Elemental key lime pie….

Ffolkes,

“The deeds you do today may be the only sermon some people will hear today.”

~~ St. Francis of Assisi ~~

cat colors

Calico in sepia….

Hajime…. There is a little place in my head where ideas form; it seems to live between the state of full mindful consciousness and dreams, though the exact location remains mysterious, as it, like everything else, moves around a lot. Some days, I can find it easily, & the words flow like good wine at a bacchanal. Other days, of which today seems to be one, I can wander for what seems to be weeks in the empty hallways of the mansions of my mind without ever encountering even a whiff of fresh thought. When I sat to begin today, I had intended to discuss the process, but, as the hours, and days passed in my head, I realized such an intention would only make the gods laugh….

Finally, I gave up, as you see by the exposition which opens our missive. Not terribly compelling, but, honest. If there were any way, at this juncture, to go back & start over, I’d consider it well; since there doesn’t seem to be anything, in my head, or in the surrounding locus, that might offer such an opportunity, I may as well just get us down the page, where there is some great music, and an interesting group of rather inscrutable pearls, for y’all to chew on. It ain’t Ibsen, but, it’s art, I suppose. Y’all may, of course, make your own judgment on that, but, for now, it’s our story, & we’re sticking to it.

I don’t believe this horse is going to come back to life, so, I’ll quit beating on it, so we can get on with the rest of this mess. If I had any true compassion, I’d offer my apologies for this intro, but, I don’t. Not at this time of the morning, anyway. But, I do have my sense of ruthlessness, which has saved us many times in the past. That, of course, works like this….

Shall we Pearl?

“Bother!”, said Pooh, as time unraveled around him.

~~ Anonymous Bee ~~

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bonnie at ogwt 1976

While cruising old You Tube videos the other day, I came across this old recording from back in the day (1976, in this case), which gives a very clear idea of why I fell in love with this artist’s work, and have carried that torch for all the intervening years. The only reason she is not my favorite redhead in the world is because I know another one personally. She can’t sing, or play guitar like Bonnie, but, she’s even more talented, in her own way…. Bonnie, who plays and sings like an angel, always makes me smile, and sigh…. and dance….

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Bonnie Raitt
Old Grey Whistle Test
1976

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“All men are poets at heart.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“All poets are mad.” — Robert Burton

Comedy_Tragedy

Ah Ain’t Sho, but Mebbe So….

Fried eggs got nuthin’ on me
Ah’m not even sure of mah name,
or how Ah come to be;
no idea from where Ah came.

Ah does like a mystery tho’,
puzzlin’ things out so’s Ah knows,
good from bad fo sho,
Ah sho don’t want no rock pillows.

If’n Ah cain’t figure out what’s best,
Ah just falls back on mah Daddy’s words,
seems he knowed just whut’d stand the test,
‘n how to gentle the scaredest birds.

‘Course, he’d lived a good long time,
‘n had lots of stuff go on by;
Went to a war, n’ lost a piece or two,
never once used it fer an alibi.

He tol’ me once Ah’d best learn to learn,
school’s only cool if ya ain’t already a fool.
Yer own good measure you can earn,
by startin’ yer learnin’ with the Golden Rule.

Always seemed to me as Ah growed up,
he mostly only spoke if it wuz true,
‘n by doin’ that clued me to what’s up,
kept me from stuff that’d a made me blue.

Without ever sayin’ the word itself,
Ah learned ’bout honor, ‘n helpin’ others
not some fake stuff from some shelf,
but, knowin’ whut’s right, ‘n that we’re all brothers.

Ah’ve been around long enough now, Ah think
to get around the block at least two times.
I s’pose long as my head don’t shrink
Ah’ll keep on doin’ right, ‘n makin’ these rhymes…..

~~ gigoid ~~

4/6/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Yet Another Path….

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“All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love.”

~~ Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace ~~

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“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing,
of just going along,
listening to all the things you can’t hear,
and not bothering.”

