the rich, placed in power by virtue of the almighty dollar and their gift of Lies…….

“If a lie is repeated often enough all the dumb jackasses in the world not only get to believe it, they even swear by it.” — B.B. Franklin

“There is in human nature generally more of the fool than of the wise.” — Francis Bacon (1561-1626)

and, lastly…..

“Any hack can safely rail away at foreign powers beyond the sea; but a good writer is a critic of the society he lives in.” — Edward Abbey
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Hmph! Seriousness.  Hmph! Sobriety.  A Jedi craves them not.

A limerick packs laughs anatomical
Into space that is quite economical.
But the good ones I’ve seen
So seldom are clean,
And the clean ones so seldom are comical.

If humanity has any hope at all, it rests in those parts of our nature that are often only seen in times of crisis. Courage. Loyalty. Compassion. Love. Creativity. Imagination. Introspection. Will. These are our finest qualities, the parts of us that are always in in harmony with the universe, and represent  possibly our final hope for redemption.

In today’s complex world of the future, (thanks, Firesign Theater) we are bearing witness to the increasingly obvious symptoms of decay and dissolution exhibited by modern culture. Divisiveness in public affairs. Imminent economic turmoil caused by severe inequity across the board. Global warming and severe climatological changes caused by pollution of the air, land, and sea. Erosion of human rights. Threatening species extinctions occurring continuously. Damage to the bottom of the food chain, which will have effects that ripple and spread all the way to the top of the pyramid, ie., us.

The evidence for all of this is overwhelming, and the theoretical conclusions are approaching certainty; this planet, and the species that exist today, are what we like to call “one sick puppy”, and the prognosis for recovery is guarded and uncertain; death is very nearly certain without treatment of the causes, not the symptoms. At this point, its not a good bet…..

I’ll bet when you started on this little section, you thought it would be funny. Just goes to show how far you can trust words, doesn’t it? Even when the one speaking is on your side, as I am, you can never tell from outward appearances just what may lie hidden under the surface. It could be, as it is here, with the intent of contrasting and illuminating a desired point, a lesson, as it were. Or it could be that all that is going on here is another attempt to fool you into doing something you don’t necessarily agree with; this too, should be a familiar experience, as that is the most commonplace gift we receive from our beloved ruling class. What I’d like you to take from this, is a renewed attitude of personal responsibility for what we say and do; none of us will be free, if we do not free ourselves…….okay, here’s a little humor…..

“Truth … never comes into the world, but like a Bastard, to the ignominy of him that brought her forth.” — John Milton (1608-1674) (which throws light on the tradition of killing the messenger….)
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“Being frustrated is disagreeable, but the real disasters in life begin when you get what you want.” — Irving Kristol

This being the case, it points out another disturbing issue regarding our political choices today. Obviously, it is our preference (what we want) that only those who are the most skillful liars are allowed the opportunity to lie to the public at large, a privilege befitting their exalted position as a member of the beloved ruling class. After all, we vote for them, don’t we? Every time there is an election, both parties sally forth with their distorted truths and distractions, all cleverly designed to deflect attention from what is actually happening, which is a contest to see whose particular set of untruths is given precedence until the next election. Then we get to do it all again, whether anything good or bad has happened, or not happened.

It all seems a bit silly, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it make you feel just the slightest bit of embarrassment at not only bending over, but for willingly supplying the lubricant for the perversions to which these…people… are subjecting us? Sometimes, I get so ashamed, I refuse to even leave the house on election day, for fear I’ll snap, and start haranguing prospective voters as they wander in to cast their programmed responses, telling them they were all going to hell in a handbasket, just as if I were a preacher, or a politician, or someone of that ilk…..
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“If any man can convince me and bring home to me that I do not think or act aright, gladly will I change; for I search after truth, by which man never yet was harmed. But he is harmed who abideth on still in his deception and ignorance.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, vi, 21

It may have come to your attention that this seems to be a recurring theme here at Gigoid’s Folly. And you would be right in that. I’m scared, folks, and I don’t care who knows it (it just makes me more dangerous, not less). I’m scared to death that the degree of ignorance at work today in society is going to push us all into the path of the bulldozer of Extinction. I didn’t have children because I wanted to see them die, wallowing in the filth with which we have fouled our nest, choking on the air that is becoming thicker and more foul with each passing second. (Don’t believe me? follow this link to see just how fast we are killing ourselves….  http://www.poodwaddle.com/clocks/worldclock/ ) It’s getting to the point where I can see the muck in the air; look across a valley sometime, and see how much detail you can see across the way. In most of the world today, you would be lucky to be able to determine colors, but not shapes.

