Real fun begins in the burrow….

Ffolkes,
It may, or may not, come as a surprise to you, but the material that appears here every day is as fresh and new to me as it is to you. All of what I write in this blog is made up every morning when I sit down to begin. I have no outlines, no lists of subject matter, no pre-written essays, or articles, or rants. I do save a few pearls here and there, in case the dB program, Smart Bee, is being recalcitrant, but I haven’t had to use the stash in six months or more.

Everything else is my reaction to the pearls that I pick, written moments after pasting the pearl into the word processor I’m using. Most of the ones I pick to write about each day are also fresh, as well, usually picked out that very morning. Sometimes a pearl will be in place, waiting, having been found the day, or a couple of days, before, but 9 times out of 10, I will move the waiting pearl to another day down the road, and use one I just found. It just seems to work out best this way, so that is how it is done…. It’s not logical, or even particularly well-designed and arranged. But, it works for me, and that, after all, is what it is all about…..

So be it…. I’m not sure why I said all that, but what the hell…. let’s just get down to it right away…. shall we Pearl?….
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Angels and ministers of grace, defend us!
Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn’d,
Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
Thou comest in such a questionable shape
That I will speak to thee: I ‘ll call thee Hamlet,
King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
Let me not burst in ignorance, but tell
Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn’d,
Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws
To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
Revisit’st thus the glimpses of the moon,
Making night hideous,
So horridly to shake our disposition
With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act i, Sc. 4

Time for a short rant…. I know the above is probably considered to be one of the finest examples of literature ever written. This soliloquy from Hamlet has been dissected and discussed to death many times over, in classrooms, in theaters, at dinner parties, and is used often as quotations to illustrate some point or another…. and it is SUCH a piece of CRAP! 

I cannot believe that anyone still falls for this! What the fuck is he talking about? What has he said here, beyond some personal complaints about somebody that he has been rude to his entire life? Even when one filters out the middle English and puts it into more modern terminology, it doesn’t make any sense. It is just a litany of complaints that one can hear from one’s teenage son or daughter any time of day or night…..

I watched the movie, Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, yesterday… it’s good entertainment, and has a lot of what made the original ST shows so watchable, i.e., interactions among the crew, specifically Spock, McCoy, and Kirk. At one point, when Spock’s memory is under question, McCoy delivers the first two lines above, whereupon Spock immediately supplies the play, act, and scene number from memory…. But I found it interesting that McCoy is one of the first to use the quote as a question of someone’s mental acuity…. it certainly is one of the few, if any, times that I’ve seen it used thus…. At least, used in this context, it at least admits the possibility that the speaker is less than completely sane, which to me seems quite apparent.

If I heard anyone spouting off like this, I would certainly be calling 911 to have someone come to take them away before they got violent….   But, humanity likes its heroes, even when it doesn’t even know why they are such….. so we’ll have to be subjected to Will’s overblown crap as long as people continue to put his work on a pedestal… when where it should be kept is in a locked vault….

“Hamlet is the tragedy of tackling a family problem too soon after college.” — Tom Masson
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“Some foolish men declare that a Creator made the world.  The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised, and should be rejected.  If God created the world, where was He before creation?  How could God  have made the world without any raw material?  If you say He made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression … Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning and end.” — The Mahapurana, Jinasena

There are times when the human race baffles me…. Many moons ago (a clever writer’s trick to indicate a VERY long time…), when we were all sitting around a campfire, say out in front of a nice cave we’d appropriated from some poor idiot killed in lieu of a mortgage payment, somebody came up with the concept of a Creator.

Now, the first question that comes to my mind is, “Why?” (I know, I know, that is a question we are not supposed to ask…. again, I will repeat, “Why?”….)  What was it that prompted those folks to want to create some god-like figure to explain all the stuff we didn’t know at the time?