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

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“He who is unable to live in society,
or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself,
must be either a beast or a god.”

~~ Aristotle ~~

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“Without the difficulty of being hemmed in,
the tree in the forest would not be forced to marshal its power
to grow toward the light.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~

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“If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.”

~~ Things We Can Learn From Dogs ~~

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“In human intercourse the tragedy begins,
not when there is misunderstanding about words,
but when silence is not understood.”

~~ Henry David Thoreau ~~

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“Heaven embraces the horizon.
No matter how jagged the profile, the sky faithfully conforms.”

~~ Deng Ming-Dao ~~

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“All men should strive to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why.”

~~ James Thurber ~~

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“Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know.
But I do not approve.
And I am not resigned.”

~~ Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Dirge Without Music” ~~

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Having fulfilled the minimum standards for a Pearl, I declare it done. So done, I can’t think of anything to say that would improve matters; in fact, it all feels like the slightest wrong move will bring it tumbling down around my ears. I’ll just end it here, quickly, & take my chances it will fly. Y’all have a good day out there in the BBR, as best you may. I’ll do the same, & maybe, tomorrow, we can do this again. Worth a shot, right? See ya….

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

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Featured image

À bientôt, mon cherí….

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Major fun for trapezoids….

Ffolkes,
Maybe I should follow Robert Heinlein’s advice more often, and wash my hands after writing. It’s possible that what gets on them during that nasty process is turning toxic, and slowly destroying my brain. If so, this is one of those things that should be included in the manual for burgeoning authors…. but, then, perhaps it is not there for a reason. Perhaps that particular piece of knowledge has been deliberately withheld in order to limit the total number of authors who are writing at any one time. Perhaps there is a quota that the Universe maintains, so that too many authors aren’t haranguing the public all at once.

Nah…. I don’t think so. That would imply assigning just a bit more intelligence to the universe than I’m willing to believe in, even considering Murphy, and his interfering ways. No, there must be something else going on to make my brain feel so much like mush. I’m sleeping too much, I can’t concentrate, I’m easily distracted, and subject to fits of emotions I thought I’d banished years ago (such as the guilt described yesterday…. haven’t felt that in many moons….). If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was coming down off crack, or some other addictive drug, and suffering the withdrawal symptoms. But, since the only addictive drug I’m using is prescribed, and I’m not out of it, that doesn’t explain it either.

Perhaps it’s the celibacy thing catching up to me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a period of my life where I’ve gone so long without a least token physical intimacy, even when I was married….  🙂   Since I have not experienced such a drought before, I can’t say whether the symptoms are congruent with what I’m experiencing now, but I have heard that it can be quite strenuous on the organism when the absence of that particular form of exercise is in effect. It isn’t something I’ve ever really thought about…. I don’t think that’s it, though, it just doesn’t make sense, unless one believes that to create well, an artist must suffer. Suffer, okay, but is there any need to be cruel?…. Oh, yeah, forgot…. Murphy…. well….

Whatever is going on, it’s like pushing through clouds of cotton candy to find a thought; finding one worth writing about may turn into a real struggle, if this intro is any indication. I suppose it would be best to just ignore this brain thing as much as possible, and get on with the rest of what is planned…. who knows? It may turn out just fine…. we’ll just have to dive in and see, won’t we? Shall we Pearl?….
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“And torture one poor word ten thousand ways.” — John Dryden (1631-1700) — Britannia Rediviva, Line 208

Wow! Have you ever seen a better description of this blog?  🙂   I’ve been torturing words now for over 12 years, at least in a bloggy sense; that’s about how long I’ve been doing these Pearls. I’ve learned over the years not to hear their screams, or read the petitions, or pay any attention to the ones who try to distract me with their flexibility of meaning; I just strap them into the rack and start hacking away. Sometimes in the intro, I force them to assume the shape of a short fantasy; other times I will completely embarrass them by telling them they are haiku, or a poem, when they know for certain I am no poet. I can be pretty cruel to the words in my head…..

