Patterns in the dust say otherwise…..

Ffolkes,
My schedule of posting is all screwed up…. First, I missed a day from rain. Today, the day I am writing this, is Christmas Day, one which I have worked very hard to both ignore, and to reach, and is another day I will be unable to post again, as there are no buses, the library is closed, and it is too far to walk to the nearest Wi-Fi spot (at Starbucks, about a mile and a half away)…. In addition, even though I wasn’t able to post on two days, I still wrote a complete Pearl for them. Now, I’m sitting on two days worth of material, and losing track of what goes where, and in what tense I should be speaking…. In the words of our dark little bear of little brains, Winnie the Pooh, “Bother!”…..

I don’t believe I’ve ever had this much material done ahead of time. Two complete Pearls ( each minus only a poem, generally supplied by a couple moments with Google and Poemhunter.com…), and another entire day to get through until I can post any of it. Today might be a good day to do some editing of past Pearls, to see if I can combine any of them into a salable book. Sounds like a plan….

Or, maybe I’ll spend some time in trance, and see if I can come up with a couple more original poems to go with these two almost finished products. The shout-out I wrote to Congress from us seniors was a pretty good one, I thought, especially the last quatrain and couplet; I thought they had a certain panache, that pleases me…. and they certainly were an accurate demonstration of the average senior’s feelings about the government just now, as they are making concerted attacks on Social Security, even as I write. I’m not going to start another rant in the intro, but, it sure pisses me off, that is for sure and for certain….. Makes me want to go up to Barack, and Congress, and read to them from the Book of Righteousness….

In lieu of that, I suggest we get on with this Pearl…. Basically, it is done, so that is merely a matter of filling in a poem, proof-reading the results, and it’s good to go. Since I don’t have anything further I can add at this point, I’ll abandon you here, and leave it to the format of the following Pearl to lead you where you need to go….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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In order to counter at least some of the saccharine in the air this time of year, it is good now and again to take the time to take a few unsolicited shots at targets who, by dint of their absence, cannot defend themselves…. Great fun for this slow-news time of year. Besides, my usual choices for such targets have no defense anyway, as they are continually assuming indefensible positions in a public venue. Here is an old-school pearl with some random  thoughts on my absolute favorite group of erstwhile clowns, those at which I most prefer to shoot darts of shame…. the creepy, dangerous kind who infest the halls and streets of Washington D.C., and numerous state capitals…..

“Government is a trust, and the officers of the government are trustees; and both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”– Henry Clay (1777-1852) — Speech at Ashland, Ky., March 1829
(This one seems to have been overlooked, or at least ignored, for the most part, for the last 171 years…..)

“Imagine, if you will, that I am an idiot. Then, imagine that I am also a Congressman. But, alas, I repeat myself.” — Mark Twain

De la peau de lion l’ane s’etant vetu
Etoit craint partout a la ronde.
(Dressed in the lion’s skin, the ass spread terror far and wide.) — Jean de la Fontaine (1621-1695)
(Think about it….)

CONSUL, n.  In American politics, a person who, having failed to secure and office from the people, is given one by the Administration, on condition that he leave the country. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

A successful American spends more supporting the government than a family. — Smart Bee

“All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.” — Mark Twain (1835-1910)
(This is especially true for politics, but remains valid for preachers, as well….)

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

I find myself having to assert some control at this point. My feelings of anger at the government’s cupidity are rather raw this morning, and I find myself continuing my search for sharp, pointed sticks with which to poke, despite having already found a sufficient number to complete a pearl. The meaning is beginning to lose coherence, and adding more will only further confuse the issue, so we’ll go on to the final section, to compose some soothing prose…. Just remember, ffolkes, preachers, priests, imams, presidents, senators, judges, bankers, CEO’s….. none of these folks are looking out for your interests, nor will they ever do so, as they are too busy looking out for their own. It would be a good thing to keep it in mind, for your own protection…..

“If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out?” — Will Rogers (1879-1935)
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A poet is a kind of liar who always speaks the truth. — Smart Bee

A child said, What is the grass?

A child said, What is the grass? fetching it to me with full
hands;
How could I answer the child?. . . .I do not know what it
is any more than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful
green stuff woven.

Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?

Or I guess the grass is itself a child. . . .the produced babe
of the vegetation.

Or I guess it is a uniform hieroglyphic,
And it means, Sprouting alike in broad zones and narrow
zones,
Growing among black folks as among white,
Kanuck, Tuckahoe, Congressman, Cuff, I give them the
same, I receive them the same.

And now it seems to me the beautiful uncut hair of graves.

Tenderly will I use you curling grass,
It may be you transpire from the breasts of young men,
It may be if I had known them I would have loved them;
It may be you are from old people and from women, and
from offspring taken soon out of their mother’s laps,
And here you are the mother’s laps.

This grass is very dark to be from the white heads of old
mothers,
Darker than the colorless beards of old men,
Dark to come from under the faint red roofs of mouths.

O I perceive after all so many uttering tongues!
And I perceive they do not come from the roofs of mouths
for nothing.

I wish I could translate the hints about the dead young men
and women,
And the hints about old men and mothers, and the offspring
taken soon out of their laps.

What do you think has become of the young and old men?
What do you think has become of the women and
children?

They are alive and well somewhere;
The smallest sprouts show there is really no death,
And if ever there was it led forward life, and does not wait
at the end to arrest it,
And ceased the moment life appeared.

All goes onward and outward. . . .and nothing collapses,
And to die is different from what any one supposed, and
luckier.

Walt Whitman
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“Silence can be the biggest lie of all.  We have a responsibility to speak up; and whenever the occasion calls for it, we have a responsibility to raise bloody hell.” — Herbert Block

I’ve been looking at this pearl for a week, turning it over in my mind. I think, after due consideration, I can honestly say I have lived up to this responsibility quite well, at least in the past two years. Though my audience is not quite as large as I might hope for, I have faithfully accosted that audience with my own words of what I believe to be truth, truths that needs to be declared loudly, and often. Motivated partly by self-interest (relieving the stress of holding my thoughts in….), partly by a sense of humanity, and partly by patriotism. Outrage often supplies the emotional force behind my arguments, when my compassion is aroused, or when my sense of justice is affronted…..

My only wish is that I would be preaching to the choir, in the sense that the subjects about which I write are offensive to others, as well. In fact, I would love to see more people like myself shouting out their own outrage at the shenanigans of those in power in society. Those same beloved ruling class members have only themselves to blame if they become targets for criticism; their own actions are responsible for that. Mind you, I regard them to be insane, as a group, anyway, for their perverse desire to wield power over the affairs of others, and the most effective way to stop their depredations is to bring them into the light of public scrutiny, where society’s moral compass may be applied to redirect them into more socially acceptable, and socially beneficial, activities….

Sadly, I’m intelligent enough to read the writing on the wall, which says the beloved ruling class is never going to allow anything, or anyone, to take from them the riches and privileges they hold so tightly as their due. They have control of all the media, and the governments, and the banks, and the churches, and that control enables them to do just exactly as they please, hoarding all the resources available for themselves and their own purposes, leaving the dregs of whatever is left for the rest of us….

