Another day in Paradox….

Ffolkes,

Shot to hell, it is…. bowed, bloody, completely in tatters…. Fortunately, we’re referring to my routine, and, perhaps, my mind, not my corpus; typing would be even more difficult, if that were the case. It’s complicated, and challenging enough already, what with the revolt being carried out by the physical side of my persona; it has taken me well over an hour, and more than a single cup of coffee, just to be able to get this simple paragraph onto the screen.

Without going into details that might curdle the milk you just poured over your oatmeal, let’s just say that getting this done will be an act of monumental courage and perseverance, to push through the haze veiling my mind, and put some clarity into what goes onto the page. Brilliance, or even moderate style may be out of the question; we’ll have to wait and see what happens. I could conceivably loosen up a bit, and find a pocket of energy, and/or sanity, (either will do….) that will carry me through to the end of this, but, I can’t count on it, and it’s not too likely at this point, anyway…. I’ll be lucky to get dressed all the way, much less display any real creativity in my prose….

I had no idea at the start of this blog how hard it is to write something fresh and creative every day; it gives me a bit more respect for those columnists who manage to do that for many years, maintaining a witty, accessible, and fun atmosphere in their work over periods of time far greater than what I’ve done here for the last three or so years….. Herb Caen, Walter Winchell, Grantland Rice, Jon Carroll, and a number of other daily columnists now have my complete admiration, as well as my burning curiosity, wondering how the hell they managed it for all that time…

But, long discussions of old time heroes won’t get me any further toward finishing this; it’s barely given me a start. I suppose it’s some sort of solution to the lack of freshly minted material, which, combined with my fuzzy head and overall schmeckiness, (a fine old word, that I just made up…. It sure SOUNDS like I feel…. Schmecky….), but, I don’t think it will do in the long run, except as filler, which has already shown itself to be an acceptable pathway for taking such side trips into tangential subject matter…. It may be fun, and take up time & space, but, it won’t last for more than a few paragraphs before becoming detrimental to the larger picture….

Nonesuch…. what a great word. I’m not entirely sure why it floated up to the surface of my mind, unless it’s trying to give me a hint, that it’s time to try to regain our foothold on sanity, or, at minimum, make the attempt to return to reality, before we get so far lost we can’t even find a GPS, much less our own behinds…. In fact, I’d say that y’all might do well to find your own way back to your seats, because I’m about to bail out of here, and fight my way back overland….. It’s hard to fly when weighted down by depression, as we all know, and I’m not going to sit here any longer, pretending I’m okay….

On that cryptic turn, we’ll head out into the wilds of the pearl beds, where I may be able to locate my sanity…. If not, well, I’ve been there before, so, it shouldn’t take too long to fight my way out…. In the meantime, since I’ve got nothing better to do this morning….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“He should not vow to walk in the dark, who has not seen the nightfall.’ — Elrond

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Panting and wheezing, I clamber to the next level, only to find another sheer rock face, the only way to proceed…. Having climbed this far, I’m not willing to go back down, and besides, I get vertigo thinking about it…. I’ll just have to go on…. I know, I’ll make an old school pearl, and that will bring me right back to earth, if I do it right….. Let’s see what we can do…

“Each man reaps on his own farm.” — Plautus (254-184 BC) — Mostellaria, Act iii, Sc. 2, 112, (799.)

“A Puritan is someone who is deathly afraid that someone, somewhere, is having fun.” — H. L. Mencken

“To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Sybil, Book i, Chap. v

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” — Gerald R. Ford

“A clown is a clown and will always be a clown.” — Babbaluche the cobbler

“I’m not a god, I was misquoted.” — Lister, Red Dwarf

“I only wish I may see your head stroked down with a slipper.” — Terence (185-159 BC) — Act v, Sc. 7, 4, (1028.)

Well…. I have to say this…. That’s the oddest pearl I think I’ve ever put together…. It is a bit esoteric, to be sure, but, I think the last quote, from Terence, just makes it all okay…. If you have any clues as to what he might have been referring to, or talking about, I’d love to hear them, because I don’t have one, at all….. But, I am not required to have one, legally, so, onward….

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Here is a poem I wrote to try to describe this process, of creating Pearls…. It’s not bad, and will hopefully expiate some of the potential ire that may be engendered by today’s apparent, no, today’s all-too-real fragility, of both purpose, and intelligence…. The poem describes what I go through each day pretty well, which is, after all, WHY I wrote it to begin with…. Better out than in, I always say….

How It Works….

Retreat, retreat, he cries in vain
we cannot stand such pain!
Another battle, another day’s fight
Eternally at war, both day and night.

Storms within, crashing and thrashing about,
filling each moment with fear and doubt.
Cries of anguish, hopes for a swift end
Denied with wounds that will not mend.

The crisis approaches, time will not wait.
It marches on, driven madly by fate.
We have no recourse, no other road to walk,
No great power to whom we may talk.

Morning arrives, seemingly mild and free
Until one considers all that must be
An intro, some pearls, a photo or two
Today’s magnificent Pearl, created just for you…..

