~~ Sophocles (496-406 BC) ~~ Phaedra, Frag. 862 ~~
For the last 10 days or so, we’ve had some weather here in NorCal, mostly of the rainy variety. While the resultant water levels in our reservoirs, miniscule though they may be, are welcome, it’s been something of an ordeal for me, as I have reached a stage in my life where all those old wives tales, and cultural truisms about aging are coming home to roost, right here in my own skeleton. We hear all our lives how old ffolkes can predict the weather, due to feeling pain in the joints prior to any changes…. I’ve always assumed it was a myth, but, since my own joints have started to complain whenever the weather gets wet, I can see how it may eventually become precognitive….
While it may be convenient to know when rain is coming, I can’t see why we have to use pain as our gauge….. but, then, nobody asked me, did they? Nope…. In fact, I’d wager NONE of us got asked; it’s just the way it is, and we can like it, or lump it…. Me, I’m trying to figure out how to either ignore it (the pain), or bury it in an avalanche of heavy drugs; the former is better for my liver, but the latter is more efficient in dealing with the pain…. so, I’ll take the risk… At this end of my life, it seems like a better deal, as my days are numbered, anyway…. I’d rather be comfortable, which, I’ll admit, is awfully human of me….
But, though that is a perfect lead-in for a rant on human nature, I’m not in the mood to rant…. It does happen, even though it still may force its way into the forefront of my consciousness, should any stimulus catch my attention, such as a random headline about the BRC, or another of our current crop of Asininnies…. There are a lot of opportunities just now for obtaining rantable material; the issues now in the public eye are perfect examples, to wit: the recent spate of injustices by police and grand juries, or the immigration mess going on in Congress…. But, none of it inspires me today; I’m still recovering from the last ten days of misery and drug-induced mental fog, I suppose; even my emotional responses are blunted right now, due to energy levels at rock bottom….
Due to the pain I’ve had, I’ve been filling in parts of these Pearls whenever I can, at times when my hands are more flexible, without the constant ache…. So, they seem a bit choppy to me, even though the finished product may not reflect that. S’okay, though, as I don’t believe it has caused much of an actual loss of quality; that has already been determined to be little affected by whatever method I choose…. probably something to do with the overall averages, which don’t seem to reflect all the methodology differences. Whatever it is. it works for me, especially since the process of describing the issues has brought us to the jumping off point, once again without our cooperation, or our notice….
I’m going to take advantage of that, right here, right now…. As you may have guessed, for y’all, that means just one thing, to wit: it’s time for y’all to tighten up those belts, put down your adult beverages, and hang on, because we’re goin’ in hot and hard…. Well, perhaps not so hot, but, hard, for sure…. We’ll be okay; we just upgraded the bumpers…. See how shiny they are now?…..
Shall we Pearl?
“If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.” — Chinese Proverb
Here is a classic Sherlock tale, A Scandal in Bohemia… In this episode, Holmes comes up against the only woman, in his eyes, who ever bested him in a case, the beautiful Irene Adler…. These You Tube versions of the old BBC shows are, in my mind, excellent interludes of pure entertainment, made even more enjoyable for the lack of commercials…. Enjoy….
“It’s even worse than you think…..” — Smart Bee
Here is a virgin rant…. This is one of my earliest rants against the system, as it exists in today’s world. It shows some of my more egregious writing style errors, some of which I’ve cleaned up to reflect what I’ve learned in the interim…. All the points listed herein are still valid, even though my own situation, as described at the end, has improved vastly, since I fully retired on SS disability…. Today’s rants, much more specific in terms of targeted categories, were built on the same angst as this one; now, they are simply more effective at indicting the responsible parties…. Constant practice makes for constant improvement, eh?…. Well, one may hope….
“Our days are happier when we give people a bit of our heart rather than a piece of our mind.” — Smart Bee
I think this is obvious to the point of becoming natural law. It’s a very close insight into human nature, and I don’t know about y’all, but it sure is true for me. Today is a perfect example of this….
I feel trapped a lot of the time. Hemmed in by the very society who is supposedly there to support me in my efforts to pursue my life’s goals and aspirations. Of course, anybody over the age of 10 realizes any support from society most often resembles a slap to the head, but, the point is, society’s purpose for existing is to aid it’s citizens in maximizing their experiences, for their own benefit, which, in the process, benefits society. I mean, that is what its purpose is MEANT to be; I don’t think it would be very beneficial to continue, if this isn’t the case. Society is supposed to work in such a way that all of its members have an equal chance to succeed in whatever they undertake in life… ostensibly, it’s sole reason for existing at all….
In reality, it doesn’t work that way, for the simple reason that some of the folks in the game have changed the rules; simply, they play by rules which suit themselves, and what they want. What they want is total control of everyone else…. They’re pretty good at it, too. For close to 8,000 years now, the beloved ruling class has set things up in our culture to favor themselves. They have lied, cheated, stolen, killed, repressed, oppressed, and generally acted in a manner that the rest of humanity considers immoral, unethical, and inhuman, at the core. They have done this right in front of our eyes. The rules and laws that are agreed to by all were written to favor those in power, not those who serve.
Though every church shouts out how moral and ethical it is, and spouts off about the virtue of faith and obedience, they do so not from spiritual surety, but from avarice and ambition. Though every government claims to have the welfare of the people as its purported goal, the only people who gain are those who are already wealthy. The rest go on welfare alright, but not the kind they should be able to expect….