“And it shall come to pass that idiots shall roam the earth, and morons shall rule the masses.” — Smart Bee

I think it was Nostradamus who made this prediction; maybe not, though. Regardless of who said it, it is certainly apt. There are moments when even I, who have long known and understood the depths of human stupidity, am amazed and appalled by what somebody says, or does, right out in public where their idiocy is on display for all to see….. Even more, I am continually astounded at the depths of stupidity shown by the general public by their acceptance, and tacit approval, of the lies told to them every day by their erstwhile leaders.

Many millions of people recently voted for Obama, because it seemed clear, by his own words, that he would do all he could to protect seniors, Social Security, and Medicare. Now, at the first hint of opposition to one of his pet projects, he turns completely around on that promise, offering up massive cuts to the SS program over the next 20 years, cuts that would cripple the program, and send millions of seniors, like me, into poverty….. I find this to be not merely mendacious, but cruelly reprehensible, as well as morally indefensible. This kind of thing MUST be stopped, and the people responsible MUST be held responsible for their lies….

“Let honor be as strong to us an obligation as necessity is to others.” — Pliny the Elder

This is the ONLY solution to the problem, ffolkes…. In today’s society, our beloved ruling class has learned that it can act according to expediency, by claiming it as necessity, without any lasting consequences for them, and the public lets them do it. Only when honor replaces expediency can we hope to see society begin to function in the best interests of all; until that happens, only the power-hungry will be served in that respect. I cannot see how it will happen at all, unless the majority of humanity can put aside its blinders, and start calling a spade a spade…. which, historically, has never happened…. That is, after all, why we are in this mess in the first place….
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Hmm….. not too shabby, all in all. I’ll take it…. wrap it up and send it over to my hotel, would you? Thanks…..

I’ve always wanted to say that….. Now that is out of the way, I suppose I should try to repair some of this time confusion created by yesterday’s rain delay; if only I had a vague idea of where to start!…… Ah well, fudge it…. it will just have to settle itself, as it always does, given the time…… I’m outta here for today, ffolkes…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

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Mordred’s dream of chaos draws nigh…..

Ffolkes,
Yow…. Coffee without cream is enough to make one cranky. It is marginally better than no coffee at all, though, so folks will have to take their chances with me until I can get some half & half. The odds of getting bitten for speaking to me too early rise dramatically when the consumption of my morning coffee is disturbed in just about any fashion, and not having an ingredient is a sure ticket to the cranky express for me. Makes it difficult, as I need to speak to people this morning at some point, and don’t want to scare anyone….. or, at least, not deliberately.

Today’s Pearl was mostly composed yesterday, as I need to take much of today to get the form done for Social Security; it’s not difficult, or even particularly complicated, but needs to be detailed. Then, when done, I need to scan it and send it to my lawyer so they can get it right in to SS, well before the ridiculous deadline they gave me. When the process is complete, and I’ve secured my SS benefits, I can definitely feel an exposé on SS percolating in the back of my mind.

From all I can ascertain, the myrmidons over at SS think that it is perfectly okay to throw up every obstacle they can in front of the people applying for their own benefits, and make it as hard as they possibly can for anyone to obtain the very things they have paid for throughout the years. In the process of making it so hard, they are adding to the difficulties of people who do NOT need the aggravation…… So, I’ll be writing a bit of stuff, later, after I’ve secured my own benefits, and cannot be punished for what I write, by their attempting to make it even harder for me to get them…..

Any who, I came across the following again yesterday; it is an old DOS file command line, and is the secret wish of all geeks that it would actually work in reality…. if you know what it means, you’ll know what I mean…. if not, well, it would take two or three pages to explain well enough to be accurate and worth the effort, so you’ll just have to ask a geek to explain it to you…. Any nerdy type who likes to read Science Fiction, and knows what a command line in DOS is, will be able to fill you in….. meantime, Shall we Pearl?….

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:
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This is a somewhat old-school pearl, but with a slight difference…. normally (well, you know what I mean…) I would list several quotes, all of which led one’s thoughts in a specific direction, to a foregone conclusion, or at least a conclusion, of sorts….. This pearl however, is simply a grouping of ideas that I thought went together, as sort of a tribute to the relevance of illogic at certain times, and how liberating it is to think not only outside the box, but to kick the box into a shapeless lump of cardboard….. enjoy! BTW, these are all related in one respect, which I’m not going to mention, as it is totally irrelevant…. at least, to the lack of purpose herein implied…..

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” — Confucius — Analects, XV.24

“When the music business changed so drastically in the late sixties and rock began happening in such a big way, I went to Count Basie and said, “It’s a complete takeover. What should I do?” Basie waited a beat, looked up at me with those big eyes of his, and said, “Why change an apple?” — Tony Bennett

“I am your density.” — George McFly, in Back to the Future

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

“As God is my witness – I am that fool!” — Gomez Addams

Okay, so I’m not sure where it came from, or why the last one showed up when it did…. but, it’s a perfect ending, for it fits in with my own self-image this morning…..  Onward, into the fray…..
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Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiff, elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid

The following just seemed like an appropriate addition to this section…..

Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

~~ Thomas Cowper
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“About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax.  It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.” — Edsger W. Dijkstra

I do try…. I try really hard to write well. All of my effort in the last year plus that I’ve been writing so much has been with the intent of improving what I do write, and I can see a certain degree of that (improvement….). It isn’t enough, to my mind, and hopefully, never will be enough. Only by making the effort will what we do ever change, and writing well is a skill that requires constant honing, and constant endeavor.

The following paragraph is an example of the kind of impact that a well-written piece should have on the reader…. it’s a beautiful little piece, and even though you could remove the word “God’s” from it, and it would suffer not at all, I left it in, since I didn’t write it…. I only wish I had…..

“As a little silvery circular ripple, set in motion by the falling pebble, expands from its inch of radius to the whole compass of a pool, so there is not a child–not an infant Moses–placed, however softly, in his bulrush ark upon the sea of time, whose existence does not stir a ripple, gyrating outward and on, until it shall have moved across and spanned the whole ocean of God’s eternity, stirring even the river of life, and the fountains at which the angels drink.” — Elihu Burritt

See? A truly lovely thought, and written in a way that it touches a chord of response within the mind and heart of whomever reads it. This is the kind of thing that I am shooting for when I write…. I hit close now and then, but, not often enough to suit me, so I’m going to keep trying until I can write at this level whenever I should so choose…. and if, along the way, someone wishes to pay me for what I write, well, I’m not going to complain…..