I reiterate. I’m scared. And I am monumentally pissed off, as well! Deliberately ignorant assholes are constantly filling the airwaves with the most egregious bullshite I’ve ever heard, and as an American who has witnessed election politics all my life, that is some pretty fancy doo doo.  What right do these ignoramuses have that allows them to spew their fear and loathing all over the rest of us? And how long is the general public going to allow this kind of self-destructive behavior in the people who are supposed to be protecting and nurturing our growth? It’s already gone on far too long, and I sense that change is in the air…..kind of smells like gunpowder in the morning air, doesn’t it?……
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How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — The Character of a Happy Life

Eureka! I have found the epitaph for my headstone, should I ever need one. This is me all over……this is not to say I’m perfect, far from it. But this is my picture of the ideal me, the prototypical me, from which all other possible me’s take their substance. It’s the kind of person I strive to be, even when I’m not. Even though I cannot yet spend all my time comfortably ensconced in the contented glow of this state of mind, I find it to be a most worthwhile goal for me to pursue. I shall go now and do so……
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That went well, I think. It would no doubt be best now for me to stop doing this, and go do something else. One nice thing about both retirement, and freelance writing, and that is getting to make your own schedule, without having to worry about anyone or anything other than one’s own whimsy. We all could use a bit more whimsy in Life, wouldn’t you say?  Y’all take care out there…..

P.S.  I’m once again writing for Examiner.com, as the Oakland Examiner for Social Issues. You can find all my articles for them by following this link. Page hits and clicks on advertisements are how I get paid, so feel free to come back often. I hope you enjoy reading my work there as much as I enjoy creating it…..

http://www.examiner.com/social-issues-in-oakland/ned-moore 

Thanks again, and carpe that old diem!…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

The Carmelite nuns just taste better…..

Ffolkes,
Today, International Space Station Expedition 31 will blast off from somewhere in Russia, to carry 3 new astronauts (from 3 countries) up into orbit to deliver supplies and personnel. I would willingly and cheerfully give any body part, and promise anything but my honor, to be on that ship when it leaves the confines of gravity for the freedom of space.

To travel away from Earth has always been one of my most cherished dreams, and remains as my penultimate goal, sometime before I die (which shouldn’t be imminent for some time yet). I’ve seen rumors in the news that it is now possible to go as a tourist; two or three civilian millionaires have already been to the station, paying an outrageous amount of money (more than a million, I believe, though they didn’t say exactly) for the privilege. Now all I’ve got to do is get my book done, and wait for it to hit the bestseller list. Then, with the advance money for the next one, I’ll take the trip, and count it as research for another book……slick, eh? Now all I have to do is write a bestseller…..piece o’cake!….Ooooooh, wait…..first I’ll check my lottery ticket!…….
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“Virtue is the beauty, and vice the deformity, of the soul.” — Socrates (B.C. 469-399)

I am continually amazed at the sheer bulk of the wisdom that was being promulgated in the centuries leading up to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. The millennium prior to that historically seminal event gave us Socrates, Plato, Pliny the Elder, and the Younger, Aristotle, Archimedes (triangles, remember?), and a veritable host of other men, and women most likely (they’ve been less published, but were around, I’m sure) whose breadth and depth of understanding of the world around them formed and immense, balanced, and durable landscape, based on knowledge, garnered by both induction and deduction. Their thoughts make up the pillars upon which modern day society is built, and, as in the case of this statement on human nature, remain as valid today as when they were first uttered. Even in today’s complex world of the future, one can do worse than to base their behavior on the Athenian model…..
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“I went to the bank and went over my savings. I found out I have all the  money that I’ll ever need. If I die tomorrow.” — Henny Youngman