I figure it’s only fair, considering how they treat me much of the time. I don’t ask much of them, really…. just the morning group of five good pearls I can use to create these missives, and I’d leave them be. But much of the time, such as today, they insist on playing games, hiding, shifting about, presenting only the quotes they know I’ve already used, or massive amounts of Shakespeare, which they KNOW just annoys me…..

No, they’re not very nice to me, so I feel no compunction about torturing them to get them to do what I need them to do. If I didn’t, I’d never get anything written. If I didn’t write as much as I do, I’d build up all this incredibly strong angst and tension, and eventually it would have to come out…. and at that point, it can be dangerous, especially if there is anyone else in the immediate vicinity of the blast zone….

So, you see, this blog is really a public service in disguise…. No thanks are necessary: since they are my words, I take responsibility for them, and consider it my duty to keep them from harming others (except, of course, when I want them to do so…..). I just didn’t want y’all to think I was hiding anything important…. I like to call this my Literary Guantanamo Bay for Wayward Words, where we have the leeway, and the executive authority, to torture those nasty little terror-inducing buggers into submission….
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“I believe that it should be perfectly lawful to print even things that outrage the pruderies and prejudices of the general, so long as any honest minority, however small, wants to read them.  The remedy of the majority is not prohibition, but avoidance.” — H.L. Mencken, “Baltimore Evening Sun”, March 31, 1924

The key idea here is in the last line… I like to call it On/Off Button Training, and should be required of all children from the age of 5, with periodic refresher courses throughout life. It is a lesson that apparently has been completely forgotten or ignored for a long time by society at large, and our culture badly needs to re-learn it.

Put most simply, this lesson says, “If you don’t like it, turn it off. Change the channel. Walk away. Mind you own business, and let other folks mind theirs.” The lack of general knowledge of this principle is, in my mind, responsible for at least three-quarters of the issues that are currently being argued in the public arena, especially that of LGBT rights, women’s rights, and separation of church and state.

Mrs. Grundy, Robert Heinlein’s archetypical busybody, and the forces of religious intolerance, have been creating a firestorm of outrage and public hullabaloo for years now about these issues, especially gay marriage. For goodness sake, why is it so hard for them to understand? If they don’t like gay marriage, then don’t marry a gay person! Sheesh! Seems pretty simple to me….

But, for some reason, a large part of humanity seems to think that what they believe should be what everyone else is forced to believe, and for the most part, they refuse to even listen to any arguments that would belie that delusion. It is impossible to reason with someone who refuses to even discuss an issue, who has closed their mind to any possible change.

So, it places all of us who would rather try to get along with folks rather than fuss and fight all the damn time to use our own On/Off Button, and switch channels, or walk away when we are confronted with their ignorance…. But, make sure you are watching your back as you turn away; they can turn vicious if they feel threatened by your indifference…. just like any small rodent…..

“And what is a good citizen?  Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual.  Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point.  A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.” — H.L. Mencken
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“It may be irrational of me, but human beings are quite my favorite species.” — Doctor Who, Ark in Space

It probably seems to most folks reading this blog that I don’t like people very much. I tend to spend a lot of time finding and pointing out the things I see in them that I don’t like, and discussing them at nearly interminable length, which would seem to indicate a lack of affection for the species as a whole. In reality, the opposite is true…. I love people… I love watching them, listening to them, thinking about them, writing about them…. They afford me no end of intellectual stimulation, entertaining comedic genius, and fertile fields of thought and endeavor to explore, virtually and actually.

Human society and culture is an incredibly beautiful, complex tapestry of emotion and creativity; nobility, cruelty, heroes, villains, puppies, cats, love, hate, and all the rest of the things that make people what they are unfolds before us every day, growing and adding length and breadth to that tapestry of existence.

I can’t think of anything more interesting than the drama/comedy that is human history in the making…. I might wish it to be a more compassionate world, with less tyranny and oppression, without slavery and starvation. I might wish that my life would not be so complicated by ignorance and intolerance, and I might wish that the small percentage of humanity that holds the remainder in the grip of their own avarice would die horrible deaths worthy of their own evil natures.