Of course, my usual choice of subject matter may have a lot to do with the absent beauty of my writing; it’s a bit of a trick to turn a political or religious rant into a thing of beauty, other than from a logical or tactical standpoint. There can be, of course, well-done passages, even powerfully passionate parts that can inspire, or anger, or merely amuse. But one is not going to impress anyone with the sheer beauty of a treatise wherein one has to discuss the latest lies and deliberate misrepresentations as spouted by political pundits, of any party. Not without a lot more skill than I have, or anyone else I’ve read over time. It’s just not a subject that lends itself to pretty pictures in words….. In addition, one must always remember to actually use one’s mind in a constructive manner when writing about politics or religion, because anyone who actually engages in either one is not going to do so……

One also must remember to always keep the following principle in mind, for anything written, about either politics or religion, must be governed by this thought, or what is produced will not stand up to the test of logic or time….. so stay alert, ffolkes, and use the mind you have for something other than sitting on……

“Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.” — Bergen Evans, The Natural History of Nonsense (1946)
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All in all, not a bad Pearl, I’d say. And, if there is an expert on Pearls, that would be me….. or, at least, of literary Pearls…. and I am certainly the world’s ONLY expert on Pearls of Virtual Wisdom…..To be honest, I never thought the gems themselves were all that compelling…. they look nice, but don’t seem to me to be as big a deal as everyone makes of them…. Ah well, I’m just a country boy at heart, and good honest sweat is my favorite perfume, so I guess I’m not the best judge of such delicate matters, eh?…… 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!

In a clearing, like a box….

 

Ffolkes,
The human mind is a flexible thing….. mine has been hovering around the edge of depression for days now, and nothing that reality provided for consumption had the proper impact to cause it to want to change. Then the mail came yesterday….. Social Security has decided, for some unknown reason, to get at least part way off its duff, and get a move on… I received the package from them that I’ve been awaiting since May 11 of this year, when my lawyer filed the appeal of their initial negative decision.

What I received is, of course, another demand for information, to be coughed up by me in the shortest amount of time they can give…. get this….. after delaying the assignment of my case to an analyst for close to five months (!!!) they now demand I supply them with three complicated forms full of information on my condition, (from myself and up to three other people….) in ten days! Actually, only seven days are given, because the letter was dated three days before I got it…..  typical federal bureaucratic behavior…..

But, it’s here! This means that one period of waiting is done, and once these forms are submitted, I’m into the (hopefully) last period, up to three months, of waiting for a decision…. If it’s negative, well, off to court…. but, if positive, then I’ll be all fixed by Christmas, or New Year’s at the latest….. so I’m trying to control myself from dancing a jig, and shouting off the roof tops, as one might imagine…. Don’t want to get my hopes up too far…. it can be long fall if Murphy takes a hand, and he’s well-known around these parts. Instead, I’m trying to pretend it is just another delay; not working, though, because I’m still giddy…,

So, I’m going to distract myself with writing for a time….. Shall we Pearl?……

I can’t be humble — it’s just not honest. — Smart Bee  {Calm down, calm down…. it’s a joke, right?….. Sheesh, and people wonder why we are so shy about sharing?…..}
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Possunt quia posse videntur. (They can because they think they can.) — Virgil (70-19 BC), Aeneid, v

On the fictional planet of Pern, there be dragons. These dragons, the creation of Anne McCaffrey, are fire-breathing, and adept fliers, as all dragons should be, coming in a variety of colors, each of which has to do with its social status in dragon society. At birth, the dragons are bonded with a human, who lives with them, rides them into battle, and sees to the health and welfare of their bond-mate. The dragons of Pern have two characteristics which are special to them on their planet…. First, they can teleport, moving from one point in space to another in virtually no time. Second, they are capable of lifting “whatever they believe they can lift” even though it may not be reasonable to assume, given the size of the dragon, and the size of the load to be lifted. If the dragon believes it can, it can…..

This characteristic is only important to them as part of a plot design by the author, in which this talent is used to help solve a technical problem that faces the planet, placing it at extreme risk. But, in reality, the same characteristic may be shown to be present in humans, in this respect…. what we believe we can do, we can do. It has always been thus, throughout history, (as noted in the above statement from Virgil in the Aeneid….) and remains one of mankind’s most powerfully useful characteristics, for those who learn to utilize this elusive talent.

“A man can do all things if he but wills them.” — Leon Battista Alberti

Sound familiar? It should; it is virtually identical in meaning to the first quote.  Alberti sounds like a more modern name than Virgil, so it seems that the concept has been a common theme throughout history, and remains so now. Everyone has heard the amazing stories of human accomplishments that seem outrageously unreal. People lifting cars off of loved ones. People climbing the sheer face of a cliff a half-mile high, with no ropes or tools. Soldiers carrying a wounded comrade miles and miles while wounded themselves. A man in the mid-1800’s is documented to have survived a bear attack, and crawled hundreds of miles through wilderness to reach his home, alive.

     Many more stories are included in the complete lexicon of human experience. Some of the feats are planned, or trained for; some are the result of instinctive reaction to extreme danger, or need. But, in each story, the common element that remains when the separate circumstances are removed from consideration, is that of the depth and strength of human will…..

The will is not a simple tool; it is not like other talents humans possess. To be its most effective, it must not only be practiced and strengthened by use, but it must be nourished, by experience and motivation, that can only come with life and learning. Those who have chosen their Duty are much more likely to have used it as motivation to strengthen and harden their will to act, than are those who try to act from disorganized, or motivations ignorant of any moral or ethical direction. Like any strength, it can be abused by humans; fanatics have a very strong will, sometimes, at least in their intent to hold on to their delusional beliefs. It has been said that a fanatic is one who redoubles their efforts when they cannot recall or justify their original intent, and that takes a lot of will. But then, karma usually takes care of that particular problem, as they end up reaping the whirlwind that their ignorance gains them…..

This is a subject that needs, nay, is worthy of, further discussion, but reality calls (you know, stuff that CAN’T wait…. stupid Murphy…. bloody feds….), and it will have to wait for another day…. I’ll put it on my calendar for a couple days from now…. please feel free to come on back and see where this takes us, as I meander through whatever occurs to me between now and then…. until then… onward….
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Considering what I’ve been through this morning, this seemed just the right poem, and I had an urge for Emily, anyway…. enjoy! (Not you, Shawna…. you may go on to the next section, if you wish….  🙂   )

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides;
You may have met him,–did you not,
His notice sudden is.

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen;
And then it closes at your feet
And opens further on.

He likes a boggy acre,
A floor too cool for corn.
Yet when a child, and barefoot,
I more than once, at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whip-lash
Unbraiding in the sun,–
When, stooping to secure it,
It wrinkled, and was gone.

Several of nature’s people
I know, and they know me;
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality;

But never met this fellow,
Attended or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.

~~ Emily Dickinson
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“Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle. Some things are within your control. And some things are not. — Epictetus

This statement, and its reappearance in front of me at this exact moment in time, reminded me of why I do this. Making Pearls. Reading, and serendipitously finding a piece of wisdom from a sage of past age that speaks directly to me and my current status in re: dealing with reality without biting myself or anyone else….. Since the start of the morning, to this point, my thoughts and emotions were unreasonably and unexpectedly dragged along on a roller-coaster ride of some proportions, courtesy of, well, let’s just say, a party that I had not expected to be forced to consider as a liability. In fact, I had every expectation of the opposite.

Then, Eureka! On seeing this quote pop up, I realized that my morning’s distress was exactly what I deserved for expecting…. anything. My expectation of how reality would behave is the only problem; without it, I would not be upset… As I’m accustomed to regular adjustment and deletion of expectations, I have now done so….

