Xenophobia never smells very well….

Yesterday’s querulous chipmunk would feel right at home here today, though that word, querulous, doesn’t come close to my own feelings…. which, if you must know, are still flying high on the adrenaline-like rush of joy I felt, and feel, knowing my ordeal with Social Security is winding down to a conclusion….. It’s almost like graduation from culinary school, in 1987, in the intensity of the emotional outpouring; that’s the last time I experienced this kind of emotional release all at once…. it’s quite heady, and intoxicating, in a way….

I know now what all those British authors meant…. the British are so bloody good at suppressing emotion, they became quite good at writing about how those repressed feelings act when they come forth all at one time, describing in great detail the storm that takes one away from one’s normal self, and fills one with more feeling than can be easily handled….. I must say, it’s quite exhilarating, don’t y’know?…. Quite makes one feel like a barbarian at the gates, what?

As you can see, I’m practicing my English speech patterns, for when I’m able to begin traveling soon. I should also practice my Irish brogue and lilt, as that is where I intend to go first. I’m not sure whether to book a tour or not; I’m tempted to just step on a plane, fly over, and start exploring on my own….

I used to be good at that sort of exploration, and Ireland has the distinct advantage of not requiring visas, just a passport…. and I carry that with me always…. I’m glad this happened now, as I was afraid I would have to get the passport renewed next year with only the one visa stamp in it, from China… Now, when I turn it in for another, there will be at least one or two other stamps, indicating countries I’ve visited, to go along with the one from Beijing in  2004.

It’s also damn nice to be able to think about something other than austerity measures…. I know now why the Greeks are protesting, along with a number of other European countries, all of whom are experiencing tough economic times. Austerity is no fun, even when self-imposed…. it is an emotionally trying experience to have always be thinking about where the next meal comes from, to admit one’s own poverty, and ask for help, and it is easy to place the blame on government, as they are the ones who are considered responsible to fix such issues….

This is also a point of view which forgets, of course, that it is the public theft and corruption of those self-same officials that are responsible for the problems in the first place; also of course, they have no more clue of how to fix it than do the ones suffering from it….. Pathetic…

Ah well, the whole world is going through tough times, economically; it’s all part and parcel of the overall breakdown in society that naturally accompanies the breakdown in the environment, and the impending doom that awaits us all. At times, my plans for travel and sightseeing seem a bit optimistic, as there may not be much time in which to enjoy a peaceful enough world to even be able to move around without difficulty.

At this point, there is no way to tell how much longer things will remain fairly normal; once the breakdown actually gets going, it will proceed rapidly, but, the build-up to that point is slow. and deceptively, seemingly far away….. However, one must remember, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear…..

Now, how did I get from my own sheer joy to the depressive notion of apocalypse? And, in just a few paragraphs, too!…. Amazing…. I have to say, that was a particularly strange intro, ranging through several states, none of which are compatible, but, seemingly, worked together today toward a common cause, though, I have to admit, I have no clue what that might be….. I just work here….

Oh, wait, no I don’t…. I forgot, I’m retired…..  😆  I’m going to quit this torture, and go on to find a pearl worth discussing…. or at the least, a group of them that will make me use my brain, instead of just sitting on it, as it currently seems to be utilized….. Ah, the hell with it, I’m diving in…. Shall we Pearl?…..

So, there I was, cruising through my database, when these five pearls stuck to my bag…. When I stopped to look at them, I found a pearl of great subtlety and depth, shining out at me in elegant apparent simplicity…. Now, you may look at these pearls, and have no clue as to what I saw in them…. or, conversely, the same gloss will strike your eye, and you will know instantly just why this is here…. Either way, it is sufficiently strange to fit in with the typical modus operandi that holds sway in this locus….. meaning, take it, or leave it…. but, do try to enjoy it in the process…. Otherwise, what’s the point, eh?….

“The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

“Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile.” — Sean Connery

“Pok pok pok, P’kok!” — Superchicken

In the midst of life we are in death. — Book of Common Prayer — The Burial Service

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. You cannot consistently practice any other virtues without being courageous.” — Maya Angelou

There you go…. classic wisdom in a strangely colored wrapper, served up with gusto and panache for your cogitative pleasure…. and, if not, well, we do sell Tums in the machine in the lobby…..

In lieu of a rant today, I’m including this classic poem from one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Ogden Nash. This light-hearted indictment of the corporate class is brilliant in its cultural accuracy and subtle irony, and goes as far toward chastising the 1% as any of my rants…. Enjoy!

Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer

This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
they don’t need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
better go get the money from their wife’s aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
the jackasses who go around saying that health and
happiness are everything and money isn’t essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
to death so they can’t go around any more sneering at good
old money, which is nothing short of providential.

Ogden Nash

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

I have been sitting here now for about 15 minutes, staring at this pearl…. I’ve subjected it to the most rigorous logical and deductive tests I can devise, and run it past several cultural editing and evaluation experts…. It’s perfect. It is my new vision statement, it’s that good….

It occurs to me that you might be sitting there thinking, “Well, he’s finally done it… slipped off his leash for good, and is lost wandering in the big, bad world.” In that assessment, attractive as it might appear on the surface, you would be erroneous, because, you see, I CAN, and DO laugh at myself, at the slightest provocation, so, I am guaranteed a lifetime of free entertainment, and you aren’t, so there….

Well, I suppose, if you were to continue to observe me, and join in the laughter and fun, it could be entertaining for you…. for a while, at least. Of course, like any good dealer, the first couple of times are free…. after that, you will pay, believe me, you will pay…. heh, heh, heh….. (Did that come across as evil enough? I could throw in a bit more twisted humor to seal the deal….  😈  )

Sorry, didn’t mean to wander… somebody on Facebook recently asked if anyone remembered the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and I was, as far as I could see, the only one who not only knew who they were, but knew the first names of all three of the brothers…. Franklin, Phineas, and Fat Freddy…. and the Freak Brothers have been stuck in my head ever since….. along with all their tons of good advice for young freaks…. as we were fondly called by the mainstream folks back in the sixties…. and I’m done now with this atrocious run-on sentence/paragraph/unrecognizable literary device of dubious value….

Although the aphorisms that the brothers made popular had mostly to do with freak culture, to wit: pot smoking as a way of life, they were so structured and wise they are easily applied to other situations in reality, with equally favorable results in consequence of their use. For example, one of the most valuable statements commonly made in the stories was this: “It is far better to have pot, and no money, than to have money, and no pot.” This, as is obvious, can be stretched to include almost anything one may consider to be a staple item in Life, such as peanut butter, or toilet paper, or, flash drives…. Just substitute those words for “pot”, and the advice becomes incredibly relevant, and of great value in living successfully….

The FFFB comix, written, I believe, by R. Crumb, contained many other examples of advice and cultural acumen, such as the SDDMU, an economic principle that applies to any form of barter, or other economic transaction. The Standard Dope Dealer’s Mark Up is the price one demands to sell an ounce of pot, as determined by experience over time, in relation to what one paid for that ounce. The standard mark up is 330%, typically, which ensures that the original vendor is paid and happy, the dealer is compensated for his risk, and most importantly, the dealer smokes for free…. The customer is also happy, as he gets the desired comestible at the going price on the street, which is the best one can expect at that level of society….

Everybody involved gets what they want, except, naturally, the Man, who loses out on the taxes they could be making if they would legalize the substance, as well as the continuing loss of respect by the users of the pot, who become more disillusioned with established society as time goes on…. It is a double, or even triple loss for the police, as they also can’t seem to play a part in the issue that has any purpose other than wasting their time chasing something that has no place being illegal in the first place….

Hmm… it seems I was able to find a small rant in there… all it took was a short trip back to my radical political days at UC Berkeley, in 1968 & 69…. ah, memories! Those halcyon days of youth are sweet on recollection, though more compelling at the time, and not as sweet, but rather more bitter in flavor, as we carried on the fight against ignorance in society…. I suppose it kind of pulls my covers, and it becomes clear why I do rant about political and religious philosophy…. with my early intellectual training, it could hardly be otherwise.

Though I am less radical now, in some ways, I am still pretty far out of the mainstream, politically, religiously, and, I have no doubt, artistically (however small the amount of that quality I can claim….)…. I still favor rather radical treatment of the 1%, if and when we can bring them to heel; I don’t think they will give us any choice but to completely excise them from the gene pool, as they will not be willing to give up their stolen booty easily. Since they have shown absolutely zero compassion for anyone else in their insane grab for power and resources, I don’t feel any compunction at all about killing them, quickly and quietly, and then getting on with the business of healing the planet, and bringing reason to humanity…. One can always hope, can one not?…..

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to  do so.” — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

Well, maybe hope is a trifle optimistic…..  😆

Well, let’s see how it shapes up….. I am forced to admit, it ain’t bad, all in all. Not the usual, to be sure, but, then, what is? Suffice it to say, it’s done; so be it…..  I’m going to go have some fun….  😀   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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