At first, this didn’t really seem of much value, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a subtle piece of sarcasm it really is. In just the one line, Henny was able to take a poke at banks, the government, the IRS, Social Security, and the culture of the time, one which spent a lot of time creating fantasies and embracing illusion. In at least one respect, my own situation mirrors this joke, which is, to me, a very damning indication of the sickness of modern culture. Too many people today are in the same boat; the fat cats have been nervous in the last couple of months, because all over the world, people are gathering together to speak out against the 1%’ers and the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Things have gotten to the point where the middle classes are not just joining in the protests with the disenfranchised poor, but starting and leading them in their desperation to bring the message to the world’s attention. Why are they doing this? Easy…..they have realized that the greed and soulless ambition of the 1% has created a situation where even those who pull in close to a hundred thousand a year are just two paychecks away from being homeless themselves. The beloved ruling class may have made a strategic error in allowing things to become so obviously imbalanced; it may be too late to stop the coming revolution. It is coming, for sure; the warning signs are growing ever more obvious, and the future is, to say the least, unsettled at best……
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He first deceased; she for a little tried
To live without him, liked it not, and died.
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639) — Upon the Death of Sir Albert Morton’s Wife

Reading this has been somewhat healing for me, even in the relatively short time since I found it. I find it to be wonderfully sentimental. It tells a story common in mankind’s history, of love that lasted beyond life. It is a bit saddening in one respect, at least for me, for I’ve come to realize that I never really have been loved like this. I’ve been in love several times in my increasingly embarrassing number of years, always with the intent on my part to give this measure of trust and love to my partner. But, here I am, alone once again, because like Tom Robbins asks in one of his books, “How can you make love stay?”. All of the women who I have loved, for some reason unknown to me, eventually wanted out of my world, and that is painful, for it makes me doubt myself. But I’ve come to realize that though I have yet to find the woman who is my true mate, I have given of myself all that I could, and all you can do is all you can do…..more patience must be cultivated. And hey, in the meantime, I always have y’all to keep me busy and amused, if only with meself……
___________________________________

Cogito, ergo sum presupposes “I”-ness.

This is an elegant example of two things. First, how easy it is to let “logic” be applied as if it were a hammer, and second, a perfect model of the concept of mental masturbation. To look at it superficially, this is a truism, and actually somewhat subtle. But it requires a bit of unwarranted arrogance to assume self-hood, with no given basis of proof beyond its own internal structure. It leads the reader into the common mistake of using the word for a concept as an argument for its existence, kind of like saying, “only those who love can know love” or some similar inanity.

We cannot perceive the universe through any other filter but that of our own consciousness, and “I”-ness is OF COURSE pre-supposed . No “I’, then no cogito. Simple, yes? No, you’re right, it’s not. But it all serves as a good example of how one can get caught up in esoteric fields of thought by following our innate curiosity, and end up in a room with no corners, no light, and no help but our own inner strength…..and  a sense of humor, which allows you to laugh at yourself, and move on……
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“All governments need enemies. How else to justify their existence?” — Edward Abbey

In this spot, I had intended to open a discussion of the above question, and even looked forward to a morning rant in such a fertile field of interest as the public circus we call electoral politics. But my spirit this fine morning isn’t quite up to the emotional side-effects of stirring that particular pot, so I’m going to give you the above, and some direction. I’d like you to sit back, open up some spare ROM in your head, and think to yourselves what I might have written about this quotation, knowing as you do some of my cogitative peculiarities. When you’ve done that, read the following line, and we’ll count that as this morning’s exercise. Okay? Okay!…….

How come you never see a politician laugh? Because they know what they’re getting away with, and if they started laughing, they’d never stop.
___________________________________

Christmas is imminent, so I’ve got to get back to Reality.  Where IS that silly Blue Dragon?…… Y’all take care out there……


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

Grep that snazzy peripheral!