But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Nor would I say that any of these changes are particularly apt to happen without many more people in the world taking an interest in them; most folks just go through life trying to get by, and not be bothered with anything more complicated, and one can’t really blame them, bless their cowardly little hearts…. My own method of dealing with how much I’d like to see reality change is to write about what I see, and what I think can be different, with the right set of attitudes.

This desire to see the changes arises out of my love for my fellow man, not from indignation or outrage, though they are present. But what I write, and what I’m trying to accomplish, is to help folks deal with life in a way that allows them more freedom, of whatever kind they wish to have, whether monetary, intellectual, religious, or physical; my motivation is to share the strength and freedom of thought that I have sought so hard to achieve… Mankind has much more potential than we are showing in our actions, and I would love to see more of it fulfilled, rather than stifled, as in current society…. we can be so much more…..

“Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift.” — Albert Einstein
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“Such bickerings to recount, met often in these our writers, what more worth is it than to chronicle the wars of kites or crows flocking and fighting in the air?” — John Milton (1608-1674) — The History of England, Book iv

Did you ever wonder why a group of crows is called a congress? I didn’t. It makes perfect sense to me…. Dark, sinister looking creatures who act in odd ways, even for birds. Their behaviors tend to lean toward stealing shiny objects from wherever, or stealing the food of people or other animals and birds. When they speak, it is in a voice that grates on the ear like fingernails on a slate. In groups, they mill around, cackling and grumbling and jostling each other, until they all fly off to different areas to carry out whatever nefarious schemes they have hatched among them. No, I have no problem envisioning a congress of crows; in fact, I believe they are in session now in Washington, D.C. ….
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“God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

First, let me apologize…. I hadn’t meant to go into a rant this morning, especially about religion; sitting down is as difficult as standing up or walking, so the time it takes to express the outrage necessary to produce a rant is more than I wanted to take. But then this popped up in front of me….

After I had picked myself up from the floor and recovered my breath, I still could barely stop chuckling and giggling long enough to use the mouse to cut and paste it to this page. Now that I have, I find myself almost speechless at the sheer arrogance, the complete lack of respect shown for humanity at large by this astounding statement.

In one short phrase, this deeply disturbed man has attempted to manipulate his listeners into a complete subjugation of their will, and in doing so, implies that they are not only unworthy in a moral sense, but are not smart enough to be allowed to think for themselves. I’m surprised he didn’t ask for money in the same sentence…. You can bet he did before the end of the speech….

I remember seeing Billy Graham when I was quite young, speaking on TV to a football stadium full of enthusiastically cheering, excited, identical clones in white cotton dresses, with skirts below the knees, and blue suits, with white shirts, no vests, and skinny ties. Even at the tender age of 11 or so when I saw it, my first impression of him was of a used-car salesman, with a smarmy-looking smile at inappropriate moments, and a smooth, fawning manner of speaking that ranged from sly confidences to outraged proclamations of evil and sin, all delivered in very obviously scripted stages.

The words and phrases he used, straight out of the King James Bible, mostly, seemed to promote love and tolerance, but the underlying message was one of elitism and divisiveness, as indicated by the insistence that only those who accepted JC according to their rules would be allowed into heaven…. The rest of us would be consigned to everlasting hell for having the audacity to think differently…. It was pretty over-the-top, as far as I was concerned, though entertaining in a circus sort of way….

It is now 50 years since I saw that particular revival meeting, and Mr. Graham has continued to spew his particular brand of ignorance for that entire time. He is indeed one of the men of whom St. Francis of Assisi warned us to beware, a man of one book. And the above statement, to me, is proof of just how little he thinks of the general run of human beings. His basic message is, “You are a miserable sinner, and have no right to exist, other than at the mercy of God. You are not smart enough to keep from sinning on your own, so just shut up and listen to what you are told….”