Were they sitting around blaming each other for the rain and thunder? Was there something about the way that wolf pack was stalking the same prey as we were hunting that indicated some sort of conspiracy? What? I don’t seem to be able to find out what impulse it was that caused them to make up such a specious and unlikely explanation for the way the world exists…. The one that they came up with does not fit the facts of the matter; it only fits the wishes of those who believe it. Even the explanation that pantheists like Hindi came up with are wishful thinking; it makes as little sense to assume that there are a thousand gods as it does to assume just one……

A Lie is still a Lie, even if you believe it. — Smart Bee

“Over 5,000 years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel,  “Pick up your shovels, mount your asses and load your camels, and I will lead you to the promised land.”
Not too long ago, Roosevelt said,  “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, light a Camel, this is the promised land.”
Now Nixon is stealing your shovels, kicking your asses, raising the price of Camels, and mortgaging the promised land.” — Smart Bee

This is the result, you see, of having this sort of nonsense to contend with. The mere existence of this joke indicates the depths of contradiction that are inherent in any such creation theory. The presence in society of a large group of people who all believe that they may do whatever they please, and their acts will be either sanctioned by the deity, or forgiven by Him, thus releasing them from all responsibility for whatever it is they choose to do, is a large factor in how close we are to extinction as a species. The self-indulgence and lack of any personal responsibility allowed by these religions can be seen as a major contributor to both the evil that men perpetrate on each other, as well as the degradations that we have committed on our environment.

And the saddest part of all of this is the simple fact that nobody cares. Millions and millions, even billions, of people on this planet believe that their religion is the gospel truth, and all the lies they are told, and all the lies they tell, are sanctioned by Heaven, and no matter what they do on Earth, they will be rewarded in Heaven…. They believe this with all their being, and nothing will change their minds, because they will not entertain any other ideas, having been programmed to reject anything that doesn’t fit with what they’ve been told to believe.

“Belief gets in the way of learning.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Moreover, they are convinced that they have made the choice to believe all this; they cannot even see how they have been given no choice in the matter, having been indoctrinated from an early age, before they had the intellectual or mindful defenses against any such nonsense. Churches learned long ago to attack the minds of children first, for they cannot help but believe what their parents tell them…. thus, the vicious cycle of ignorance is passed on from generation to generation, all without ever being examined for truth…. a concept foreign to the very nature of the institution…..

“I honestly believe that the doctrine of hell was born in the glittering eyes of snakes that run in frightful coils watching for their prey.   I believe  it was born with the yelping, howling, growling and snarling of wild beasts…  I despise it, I defy it, and I hate it.” — Robert G. Ingersoll

“Advise is seldom welcome, and those who need it the most, like it the least.” — Lord Chesterfield

“The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it.  Ignorance may deride it.  But in the end, there it is.” — Winston Churchill
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A mighty creature is the germ,
Though smaller than the pachyderm.
His customary dwelling place
Is deep within the human race.
His childish pride he often pleases
By giving people strange diseases.
Do you, my poppet, feel infirm?
You probably contain a germ.
— Odgen Nash (1902-1971)

As is always the case with the work of Ogden Nash, there is very little that can be added without becoming superfluous. He trims away any unnecessary words and ideas, and drives straight into the truth, adorned perfectly by whimsy. I can’t think of another poet who has such a consistent talent to make me smile; he never fails to amuse and uplift, and one always comes away happier, if not always wiser. His simple rhymes and snippets of humorous verse, in my mind, makes him one of the “best of the best” in that field…..

“Careful, Mister.  Old Zeek is liable to fire that sucker up!” — Smart Bee
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Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights…..  http://www.fdrheritage.org/bill_of_rights.htm

One of the bloggers whose work I enjoy, and whose work, and opinion I’ve come to respect, writes poetry and prose at his blog site, One Time Pad, located here: http://onetimepad.wordpress.com/    A while back, he referred me to an article discussing how our use of language affects how we look at the political forces at play in society. It was a very good article, thoughtful, insightful, and with some good, sound conclusions. But, I am not at this time going to discuss that article, as it could conceivably turn into a very long discussion. But, as part of the research the author performed, he looked at the above information, located at a site dedicated to the policies that are the legacy of Franklin D. Roosevelt, arguably the most popular President our country has ever seen.

Having not studied Roosevelt’s political philosophy outside what is part of every school’s history program, I cannot say whether I would agree with all of it. However, I did take the time to look over what is in the above, which is a proposal for new Amendments to the US Constitution, a Second Bill of Rights, which Roosevelt saw as a needed change, if society was to avoid in the future the same disastrously ill effects that he had just worked to counteract during the Great Depression in the 1930’s.