Ffolkes,
Softly, softly the lashes fall
Gently against her fair cheek
Happy dreams come to enthrall
and Morpheus’ chamber to seek.

Now you know why I don’t write poetry. I can make it rhyme, and the cadence isn’t bad. But it just isn’t very good stuff, is it? S’okay, I’m good with it. There are a great many things that I do well, so not being able to compose poetry very well isn’t the end of the world. But I sure wish I could……sigh…..
__________________________________

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” — Aristotle

In the past few weeks, I’ve made a few forays into discussing religion, and have probably upset some of my more devout readers. I will apologize if I have offended; however, I do not apologize for my opinions, such as they are. Religions have done a lot of good work throughout history, having always taken the side of the poor, and provided them with succor. But they have, in their own way, impeded the progress of mankind equally as much as they have done good deeds.


My primary argument with most of them is due to the sense of entitlement they give their followers, that sense of being different, and somehow better, than the rest of the universe. All of the Christian sects, and the Muslims, and for that matter, Hindus as well, tell their devotees that they are the “Children of God”, that we are the princes of creation, and have dominion over the rest of this planet’s inhabitants. This sense of entitlement is entirely false, and mankind is never going to grow up and look at the universe as an adult until they can throw that false belief aside, and assume a place alongside other life-forms, instead of over them.

     Our intelligence was not given to us for OUR benefit only. I believe that we are to use it to understand more of the universe, and learn how to improve the quality of life for all creatures, not just ourselves. I think, if there is a God, an attitude of benevolence and generosity toward other life forms would be more along the lines of what he would like to see, rather than an attitude of belligerent, prideful entitlement that is completely unjustified…..
__________________________________

How happy is he born or taught,
That serveth not another’s will;
Whose armour is his honest thought,
And simple truth his utmost skill!
— Sir Henry Wotton (1568-1639)
— The Character of a Happy Life

There, now, see the difference? Here are four lines, just like mine above. The rhyme and scansion are the same, but this one is just so much better! The technique completely eludes my grasp of understanding; I feel foolish and humbled yet again, by the power of the poet’s quill…..the message here isn’t too shabby either. Independence, strength, integrity, honesty, all the best qualities of a man are praised here, and in a manner that makes it attractive to hear, to see, and to contemplate. Boy, I’d almost be willing to deal with the Devil to be able to do that; fortunately, I don’t think even he wants my soul. It’s been out in the real world too long, and isn’t very shiny anymore…..
__________________________________

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky.” — C.S. Lewis  _The Screwtape Letters_

Although it seems obvious once defined, this concept is a subtle one, and one that most people will never even stop to consider. Analyzing one’s own actions is an activity that most folks just don’t care to pursue, and analyzing the motivation for those actions is even more foreign to their mindset. Most folks just go through life reacting to whatever happens in their vicinity, using their ingrained belief system to formulate a response that is designed to be beneficial to themselves, without ever taking into consideration any of the considerations or needs that other folks might have, that might have a bearing on their own lives. And so each man trudges on through the halls of reality, oblivious to reason, experiencing a series of stimuli, offering in return actions that are generated completely from a stock of pre-prepared responses to any situation, without ever understanding why they act as they do.

     This predominant pattern of behavior among humans is a large part of why things are going to hell in a hurry. People have no idea of why they act as they do, and thus have no real control over it; they have no chance to apply any of the above mentioned virtuous actions, because they do not know that they can. Courage never comes into play, because they are reacting, not acting, and the presence or absence of virtue dooms the action to mere appeasement, rather than productive progress. The saddest part is that 99.9% of the people alive on this planet are in the group of folks who act without thought, and will spin their wheels in the same place for all time……I believe this would be an appropriate epitaph for Mankind: I prefer to stay where I am, thank you……..

“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”
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Limericks are art forms complex,
Their topics run chiefly to sex.
They usually have virgins,
And masculine urgin’s,
And other erotic effects.