So, thank you, Epictetus, for saving me from my own folly….. now, I can get on with the day…..
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All things considered, this didn’t come out so badly…. and it will have to do. So be it…  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!

 

These statistical triumphs are fabulous!….

Ffolkes,
What we have here…. is a failure… to germinate. So sad….. Actually, it’s germinating just fine. Seeds are like that; a bit of dirt, a little water, some sunshine, and voilá, germination! Now, if only there were some seeds germinating in my head, I’d be set for good. Alas, we should be so lucky…..

Sans germinating ideas, this intro section can turn on me at the drop of a simile, and apparently, has already done so. At this point, I have absolutely no idea what is going to come out next…. It could be a BEM (Bug Eyed Monster, to those of you not up on SF slang…). It could be another poem. (No, no, anything but that!….just shoot me now, please…..) It could be a fictional opening to a story. (If any were there to write down….) Or, it could be a series of paragraphs, each just a bit stranger than the last, all leading up to the usual point, where I give up, and we get started…..

I suppose strange is a relative term, and I ought not to consider it as an insult. In fact, given the rest of my life up to this point in time, I should probably consider it as encouragement, or perhaps, justification. For what, I don’t know, but, hey, it’s my party, and I can be ignorant if I want to be, so there…. Okay, now we’ve devolved into childish insults…. it must be time for the throwing up of the hands in disgust…. hold on, I need to step away from the computer to do this….. There, it’s done. I’ve washed my hands of this intro, and shall henceforth consider it as a part of the past, and no longer under my aegis…..

See? I told ya…. it worked out just the way I said it would, and here we are, finally arrived at the point where I look up with all innocence, and say, “Shall we Pearl?”….. you just nod your head, and move on to the next section…. well, go on…. you’d best go now, you’ll be alone if you stay here, and I won’t take responsibility if you get in trouble here on your own….. GO!!!!
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If God didn’t make homosexuals, there wouldn’t be any. ~~ Very Smart Bee

Aha! At last! I have found the answer to all those bigoted, so-called Christians, with their strident complaints about gay marriage being a threat to society, and the whole ridiculous skein of unfounded fears rooted in their own ignorance. Just mention the above to them, and watch them turn purple, as they try, over and over, to find some logical way to refute this…. which they can’t.

If they are going to insist on having an omnipotent God, then they can’t be telling him what He should and shouldn’t do, because He’s already done it…. This is a perfectly sound piece of doctrine, which I’m sure any Jesuit would tell you is so obvious, it could be considered dogma. They can’t have it both ways…. either there is a God, and homosexuals are part of the plan he has in place…. or there isn’t, and they need to find a whole new theory of the universe to follow, because this one won’t fly…..

“Do you think God gets stoned?  I think so…look at the Platypus.” — Robin Williams

I think it’s a lot more likely that what Robin says here is true; if there is a God, why wouldn’t he get stoned? Of course, those who have experienced the state of being stoned can make an informed judgment on that issue. Anyone who has never done so really has no right to an opinion, do they?

Aside from the simple, irrefutable fact that they, being mortal, cannot fathom God, or anything about Him/Her, how could they possibly have an opinion on something they’ve never experienced? I ask that question rhetorically, of course; they believe they have the right to sound off on anything they don’t understand, since, as they believe, they are the Lords of Creation…. what a crock!

“Faith means intense, usually confident, belief that is not based on evidence sufficient to command assent from every reasonable person.” — Walter Kaufmann

This pearl comes from the old school… it makes a point that logically becomes the next step in this little piece of satire… the point being this: The folks who spend their time fiddling with religion are pursuing a dream, one that has no basis in reality, according to all the evidence.

This kind of blind faith has a name these days, and that name is “delusional”, defined as holding on to a belief after being presented with absolute proof of its falsehood. Couple this delusional frame of mind with a strong sense of denial, and you have an entire segment of the population that is immune to change…. and we all know what the Universe does to any part of it that refuses to change, don’t we?…..

“I guess the rule is, if something’s too good to be true, then it’s probably too good to be true.” — Marshall, The ATM Machine, Eerie Indiana

And that’s the Truth! So, there! Thpppht! ~~ The little girl in the chair… (Lily Tomlin)
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Since the last pearl touched on the old school, I think I’ll make this pearl completely old school…. Here are some pearls that together form an idea, one that is always handy to have in one’s arsenal in the fight to hold our place in reality….. or at least to reluctantly accept it as it is…..

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is getting experience that will always be helpful.  He isn’t likely to grow dim or doubtful.  Chances are, he isn’t likely to carry the cat that way again, either.  But if he wants to, I say let him!” — Mark Twain

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

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

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

— Emily Dickinson

“Hope cannot be said to exist, nor can it be said not to exist. It is just like the roads across the earth. For actually there were no roads to begin with, but when many people pass one way a road is made.” — Lu Hsun

“We live only to discover beauty. All else is a form of waiting.” — Kahlil Gibran

“America!!  I saw it all!!  Vomiting!  Waving!  JERRY FALWELLING into your void tube of UHF oblivion!!  SAFEWAY of the mind –” — Zippy the Pinhead

Lastly, we turn once again to that philosophical genius, Lily T, to bring us home in style……

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.” — Lily Tomlin
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“A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day.” — Calvin

Ah, politics! Calvin (of Calvin & Hobbes, I believe….) has accurately stated the operating techniques of both parties in this election. I was amazed the other day when the Republican candidates started to harp on how mean and unfair the other side was being. Talk about two kettles calling the pots black!

I also had to laugh when the Democrats got called out for demanding to see the taxes that Romney continues to withhold; he really thinks he is going to get away with not showing them, and doesn’t seem to have a clue as to how much damage it causes his campaign every time he refuses to show them…. I don’t know why, because he reads the polls, and every time he puts it off again, he drops points; it’s a direct correlation, but he doesn’t seem to know, or care….. idiot….

“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), Collected Essays

Romney and Ryan keep accusing Obama of stealing money from Social Security, when the Congressional Report on the plan shows this to be completely false.  John Sunnunu, governor of something or other, a life-time political hack, got his sails trimmed by a CNN reporter, on air, who kept throwing this falsehood back in his face…. he ended up resorting to name-calling, and continued to try to blame the POTUS for everything. Even when it was pointed out to him that the Ryan Plan and the Romney Plan were the same, and both contained tax cuts for the rich, he tried to say they were different…. another idiot….

“I have been thinking that I would make a proposition to my Republican friends…that if they will stop telling lies about the Democrats, we  will stop telling the truth about them.” — Adlai Stevenson

Or was it Joe Biden who said that? Well, he could have…. What Mr. Stevenson says here is all too true, even today, though he doesn’t quite make it all the way to honesty, as he implies that only the Democrats tell the truth. In fact, BOTH parties are more comfortable telling us lies than they are with the truth; it is fortunate for us that the WWW has provided us with a way to keep the truth at the forefront of any issue, no matter how many times one of the pundits, right or left, tries to convince us that the lies they are telling are truth. For those libertarians to whom truth is more important than personal comfort, the web has been a true gift of the gods…..