He saw a need to create more balance in society in how wealth and resources were allocated and shared on a society-wide basis. The amendments he proposed are all intended to foster and maintain that balance, and they all have to do with what he, and other liberals of the time, considered to be an expansion of basic human rights as outlined in the original Bill of Rights. In looking over what is here, I have to agree with the assessment he made; these are all changes that society will need to make, if we are to survive…. because they all assume that the real power in society CAN be returned to the people, instead of being concentrated and jealously protected by a select few who, by all indications, do not have the best interests of society at heart.

I firmly believe that the Occupy Movement, which is about to re-start its activist efforts to make the same litany of changes, would do well to adopt these proposed Amendments as the basis for their platform of purpose, and to work toward making them a part of American constitutional law. It would give them a legitimate focus, and will, if utilized well, stand a very good chance of succeeding in making a big difference…. and it sure couldn’t hurt to try….
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“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” — Josh Billings

In the past six months or so since my pal Noah died, I have avoided writing about him, other than one relatively short piece that I wrote to honor his life with memories of his character.

That post is still available to read, here:

http://therealowner.com/dogs/an-ode-to-noah/

I haven’t done so because I am a coward; it hurts a lot, still, and I have a hard time typing through the tears… just as I am now.

But, I wanted to share this with everyone, and say only this…. if you have not ever had the privilege of knowing a dog (note I do not say “own” or “possess” or “have”…. dogs are people, period, and such terms imply, and create, chauvinism that prevents you from ever understanding the true nature of yourself, much less the dog….), and of living with one, then you have not truly experienced what Love can be. Even with another person, Love has limits; for a dog, there are none.

So, any who…. before I am unable to do this at all, I will now post a photo, which I found on Facebook, I believe. It also might have come from the blogging site, Dog Leader Mysteries, which is dedicated to saving homeless and shelter dogs… located here:  http://dogleadermysteries.com/  If this doesn’t touch your heart, nothing in this world can save you…. I’ve entitled it….

The Last Will and Testament of Noah Dog….

    If you cannot read it because the text is too small, right click on it, click on “Open with”, and let the default photo viewer open it in a window where you can enlarge it sufficiently to read…. and thank you for taking the time…. Blessed Be….
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Okay, my day is destroyed now… but in a good way……  

  …… The space you see here between the dots is a metaphor.  It represents the four minutes I just took to get up and walk away until I could control myself.  Whew! As I mentioned in the introductory paragraphs, I never know what I’m going to be writing about, and this may be about the clearest indication of the truth of that I can give you. The idea of including Noah’s Will in a Pearl has been circling around in my head for all the time since his passing, but today was the first time I have been able to follow through. In some ways I am glad, because it is now something I can cross off a list.

Alas, this issue is on more than one list, so, I’m sure I’m not done processing the feelings I have around Noah’s life and death; we were together for fully 17 years, and it’s only been six months since his demise. If not to you, it’s obvious to me I have some tears still to shed over that…. but, I’ve never been ashamed of tears, like most of the men I’ve known. Not that I let them rule me, but I believe it is human to feel the strong emotions that create the urge to give up our life’s blood (water) to express our emotional pain in a physical way. And I have nothing against being human….

Enough of my rumination…. I’m starting to annoy myself….  🙂   Well, as much as I ever do, anyway….. and I’m sure you’re getting tired of all the dots between thoughts…. so I’ll bring this to a crashing halt, here.  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!

Awash in hours of unnamed dreams….

Ffolkes,
Starts with S, ends with T, says howdy in between….. sorry, no, I don’t know where that came from. I know what it says (C’mon, it’s easy…. s_ _t, in between is hi (howdy) = well, you know… )  But, I have no clue as to why it was on the screen when I sat down; I did have a nightcap last night, and I was pretty wiped out tired when I poured it. Maybe I got a burst of inspiration from the whiskey, and put that thought down just before falling into bed; I can see that happening.