And that is why it pisses me off so badly…. as humans, all we really want to do is be happy. It isn’t so much to ask. Most folks are happy when they have enough to eat, a place to sleep, and someone they love to be around. It soothes our nature to be able to share such feelings, hence the accuracy of the quote from Smart Bee above. We just feel better when we can share good feelings with others…. But, we are constantly blocked from doing so, by the society we live in.
In today’s culture, we are put in a situation where it takes all of our time and effort just to obtain the things we need; food, shelter, clothing. Gathering enough resources to ensure an ample supply of all three takes more than one person can make, thanks to the economic picture in a world where 1% of the population controls 99% of the money and resources. Unless one throws aside all of one’s humanity, becoming one of the ruthless ones, indifferent to the suffering of others, who inhabit the 1%, making enough to get by in today’s society just isn’t possible… I know, I’ve spent the last 55 years trying, and I’m a pretty talented guy….
Now, I don’t care about being rich. “If you want a life of trouble, fill your house with treasures…”, a Chinese proverb so old I don’t know who said it. But, I’ve believed it all my life; as a result, I’ve always worked only to get enough to live comfortably, and to provide stability and opportunities to succeed for my family. I’ve never given in to the urge to take advantage of others, or to cheat, or steal, or lie in order to get ahead; if I didn’t get ahead on merit, I stayed where I was.
It didn’t seem to matter much, anyway. The system is set up so that, at each step up the ladder of financial gain, the rules become more complicated, and are still set up to deny advancement. (I.E., as you make more money, they take more taxes…. In order to borrow money, you must already have money…. etc…) Lately, the government has been less creative in their lies as to why they are taking money from the average Joe….
In all three of the last raises I earned when I was still working, the extra money in my check was taken away by furloughs, a method of reducing my hours. Each time I expected to make a bit more, they would take away another day’s work, thus eliminating the advancement in pay…. The justification given was rationalization implying state employees made too much anyway, so, taking away their money was going to balance the budget… Funny how that didn’t work out that way….
Being retired from working has had two effects for me…. It gives me way too much time to be able to look at reality, to find the flaws and kinks causing all the friction and conflict in the world. Unfortunately, it has also made the task of obtaining the three necessary items for survival more difficult, by reducing my income drastically, to the poverty line, and at the same time, making it more physically difficult to accomplish what I need to do. SIGH…. Murphy is such an ASSHOLE!
Okay, I’m done. I could go on most of the day, but it’s starting to sound whiny to me. I’m not a victim. I will be alright, eventually. I will be more than alright. But, it pisses me off royally that I can’t spend more time sharing my heart with others, rather than sharing my thoughts…. My heart is much more fun to be around, mostly…. at least I’d like to think so. Now, if I can only get it to climb out of the hole of depression it has crawled into so much lately, perhaps I can find a way to cheer it up…. as long as Murphy will give me a breather now and again….
“Don’t ever become a pessimist, Ira; a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun — and neither can stop the march of events.” — Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love
As many of y’all know by now, every once in a while, you’re going to see a poem, or two, by this lady…. I’ve decided more than enough time has passed since we saw her; therefore, to be as pompous as possible in two short lines, today’s choice is one of my favorites of hers…. It never fails to soothe my fevered brow….. and the pomposity soothes my sense of propriety, for whatever THAT’S worth….
He did not know I saw;
He bit an angle-worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw.
And then he drank a dew
From a convenient grass,
And then hopped sidewise to the wall
To let a beetle pass.
He glanced with rapid eyes
That hurried all abroad,–
They looked like frightened beads, I thought;
He stirred his velvet head
Like one in danger; cautious,
I offered him a crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers
And rowed him softer home
Than oars divide the ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or butterflies, off banks of noon,
Leap, splashless, as they swim.
~~ Emily Dickinson ~~
Today’s final pearl is what Mary Poppins would term “PPIEW” (Practically perfect, etc….) Each one is a strong stand-alone pearl, while, together, they form a nearly perfect set of standards for anyone wishing to live an honorable life, based on reason and compassion…. Enjoy, ffolkes; even the format today will help to center your thoughts….
The surest guard is innocence:
None knew, till guilt created fear,
What darts or poison’d arrows were.
~~ Horace (B.C. 65-8) ~~
“I don’t think it would have all got me down quite so much if just once in a while- just once in a while- there was at least some polite little perfunctory implication that knowledge should lead to wisdom, and that if it doesn’t, it’s just a disgusting waste of time.”
~~J.D. Salinger~~ Franny & Zooey ~~
“No matter how cynical you get, it’s impossible to keep up.”
And bear unmov’d the wrongs of base mankind,
The last and hardest conquest of the mind.
~~ Alexander Pope (1688-1744) ~~The Odyssey of Homer, Book xiii, Line 353 ~~
“The only way to compel men to speak good of us is to do it.”
~~ Voltaire ~~
“It is your resistance to ‘what is’ that causes your suffering.”
~~ Buddha ~~
So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan which moves
To that mysterious realm where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave
Like one that wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.
~~ William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878) ~~ Thanatopsis ~~
I’m not sure how it happened, but, this one came out fairly well, even without a fresh rant…. go figure…. Ah well, I’ve got enough time in at this job to be able to say, without fear of contradiction, it’s done, and that’s all there is to say about it…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; I don’t think I’m up to pushing my luck any further….
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
À bientôt, mon cherí….