“The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is  a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

These are perfect words to bring this to a close…. We, the citizens of this democracy, have the responsibility of making ourselves aware of the truth, and to insist on that truth being acknowledged by the government, whichever party may be incumbent. If we do not take the time to investigate what they tell us, and accept what they say as truth, without checking, then we deserve whatever kind of government we get.

I can’t stress enough that people need to be aware that politicians, of both varieties, DO NOT HAVE OUR BEST INTERESTS AT HEART….. Elected officials only have their own interests at heart; this has been proven over and over, and really isn’t arguable. But, as long as people continue to act as if the pundits care about them, then they will continue to get the shaft…. and deservedly so…..

“TAPPING?  You POLITICIANS!  Don’t you realize that the END of the “Wash Cycle” is a TREASURED MOMENT for most people?!” — Zippy the Pinhead
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I was right in the intro…. it kind of got away from me…. But, I think I managed to pull it all together, with only moderate use of duct tape…. It’s going to have to do, because, well, because it will….. 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!

She rides swiftly through dark shadows, pale and grim….

Ffolkes,
I should know better…. Having applied for my SS Disability, I had thought that, since my last job let me go as “unfit for duty”, and since I AM unable to work due to back pain and my other physical challenges, the Federal Government, in the guise of the SS Administration, would be able to see that yes, I do need to get paid all the money I put into SS ahead of my 66th birthday.

However, in spite of my clear presentation of the facts, they denied my claim, having in their wisdom, without ever interviewing or seeing me in person, decided that I am well enough to work, able to stand for 6 or more hours a day (I can’t stand for more than 5 minutes before pain increases in my hips and back), lifting up to 50 lbs. on a regular basis, (which I can do, once, if I want to spend the next three days in bed, writhing with spasms all over my back), and working at a job for 8 hours/day (all I do now is sit in my chair, and I can’t go 8 hours without a nap being hard NOT to take….by the time I’m up for 5 hours or so, I’m exhausted, generally, from fighting against pain…).

Ah well, it isn’t unexpected, and I already have a lawyer who will no doubt be appealing the decision today. It just means that it will be probably 4-8 more months before I see any relief for the near-poverty level income I’m now living on…. oh, well, it’s a good thing I like Top Ramen……

There, whining finished for the day… no sense in worrying too much over stuff I can’t change… time will tell the tale, and all will be well…. I just have to survive until then, so, no worries….. and, it does leave me lots of time to dive for pearls. Now that my email is under control, in fact, I’m swimming in extra time. Hell, at this point, I have no idea what to do with myself once I’m done here for the day….

I guess I could be a good citizen, and get my tardy taxes done (I did finally get the forms from the library….)…. who knows? Maybe they’ll owe ME something this year…. though it would be a surprise. I haven’t found the IRS or the tax laws to be my friend in the past, so why should I expect any different now?  Oh, well, I suppose I won’t know until I do it, so…. now I have a project for the day…..

But not until I Pearl, which I have now delayed significantly with this little personal chatty session…. sometimes I just can’t shut myself up…. handy for a writer, but inefficient at times….. let’s Pearl, okay? Okay…..
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“Ignorance can be compounded, made denser, until the light of our spirits is smothered.” — Deng Ming-Dao

As I read this pearl, my immediate thought was that it is a very clear, very accurate take on the 2012 election process that is currently unfolding before us in the daily news. The end of the political scale that is represented so raggedly by what is left of the Republican Party, and the mislabeled liberal end of the scale who claim to be Democrats, are both engaging in ongoing battles to see who can display the deepest ignorance.

The leading candidate for the “loyal opposition” to the party in power, Mr. Romney, seems to have a proclivity for alienating the very people from whom he is trying to win votes; women, immigrants and Hispanics, animal lovers, seniors, teachers and students, all have been told, in no uncertain terms, that they matter not at all to him. His plan? We’ll stop taxing the rich altogether, and that will fix everything…. Sometimes I wonder if he is getting all of his information on voter wants and issues of importance from old newspapers from the 1980’s, or the 1890’s, because he certainly hasn’t a clue as to what is happening out in America in this century….

The other party, led by our first Black President, is busy hiding what the left hand is doing by distracting everyone with the tax and healthcare issues, to keep them unaware of how few of the Bill of Rights are left to us. “Executive Orders” signed by the POTUS this year, beginning on New Year’s Eve, while the voters were all busy celebrating the advent of the new year, include provisions that allow police to stop, search, and arrest any citizen of this country whom they suspect of any form of terrorism, or even of protest against the provisions of those orders.

These same police are not required to tell ANYONE that they have arrested and imprisoned a citizen, nor are they ever required to provide any evidence of their suspicions in a court of law. Even though there may be no evidence, they can subject these CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY to torture, to obtain a confession, or whatever it is they are after. There is no oversight to these orders; they don’t go before Congress to be approved, nor are they reviewed by the courts. Both of those particular checks on the power of the Executive Branch are completely out of the loop on this…. and they aren’t even complaining about it!

Does it physically hurt to be that stupid? — Smart Bee

My guess at the answer to this is, No. It can’t hurt very much to be that stupid, as we continue to go out each time there is an election and vote these same lying, cheating, avaricious assholes back into the same positions from which they have been oppressing the American people for oh, a hundred or so years now. I’d say that around the time of the Great Depression was when the first real strangle-hold on the national throat was first achieved…. the pure bullshit that was spewing back then can be seen to have been the first real time that the government’s outrageous lies were swallowed whole by a reluctant public, who had nothing else to eat, and thus nothing else to risk…

“He was born stupid, and greatly increased his birthright.” — Samuel Butler

So, how does it feel? Does it physically hurt to be so stupid as to be part of the crowd that continues to buy into all the bullshit lies that our own government heaps upon us every day? To keep going to the polls, just as if it really matters who gets elected? Get real, folks.

You will not find a name on the ballot that belongs to someone who is not a willing tool of the powers of oppression, the money-changers who are the power behind the scenes of every government in the world. Not going to happen; they’ve been the real power in the world for centuries, and they’re not about to give up all they have, just to be nice, or because they’ve all of a sudden grown a heart.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting pretty fucking tired of being lied to, and cheated, and looked at as just another idiot for them to shit on….. and I’m not going to put up with it for much longer, without some kind of return fire….. Believe it….

I don’t think I am alone in this, either…. No way to tell for sure, but I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE is falling for all of it…. No matter; even if I’m alone in this, I refuse to knuckle under any further, and can only say that I will do all I can to see things turn in a direction that will return my Rights, and those of the rest of the American people…. or at least those not stupid enough to hand them over without a fight….

“He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
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“A modest little person, with much to be modest about.” — Winston Churchill

Churchill is one of my heroes. His devotion to the principles of curmudgeonry is legendary among those of us who believe in those principles of interaction. This little insult is what I like to call “classic” in its simplicity. No extra words, just those needed to jab the sharp point right into the eye of the beholder, while the speaker steps back to avoid the blood splatter. Not only is it a perfect insult to use in cocktail conversation when discussing anyone who isn’t there to defend themselves (always a clever way to avoid being fired on unexpectedly….), but it is quite an accurate description of many of our beloved ruling class.