It is certainly proof, I guess, that the world takes all kinds, for there are millions of folks out there who regard what Billy Graham says as just as much gospel as what is in the Bible…. but then in for a penny, in for a pound, I suppose…. Me, I’d rather listen to a ball game…..
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One more time unto the breach, and out again on the other side… Not bad for starting two hours late, and I only had to take about a dozen breaks to stretch and move a bit. I’ll take it…..

Hmm…. I just realized there is no poem….can’t have that… be right back….

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for religion — I have shuddered at it. I shudder no more — I could be martyred for my religion — Love is my religion — I could die for that…” — John Keats

Okay, so it’s not a poem… but it’s from a poet, and one of the best. I like the thought too, so it will have to do for today. I’ve been stuck with a fork, I’m done…. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Equipped with unregistered tweezers…..

Ffolkes,
I was right about the new format, and wrong as well, just like in real life! It does eliminate the search for subject matter, but tends to lead to ranting, or just plain old rambling, an occupational hazard for me. Oh well, can’t have everything, and who wants it easy all the time? Onward…..

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

Laughter is probably my favorite part of Life; I can’t think of a single time in my life when laughter was unwelcome. Conversely, I can think of any number of times when it was not only welcome, but life-saving, or at the very least life-preserving. In its way it also affirms life; it lets you know that you are alive, and that life is good. The sound of a child’s laughter can bring a smile to the grimmest curmudgeon, and the laughter of a beautiful woman can be either joyous, or cruel. Laughing is our best defense against the tyranny of repressive thought; it can bring a tyrant to his knees, for tyranny lives in fear of ridicule. Laughter cannot cure pain, but can ease it, and make it more bearable. In its way, laughter prolongs life, actually reversing many of the effects of time. When laughter is in our lives, everything is more colorful; vision is more acute, hearing, touch, smell, all are more acute when under its influence. And when it is long absent from us, the world turns dreary, and washed of all color. Without laughter, our lives become drudgery, merely a time to survive, in silence and despair.

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

“If you look at life one way, there is always cause for alarm.” — Elizabeth Bowen

When I read this quote, I was immediately reminded of St. Francis of Assisi’s famous quote, “Beware the man of one book.” It also occurred to me that this would be a perfect slogan for the any of  the Republican candidates who have spent the last few months flailing around the country, sowing ignorance and discord by the bucket. It is a perfect description of their entire campaign, wherein they attempt to turn any question from a reporter into an opportunity to get their own personal talking points out into the public eye, without ever giving a substantive answer to the original query. Global warming? Just a theory…. Abortion? NIMBY….Gay marriage? They’re sick and need treatment…. Torturing prisoners? It’s the American way….. The 99%/1% wealth distribution? “It’s your own fault you’re not rich!”….. Trillion-dollar a day wars in two countries? “We’ll just cut service to the elderly and the educational system…”  Every time one of them opens up their mouth, more insane drivel pours out, and I have to go wash my ears again…..

The worst part of this situation? To me it is the scary fact that there are millions of people in this country who not only fall for this bullshite, but actively support these sociopathic assholes, thinking they’re just the bee’s knee’s. It scares me to distraction when I think of how many uneducated, deliberately ignorant folks live in this country, and how easily they are led into voting for people who not only don’t respect them, but laugh at them as they carry their moneybags to the bank. It’s very disheartening……but it’s like the Firesign Theater said, “Yes, living in today’s complex world of the Future IS much like having a hive of bees living in your head. But….there they are!”……and here are the Republocrats…..deal with it….. if we don’t deal with it pretty soon, the species Australopithecus will join the dodo in the ranks of failed organisms on Planet Earth….here is a short poem that would make a good epitaph, should that occur….

And the wind shall say, Here were decent, godless people
their only monument the asphalt road
and a thousand lost golf balls.
— T.S. Eliot (1888-1965)

I usually do three, but these went a bit long, so for today, I will bid thee adieu…….y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!