But, in my morning state of consciousness, unaffected by the questionable creative urges that the Beast often brings, I haven’t a clue why my mind thought it was either cute enough, or clever enough, to start out the day with. I suppose it will just have to get filed in that folder of things in this universe to which I will never know the answers…..

Now that the initial nonsense is out of the way, REAL panic can set in; my mind is currently a vast, empty plain, without even the saving grace of shiny objects off in the far distance to draw the eye and attention away from the absolutely deafening silence and lack of…. well, anything, to either see, or to write about…..

I may have to resort to an old writer’s trick, of writing about not writing, or writing about the fact that there is nothing to write about….. which confuses me already, and I haven’t even gone there yet…. I’ll keep scouring my brain, something will come up, it always does…. I’ll just go diving, and it’ll be waiting for me when I get back…. that’s the ticket….. see ya in a while….

Practice good mirth control — use a conundrum.

Sorry, an early pearl here…. I’m not going to use it for a discussion, but I like it, a lot, so I’m putting it here, out of the way, where you and I can enjoy its sharp wit, excellent vocabulary, and finely turned phraseology without the distraction of my chatter…. well, we could have, had I not proceeded to chatter anyway…. oh well, onward….

Okay, I’m  done…. let’s go Pearl, before it all gets away from me…. again….
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“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

Alan Watts may be one of the least known major influences on modern thought in society today. I first encountered his writings in the late 1960’s when I left home for college at UC Berkeley. It would be hard in one of these short discussions to fully describe the effect of his work on my as yet inexperienced philosophical education. Now, though, many years later, having read the work of many different philosophers, and explored extensively the written tomes of the religions of the world, I can still say that his ideas, and his manner of expressing those ideas, remains high on my list of preferred systems of thought. It is also clear to me after all this time that the content of his work has the highest percentage of concepts that I agree with, unreservedly…..

The statement included above is one of those statements. This is deep, so deep t’is impossible to entirely plumb its depths, without first learning to “breathe water”.  And yet, it is so simple, and so clear, that the most naive and simple man can easily absorb the lesson, and use it in life to his advantage. It is typical, in my mind, of the type of philosophical statement to which Alan was prone, and why he has been a major influence on society, though only a few people can tell you who he is. His knowledge is so penetrating, and his words so simple, and so apt, that one learns lessons while completely unaware of being taught. He knew the secrets of the ancient sages, and lived a life in harmony with the earth, as few in today’s world are capable of living…..
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“A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.” — Matz’s Maxim

Upon reflection, although this is a fine pearl, I’m not going to discuss it now. I’m already tired, so here is my conclusion on this: he’s got a good point. Now, let’s start this section over…..

“A life directed chiefly toward the fulfillment of personal desires sooner or later always leads to bitter disappointment.” — Albert Einstein

Now, there’s a pearl! Albert Einstein is generally regarded as one of mankind’s most brilliant members, but most people do not have the capability to see how or why this is so, other than knowing that he was responsible for E = MC².  But if one takes the time to look past this bit of common knowledge, and look at some of the statements of philosophy and life he is reported to have uttered, it becomes clearer that the key to his genius lay in the simplicity of his thought processes, not in their complexity.

Albert looked at the world, and the universe at large, through eyes that refused to look away from the simple elegance of the underlying nature of reality, instead focusing on the small, basic thoughts, ideas, or physical properties that best described what is real and true.  He also did not add superfluous judgments or unseen factors to what he perceived, instead again focusing on that part of the concept that is important, not those parts that are extraneous to the purpose of increasing understanding of the world around us.  He thus was able to see further into the nature of reality than is common to the rest of us, who are prone to complicate our perceptions with our prejudices and or misconceptions.

The above statement is a perfect example of this quality; it looks directly at human nature, and shows us how our own attitudes and desires can potentially be the cause of our own difficulties in life, thus giving us the opportunity to turn our efforts in a direction that will ultimately be more beneficial. The statement clearly lays the responsibility for the tenor of our lives right in our own laps, where it belongs, but does so without condemnation or insult, merely dispassionate truth. He was truly one of humanity’s greatest treasures, and his words will, hopefully, continue to help guide people through life far into to the future…. provided there is one….. but that’s a different subject altogether…..