A number of public figures come to mind if I consider this, and all of them are wearing a blue suit, a white shirt, a red tie, and a flag pin on their lapel. Many of them are still breathing, and giving us the dubious benefits of what passes for wisdom amongst that mystical group who are the ancient enemies of the Illuminati, the all-knowing, all powerful, and very rich, order of the Ignoramitae…. an organization so secret, so powerfully capable, that most of Mankind has never even heard of them.

Hell, I wouldn’t have known of them, if their existence weren’t a mathematical certainty. There is no other explanation for the course of human history…. only a powerful force, acting behind the scenes, could have achieved such a long-term effect on the events that shaped our culture. Ignorance HAD to exist in such a form; nothing else makes sense….

Then, someone like Winnie comes along, and provides a sure-fire way to spot them…. just think about those folks who are always around in the background when you see photos of world leaders making nice…. the powers that truly be wouldn’t let their charges get together without at least a couple of their “handlers” present…

Well, I wouldn’t, if it were me, so I’m betting that they are nearby, just in case one of the beloved ruling class gets a wild hair, and tries to say something that actually makes sense…. I guess, if nothing else, it makes for good TV….. But, don’t count on ever getting a glimpse of one of the actual rulers of this planet… they avoid the light, like the creatures of the dark they are….
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JABBERWOCKY

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And thou hast slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.
— Lewis Carroll, “Through the Looking-Glass”

It was time…. I haven’t used this in several months, I believe, and every once in a while it’s good to bring it out for perusal, just to give everyone that little jolt of joy that good, solid, sheer nonsense gives. I love to have this read aloud while I close my eyes and envision the Jabberwock, whuffling through the wood, the vorpal blade going snicker-snack, and the beamish boy galumphing back with the head…. absolute bliss! It is particularly effective after reading the daily news, to give one a sense of balance…. enjoy!

“Universe: All-purpose poem.” — Ray Hand
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“My girlfriend was crushed by Bambi meets Godzilla…” — Smart Bee

Well, I don’t blame her…. so was Bambi…. (You will only get this if you’ve seen the actual film short, “Bambi meets Godzilla”, which, IMNSHO, is quite possibly the best cartoon short ever made…. seriously….) (If you have seen it, well, convince me I’m wrong… )    😉
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“He had come to that time in his life (it varies for every man) where a human being gives himself over to his demon or to his genius, according to a mysterious law which orders him either to destroy or to surpass himself.” — Marguerite Yourcenar

Hmm…. a nicely expressed observation by Ms. Yourcenar (No, I have no idea who she is… give me a moment to commune with Google….)

It turns out she is a very interesting person, of whom I have never heard…. just goes to show we all have a lot to learn… Here is some information from Wikipedia on this literary jewel from the twentieth century….

“Marguerite Yourcenar (8 June 1903 – 17 December 1987) was a Belgian-born French novelist and essayist. Winner of the Prix Femina and the Erasmus Prize, she was the first woman elected to the Académie française, in 1980.

In 1951 she published, in France, the novel Mémoires d’Hadrien, which she had been writing with pauses for a decade. The novel was an immediate success and met with great critical acclaim. In this novel Yourcenar recreated the life and death of one of the great rulers of the ancient world, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, who writes a long letter to Marcus Aurelius, the son and heir of Antoninus Pius, his successor and adoptive son. The Emperor meditates on his past, describing both his triumphs and his failures, his love for Antinous, and his philosophy. This novel has become a modern classic, a standard against which fictional recreations of antiquity are measured. ”

Fascinating, and a whole new author to read…. Serendipity strikes again! Before I became distracted by the author, I was going to say this about her statement….

I find myself feeling both sad and glad that I have not yet come to this point in my life. Sad because it is unfilled destiny, yet glad for the same reason, as it means that it is still something that I have to look forward to experiencing, all but guaranteeing that I have enough time left on my clock to come to that point in my journey. Whether it is truth is not clear, but it is certainly a reasonable observation, insightful as it is in looking into the nature of Man, and this gives me hope…. for as long as I can keep my cynical side from looking at it too closely….   🙂
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Whew! Made it…. it was looking a bit chancy there for a little while, but I think it all came together pretty well. It’s a moot point, anyway, because no way in hell I’m starting over now…. This will have to fly under its own power, or not. I’m confident it will miss the ground, thus achieving its basic task…. and if not, well, there is always tomorrow…..

Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Advents Sadly Unheralded by Prophetic Cheese….

Ffolkes,
Even in the quiet of the hours pre-dawn, Sunday has a different feel than the rest of the days of the week. Why this should be is not immediately apparent, as physically speaking, one day isn’t much different than the next, or the one prior to today. Mere differences in seasonal details like temperature and rain, etc., don’t really apply.; the sun still rises, the planets turn, and we get a bit older over the course of each day. Plus, of course, for our convenience, we name them. (I don’t think a cat cares what day it is, unless the milk delivery comes on a particular day; they’ll notice that kind of thing; but the cat won’t call it Tuesday, or Sunday, or whatever, will he/she?) But, physical differences? Not there….

So, what makes a Sunday feel different? Well, for me, it was a mere matter of a few moments to figure out, Doh!….that it only feels different because of my perception of such. I’m the one who applied the relativity judgment; I’m the one who feels the change in timbre. In reality, nothing has changed that doesn’t do so every day; only my perception and value judgment have given it the altered state. None of the animals, or plants will note anything amiss, and the birds won’t hold back their song, just because a lot of folks want to sleep in the day after indulging in pretending to be Irish for a number of hours the day before, during which uncommonly large quantities of adult beverages were consumed, much to the dismay of millions of livers in this country….. of course, the food coloring industry loves it!

Any who, today is no different than any other day, not according to any of the world’s inhabitants who most rely on its consistency of purpose. The sun will eventually come up in this part of the world, and the plants and animals will greet its arrival just the same as if they didn’t have to go to church later…. which, oddly enough, they don’t…. shall we Pearl?…..
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“The spirit is fascinated by the future, wants to know the meaning of everything, and would like to stretch, if not break altogether, the laws of nature through technology or prayer. It is full of ideals and ambition, and is a necessary, rewarding, and inspiring aspect of human life. The soul is… embedded in the details of ordinary, everyday experience. In the spirit we try to transcend our humanity; in the soul, we try to enter our humanity fully and realize it completely.” — Thomas Moore

Lovely, but a bit overblown, language-wise, wouldn’t you say? This is what happens when a poet tries to explain something subtle without resorting to rhyme. Thomas Moore gets a lot of print time in this blog, but it’s all been examples of his poetry; his prose is, obviously, not his strongest point. Though pretty, in both concept and execution, this basic idea would have been expressed in one line by a competent writer of prose.