Punning is to prose as limericks are to poetry. I love them both; does that make me strange? Or merely stranger? I also like Haiku, which is the one form of poetry at which I can claim a small expertise, having created some decent ones in my time (I AM 61 years old, so using the infinite monkeys w/typewriters = Shakespeare assumption, not too surprising). Perhaps Haiku would be in the de-literalized zone between a pun and a limerick; they are capable of great beauty, but lend themselves well to the silly, too.


Some time back, a local radio station announcer challenged his listeners to complete a certain literary query, which was: If you described your whole life in six words, which words would they be? Of course, there were some witty, some profound, and some downright silly answers, but I like the one that I came up with for myself (as did the announcer, as he gave it on air). My life could be described this way….. Looked for love, found it everywhere….. Pretty nifty, eh? I suppose it leaves a lot out, considering the amount of drama I’ve been unfortunate enough to encounter over the course of my years. But it gives the primary thrust, because all I’ve ever wanted was to love, and to be loved; everything else is just what I do to stay busy when I am not so fortunate as to be involved in a committed relationship. My kids, the product of my marriage of 23 years, are my proudest accomplishment; they are both honest, forthright, and caring, compassionate human beings. They have their share of drama as well, but are living their lives well, if not always comfortably. In the final analysis, I am content with my how my life has progressed, and its not over by a long shot, so that’s something, eh?…….
__________________________________

“I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.” — H. L. Mencken

I believe the same as Mr. Mencken does, which makes, to my count, about eight of us now. It’s a start. Now all we have to do is get just one of the newest crop of potential world leaders to adopt this as their code of ethics, and their motivation for change. I know, I know, pipe dream, but a nice one, don’t you think?

“It’s easy to tell when a politician is lying. Watch his lips.  If they move, he’s lying.” — Charles Lyall

I also know that you’ve heard this one before, and not applied just to politicians. They just happen to be the most egregious examples. I’ve only included it here because it’s the best expression of one my reasons for the ongoing argument I’m trying to provoke with our beloved ruling class. This statement doesn’t require any more proof; it is thoroughly documented in every major news outlet around the world every day.

     The media’s coverage of the political arena in the last few days has been truly and amazingly oblivious to its own shortfalls. One series of articles was focused on discussing how much a current presidential candidate had been unchallenged for an obvious lie in an advertisement, editing a sound bite from the President to change its context. The media let the whole issue slide with merely a discussion that it was doing so, without ever going back to make an issue of it with the candidate. It was, and remains, an act of unaccountable cowardice on the part of the media, and I am ever more reluctant to confer on them any trust that what they report is either meaningful or accurate. A self-serving act of lying by omission, and it goes unnoticed by the public at large. 235 years ago, there were men living in this country who would have fought to eradicate any ties with such a society as quickly and as forcefully as they did with the English society of the  time……

“And it came to pass that in the hands of the ignorant, the words of the bible were used to beat plowshares into swords…” — Alan Watts

Alan has nailed it again. This is what we are now witnessing in our culture today. The religious fundamentalist sector of the Christian milieu is working very hard to force the rest of society to abide by their narrow set of principles, and crying foul at any disagreement. Far too many of the current political crop of wannabes are committed to the concept of ‘Dominion’ (see the Huffington Post from yesterday to see the comments made in that respect by an aide to one of the candidates), which would set the code of white Judeo-Christian values as the standard of law. They are serious, folks, and their ignorance is spreading.

    I would advise everyone I know to stay alert to the news, because the day may come in the very near future when it will be time to jump quickly to avoid becoming a slave…….I only wish I were being humorous, but I don’t see much hope of avoiding major catastrophe of some sort in the next decade or two, as the minions of darkness and fear will set themselves against the seekers of the light and knowledge, with liberty as the spoils of the conflict……have a care!
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Well, I can’t think of anything I could write that would depress myself any more, so I’ll stop here, and hope I haven’t driven everyone away with my oppressive subject matter. I didn’t intend to get so deeply into the darkness, but I’m pretty afraid these days. Afraid that the darkness is winning, and I want to do all I can to keep dragging their secrets out into the light of day where they can be opposed more effectively. The powers that be may turn us all into automatons, but I’ll be damned if I will make it easy for them….. y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!