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.” — Albert Schweitzer

(I know, I know….. not the right Albert. But, it was deliberate, and I’m just doing what Murphy wants….. as is sometimes common, as soon as I finished the above section, the absolute perfect ending pearl popped up. I think Herr Schweitzer was thinking of Herr Einstein when he related this thought…..  Albert Einstein was a happy guy; I have pictorial proof, which I have shared below…..so there…..)

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When all else fails, blame it on the guy next to you!

Fix the problem, not the blame.

Serendipity…. always a surprise when encountered, yet why should it be? Ah well, just one of those things we’ll never know, thank goodness… Any who…. these two diametrically opposed statements bring to light a particularly egregious, and, sadly, effective method of counter-strategy used extensively by those members of society whose primary goal is power over others. For each and every statement such as the latter, there are probably a hundred like the former, all perpetrated with the single intent of discrediting the value of the attitude expressed therein, for if people begin to handle life’s problematic issues by the second method, it makes it much more difficult to manipulate events to the advantage of the manipulators.

The ubiquitous presence of these lies among the body of common speech is astounding, if for no other reason that most folks never even realize that a) people, especially those in positions of authority, are lying to them consistently, or b) they are being easily manipulated by their willingness to accept these lies as truth. The sociopaths who take advantage of this are perfectly aware of this natural tendency among the human herd to accept what they hear from those in authority, and count on it heavily to assist them in maintaining the facade of their benevolence and good intentions.

Well, if no other way, perhaps it would help if a lot of folks came to realize that these assholes do express good intentions, and we all know where good intentions will lead us, don’t we?….. One may hope…..

“A thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for.” — W. C. Fields (1880-1946)

See what I mean? How despicable is this? (Very. It will be on the quiz.)  Even the humorists fall into the traps set for them…… and humorists influence society very heavily, reflecting as the do the common mores and attitudes of those they are trying to get to laugh, i.e. all of society….. but, the manipulators are laughing the hardest….
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Data:  “Felus catus.

Is your taxonomic nomenclature
An endothermic quadruped, carnivorous by nature?
Your visual, olfactory, and auditory senses
Control your hunting skills and natural defenses.

A bit of whimsy is always appropriate, especially before breakfast. I think my only reason for including this little ditty is to point out that poetry can take many guises, but is nonetheless recognizable in whatever clothing it assumes…. even android clothing, or fur….

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever!
A farewell, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.
Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerful twinkle lights me,
Dark despair around benights me.
— Robert Burns, Ae Fond Kiss

And then, again, there is the clothing of old masters…..
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“I am rich beyond the dreams of avarice.” — Edward Moore (1712-1757) — The Gamester, Act ii, Sc. 2

In the movie Star Trek IV, The Voyage Home, during a scene in which Dr. McCoy and Mr. Scott are trying to convince a plastics engineer to produce the needed walls for their whale aquarium, Bones uses a small paraphrase of the above line, to inflame the imagination of the engineer by appealing to his innate sense of greed. It was a brilliant piece of movie making, and a brilliant line. (Pretty well acted too; the light that came into the engineer’s eyes when he thought of all that money was priceless, along with the perfectly faux innocent sly look on his face….)  It’s one of my favorite scenes from the movie, a cult classic for true Trekkies, but I had never heard, or seen, the line before, and thus did not know who the author might be.

This morning, when I came across this while searching for the last pearl of the day, a huge smile, and feeling of completion, stole across my face and being, and I knew that all would be right with the world today…. well, maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but I sure feel better, knowing the name of the person responsible for such a beautiful phrase. I’m not sure in which philosophical direction it points, not having the context of the rest of the play to study (though I now may do so, at my leisure). But, if I choose to believe it comes from the concept of being rich because of how well loved and filled with joy is my life, and not from the concept of actually amassing monetary wealth, then it is absolutely a piece of literature for the ages….in the category of Truth and Beauty…..
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Well, that went better than I had expected, but I guess that is a natural outcome of having expectations; the percentage chances of being right diminish the more we entertain them ahead of the due process of reality. In short, it’s what I get for being a git…..  Nonetheless, how this has turned out is fine with me, so I’m going to send it off to cyberspace with my blessings. Y’all take care out there….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!