Not to say, of course, that poets should NEVER write prose; talent often extends its domain to cover both sides of the creative writing process coin; witness J.R.R. Tolkien. But, in most cases I would say that it is probably best for some folks to stick with what they do best. While complete, accurate, and well written, this piece of insight would have been much better said by my ancestor (we share the surname, Moore) with more structure and scansion, couched comfortably in a pair of rhyming couplets….. at least to my way of thinking (so, that’s what he calls it?….)
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Water wears the rock. — Anonymous

Lately, a lot of my best quotes have been found without attribution. I can’t say whether this is because the database compilers were lazy, or if they considered such basic concepts to be in the public domain, having found it listed with a number of different attributions. Since it matters not a whit to the discussion of the chosen pieces, I can’t say I care a lot, either….. and in this case, public domain might be the right call, anyway…..

The properties of water are of intense interest to any philosopher deserving of the title. It’s unique status as both one of the most common substances to be found in a free state in the universe, and as demonstrable proof of the theory of conservation of matter and energy, ensures that we pay close attention to its qualities and characteristics.

All of us are aware of the power of water to change the face of matter; the Grand Canyon stands as mute evidence of that particular power over the course of eons. And everyone alive is forced to acknowledge the importance of water to our continued existence; a very large percentage of the material our bodies are composed of consists of water, and we must maintain that percentage, or die. So, not only are we dependent on it for our continued survival, but benefit in countless other ways by its presence as a tool for teaching our young, about reality and existence.

Water cannot be destroyed, at least not by any means mankind has discovered. We know how to cause it to change states, from ice to liquid to gas, but destroy it? Nope….can’t do it. Thus it takes on a new importance, as model for our spiritual evolution. By likening one to the other (water=spirit/soul) it gives us both hope and direction. There are a multitude of ancient religions and philosophies who have made it a practice to use the properties of water as the perfect state to emulate in our minds. In the practice of meditation, contemplation of water and its properties is one of the most common mantras used.

Envisioning reality as a still pool of water remains one of the most valuable images we as a species have ever found to help gain understanding of how the universe acts in relation to our quest for peace and enlightenment, demonstrating both the value of assuming the stillness of spirit contained in a quiet pool, while retaining awareness of how a small change to the pool, a dropped pebble, can create ripples of effect that affect the entire pool, or face of reality.

I find it to be a comforting thought to know that our blood, and the water in our bodies, has the exact same salinity and qualities as sea water; it is a constant reminder that we came from the sea, and that it remains there for us, as a place of sustenance and respite, and as our eventual resting place, for all things on earth return eventually from whence they came, in the eternal shifting of the universe to combine the various components into the most pleasing, and most elegant, combinations of beauty and grace that make up the myriad forms of Life on this planet…. all honor, and hail to water, our gift of boundless value from the universe…..
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Hell hath no fury like a vested interest masquerading as a moral principle.– Anonymous, again….

I would say that this is a proposition that finds its proof in the news every day… witness the reaction of Wall Street to the OWS protests of the last few months. Or take a moment to listen to many of the pronouncements made by the group of (insert favorite insulting label here) current vying for the title of “World’s Biggest Boob” on the campaign trail.

Note too, the sweat forming on the brows of countless Congresspersons who are scared shitless that the American people are coming to their senses, and they (Congress) will henceforth be subject to the same laws and regulations as the rest of the American people.

No more publicly funded private health care for them; they can use Medicare and Medicaid, just like we must. No more full retirement pay after one term; they use Social Security, just like the rest of us. If they lie, or steal, or cheat the public, or even each other, they get arrested and jailed, just like the rest of us.

And the best change of all; if the national budget is not balanced by the due date, they don’t get paid until it does, and they automatically lose the right to be re-elected. Currently, they are doing everything they can think of to distract the American public from further consideration of these suggested changes, but I think it is an idea whose time is come.

I also think that the Founding Fathers will be applauding as it happens; I don’t think they intended for Congress to use its power for self-aggrandizement, or for “politician” to become a true profession. I think they had the idea that good men would do their duty by reluctantly serving a term, or two, then return to their natural position among the citizenry.

This would have the effect of making people like Newt Gingrich look just like the common thieves they are, and folks like Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum would be social outcasts, IF they managed to avoid prosecution for meddling in affairs that are none of their concern….. such as contraception, abortion, or trying to force religious principles into law, a practice strictly forbidden by our Constitution and Bill of Rights…..

“Life is but an unfair circle, intertwined among the ruins of my salvation as  a soul of this universe. My humble despair deserves no such fate; perhaps sometime in the near distant future I may live to say ‘This really sucks!'” — Eric Dransfeldt  (Fear not, it HAS been said!)
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The most valuable quotation will be the one for which you cannot determine the source. — Duggan’s Law of Scholarly Research

The source for an unattributed quotation will appear in the most hostile review of your work. — Corollary

Aha! Now I understand the process a lot better…. and I know now who stole all the attributions, just so I couldn’t find them! This explains SO much!….. and gives me a defined target for my shotgun; just look for my most virulent critics, and fire away!…..
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“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

I may have used this previously; it sounds very familiar. Nonetheless, it bears repeating, as it is possibly the clearest explanation of how fanatics operate I’ve come across in my researches. Succinct and precise, it carves away everything extraneous, and exposes the innate weakness of the zealot’s fantasy that serves as their reality.

I really can’t add much more to this; it would be akin to gilding a lily. So, I’ll just give it to you ala carte, so to speak, but without the usual markup in price….. use it well, it can provide you with both protection from such depredations as suffering their spew, and hours of amusement over their latest antics….
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Well, to quote Neville Longbottom, in HP 8; The Deathly Hallows,  “that went well.”  Another day, another freebie….

Just so you know, I do this every day, mostly for me. But, should you, or anyone you may know, care to consider paying me for my observations, I wouldn’t say nay…. t’would be a good thing to be able to support myself by what I write, and who knows? It might even help out some folks who otherwise would go through their entire lives without benefit of my unique, if somewhat strange, take on the Universe and all its shenanigans…. we wouldn’t want to deprive anyone, now would we?…..

Just something to consider, should you ever find yourself talking with an editor of a major news or entertainment outlet…. and it might even be worth a finder’s fee!…… Just sayin’, as our good friend Lizzie would say…. meantime, y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Confused? Two words: muskrat love…..

Ffolkes,
I got bitten yesterday, by the poetry bug. It stung enough that I had to write a haiku to ease the pain…..

Immediately Haiku

Sometimes the best way
is to begin
at the first spot.
Other times, not.

gigoid did it…blame him…

What better way to begin a day? I could think of a couple offhand, but they would both involve items not currently in stock……this will do for a Monday…..
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“The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them– words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried when you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for the want of a teller but for the want of an understanding ear.” — Stephen King

This is an incredibly perceptive observation, and a clearly stated manifesto of belief in the power of our humanity, as well as our vulnerability. I know Stephen King is very popular as an author, but I can say truthfully that, though I read a LOT, I’ve never read one of his novels. It’s not him, it’s his genre (which he pretty much owns outright), to wit: horror stories. Every plot I’ve ever seen of his outlined on the jacket sleeve or back cover of a book sent me packing off to what subjects I will read; I decline to deliberately promote nightmares, and I’ve never been a fan of gore. Probably comes with hating the sight of my own blood. 

While my tastes in reading material are eclectic, from cereal boxes to box sets of just about any subject, they’ve never included horror; either movies or books. Life and Reality have always been plenty full of events, thoughts, people, and situations that are scary or frightening; that has always been enough for me. I’ve never particularly enjoyed the whole adrenaline scene, other than when necessary to preserve one’s health or welfare. I don’t need to deliberately put myself through the whole “scared me so bad I had nightmares” scenario; it’s not my idea of fun and relaxation.

Sure, little zaps of adrenaline can be cool; addictions always are at first. That’s why skiing, para-gliding, cliff diving, and such activities are popular, for that little bit of bloodthirsty savage in all of us, almost hoping for a crash. Even I learned to (perversely, but predictably) enjoy, and utilize the adrenaline one finds in martial arts, and real-time fighting, an activity I encountered on a weekly basis as part of my work, but it isn’t something I recommend, especially for the faint of heart, or their cousins, the bleeding hearts. There are better ways to get kicks like that, ways that don’t include subjecting one’s self, or one’s sensibilities to the indignity of near-death experiences, either real, or out of someone else’s demented mind….

Nonetheless, not being partial to his books doesn’t prevent me from observing, with admittedly some surprise, that the above paragraph demonstrates a pretty keen mind at work. A mind that clearly sees more of the corners, light and dark, in human nature than I had thought it would. In retrospect, though, I shouldn’t feel surprised, for it would explain why he is able to so easily put his finger on the the darkest, deepest wounds and weak points in our collective consciousness.

Only by feeling an equal degree of joyous celebration, of humble gratitude in service to others, or any other of the positive expressions of one’s humanity, could one even consider claiming knowledge of the opposite end of the scale. He certainly demonstrates an deep understanding of the duality of the human experience, and from what I understand, writes about it without modern peer. I, however, congratulate him not for that, but for knowing, and attempting to share his understanding of how to keep in touch with the empowering side of one’s own nature…….
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“The “Defense of Marriage Act” before Congress was co-sponsored by the divorced Bob Dole and the divorced House Speaker Newt Gingrich. The bill, if it passes, has been promised to be signed by the renowned skirt-chaser President Bill Clinton.  These men tell us that they support the bill because committed, monogamous same-sex unions are an affront to the sacred institution of heterosexual marriage.  Am I the only one a bit confused here?” — James G. Gilbert, Boston in a Letter to the Editor (Globe?)

The part of this that disturbs me is that it had to have been written abut 20 years ago, during Clinton’s white house occupancy. This means that in twenty years, there has been no resolution of a problem that (apparently) is still of primary concern to the voting public. The quotation could have easily appeared in yesterday’s edition of the Globe, and those who believe that heterosexual marriage should be sacred are still acting as if they are under attack. Bills and lawsuits are still being touted and pursued that try to legislate one group’s morality into law; which one will do so remains unclear, though  it escapes me why that should be true, or even an issue.

I find it difficult to believe that more than one court has not already said to the ignoramuses who are bleating about how married homosexuals will cause their own kids to turn gay, “Would you please just be quiet, take your ignorance and prejudices home to your own little cave, and stay there? Leave everyone else alone, it’s none of your expletive business what they do in their own homes. If you want the government to pass judgment on what happens in YOUR home, too, that can be arranged; the Bill of Rights is not Sacred anymore…. but meantime, you’re being a pain, so shut the f…. up!”….. Boy, wouldn’t that be fun to watch!…….
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Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
— Tao Te Ching

Adding to this, or trying to explain it destroys the clarity of the concepts, so I will leave any comments or thoughts as an exercise for the Gentle Reader……
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“I’ll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has to say.” — Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

I don’t agree at all with this sentiment; it goes against one of my most basic beliefs, if what it says is what I understand it to say, regarding communication and its importance in our relationships with others.  In fact, I had reacted so strongly to reading it that I had written two paragraphs of scathing satire about Mrs. Gaskell, even sinking so low as to mock her name, and make poor jokes about her relations, before I came to my senses, and halted the tirade. I hated to delete it; part of it was some of the funniest stuff I’d done in a while. As it turns out, reading what I’d written after a short session with Google, I was ashamed at myself, both for jumping to conclusions, and mouthing off without thinking of consequences.

You see, as I finished my mini-rant, it occurred to me that I knew nothing about this person; zip, zilch, never heard of her. Boy, am I ignorant, or what? It turns out she was one of the most prolific and successful British authors of the 19th century, during the time of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, along with others of her ilk and gender. Wikipedia tells me she reportedly wrote passionately powerful novels about the tragic suffering in the lives of the poor families living in cities, with which she was well-acquainted, having worked for many years as a nurse in charity and ministerial work with her husband, a Unitarian minister.

These programs ministered to the poor and afflicted of British urban centers, some of the first heavily industrialized cities in Europe. Her books were very popular and successful, both with the public, and with doctors, who benefited from the attention given to the diseases prevalent among poor populations in the urban areas. She is credited with responsibility for inspiring many reforms and changes in the attitude of the entire medical community toward this area of medicine, and the treatment of disease.

Not exactly a good candidate for a sarcastic rant, eh? That will teach me to think before typing, for sure…. it would have been very embarrassing to have published that without researching it; I’d probably have instigated the ire of anyone with a moderate knowledge of English literature in the century before last, and deservedly so…..

Oh, well. Do I get any points for copping to being nearly stupid and unnecessarily cruel? No? Well, that’s okay…. don’t want to reward ineffectively. “Still alive” is enough of a reward after attacks of near stupidity; ‘nearly stupid’ has been known to cause “not still alive”, or “he’s dead, Jim. You get his wallet…” to happen to those who aren’t sufficiently alert to the possibility……
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I’ve done so much, with so little, for so long, that now I can do anything with nothing.

I cannot say that I’ve quite reached this level of expertise, but I can say that the attempt to do so is one of my small set of critical  priorities; doing without has become a way of life. It has its advantages, which are, sadly, amply offset by the disadvantages, making it neither good nor bad, merely survivable. I don’t go out, to eat, or drink, or visit folks; no car and no money to support either activity, as most everyone I know locally is at least a few miles away. Too far for walking anyway, and I ain’t asking for no handouts such as a ride; I don’t bring much to the table for the near future, at least.

I have enough to cover my basic needs for shelter and food (mostly), and a bit left over for phone & internet, to stay sane. That’s it, so I try to stay aware that it is more than half the world has to survive with. Until my Social Security kicks in, this is reality, so I’m just hunkerin’ down & stayin’ alive…. it’s a good thing I enjoy my own company….. cyber-relationships are cool, but not quite the same as one-to-one contact….. once the SS is approved, life will return to a slightly higher standard of living, one that includes food as a regular budget item, not a luxury…… besides, I need to lose at least 20 lbs, just to stay healthy…. if only that goal didn’t require crunchies, of which I am less than fond…..
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I can’t say this has been the easiest Pearl I’ve ever written, but it wasn’t the hardest by a long shot. Still, all things must come to an end; it’s not just smart and healthy, it’s the Law! Until tomorrow, then….y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!