 ~~gigoid ~~

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Due to the lack of any sort of intelligent activity going on in my mind, and the time constraints involved in my being so late getting to this, here is a religirant from the archives, with some closing comments to freshen it up a bit…..

From 5/09/2012:

“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This has always been an issue in my mind, from the very earliest times I was exposed to religious instruction, in some Presbyterian Sunday School when I was a young lad. Even at the age of five or six, I had a hard time understanding two things about God, if what they were telling me about Him was true. First, I couldn’t believe that a God, supposedly able to create an entire universe, would take the time and/or energy to care whether or not I was paying attention to His rules (I also questioned why He would make rules in the first place….)

Secondly, the whole idea of worship made me uneasy…. it seemed a bit, hmm, needy, or vulnerable, to me. I knew that the admiration of others made me feel weird; uneasy and uncomfortable with their fawning (baby sisters & brothers, little kids, and others who show such feelings for their older, more accomplished siblings….). Even the admiration I held for my older siblings, and my heroes, made me a bit uncomfortable. So, I could never understand why an all-powerful being would want any part of such a thing.

So, even then, before I had any real defenses, I suppose my ability to reason made it hard for me to accept a lot of what I was told. It never made sense to me that the pictures I saw of God made him look just like some human patriarch (hmm… no Freudian comments?); I mean, if he was so far above us, how did we know what He looked like? I didn’t remember seeing any photos of Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, (another questionable entity to the mind of a five-year old….) playing in the Dead Sea surf, nor did I recall any such word from God Himself. There were a lot of folks saying that the Bible is the Word of God, but the only ones saying so were people, not Gods.

So, maybe I was a bit different than the average young bear cub, but much of what they tried to foist upon my unsuspecting mind never took hold, as I found it completely unbelievable. It just didn’t make any sense, even by the rules they claimed to be those by which reality operated.  If I, a little kid, didn’t like to be worshiped, why would an omnipotent being have anything to do with it?  Give me a reasonable, rational answer, and I will consider the concept. But, I think you’d best bring a new and different set of arguments, because the ones that have been in play for several thousand years just don’t cut it in my book….

“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but they’re abusing the privilege.” — Smart Bee
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From the vantage point of two-plus years in the future, I’m compelled to expand upon what I wrote then…. which, advantageously, makes this a fresh rant, rather than one lazily pulled from the archives, and left to stand alone…. I can be nice, and diligent, when I want to be…. Of course, doing so only adds to my curmudgeonry when discussing the whole divinity scam, otherwise known as The Dogma Game….

In the above rant, in my attempts to make fun of the lack of logical structure which comprises, (or perhaps the word, infests, is better), the whole of the Christian credo, while not bad, fall short of hilarious…. I’m also aware that this current manifesto has assumed my pedantic, pontificating style, which is liable to put even me to sleep, should I insist on carrying it through to the arguments to follow…. or, that will presumably follow, once I get done deciding how to approach such a daunting task….

There, was that stiff and awkward enough for you? It was for me….. But, that’s okay, God won’t mind; from what I can tell, IF there is a God, even one remotely similar to the one the Christians, Muslims, et al envision in their holy writings, no matter what He/She/It wants to be called, I would guess His/Her/Its sense of humor would extend to include something like this essay will become, if it ever begins…. It (a divine sense of humor….), I would assume, by definition, would be infinite in scope, so, I’m pretty sure I’m covered….. If not, I should be….

Rather than bore y’all any further with all this, why don’t I find just the right pearl to close this off…. I’ll just leave you with this thought…. IF there is a GOD, and He is responsible for making us the way we are, then He MUST have a good sense of humor…. I mean, just LOOK at us! Ridiculously weak, physically fragile, and easily duped by our more aggressive, more unscrupulous peers; what was He thinking? Plus, we have noses, which grow red and make funny noises when squeezed…. If that isn’t funny, I’m a fire hydrant…. Not a funny fire hydrant, but, hey, what do you want from an inanimate object so early in the morning?….

And in your dreams you can see yourself
As a prophet saving the world
The words from your lips
I just can’t believe you are such
A fool.

 — Frank Zappa, “Oh No”.


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Y’all are now fully aware of how strange it can get around here, so it won’t surprise you to hear that the Wise Old Pine Cone is still busy with his student, but has agreed to a photo session today…. It’s a good thing, too, as I’m starting to get a lot of fan mail on him; I’ve even received several proposals for him, from a number of traffic and ice cream cones…. Tomorrow, I promise, we’ll have more pix of him, and his handsome young paduan learner…. Who knows? Maybe I’ll devote an entire Pearl to the Old Cone’s world; we’ll see how today’s shoot comes off….

But, for now, I’m done, and a damn good thing, too, as I’m about to scream, and you don’t want to know why….. Suffice it to say, I’ll be back tomorrow, if I’m still able, and the internet doesn’t crash…. See y’all then…..

Y’all take care out there,
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,
and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid the dubious

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I’ve never seen a poltergeist retch before…..

Ffolkes,
Having thus far lived, in many respects, a relatively uneventful life, it was a bit of a surprise to find myself, upon first arising today, gazing at a large, green, rather handsome alien, all seven or eight feet of him, sitting quietly in my easy chair, reading a Nora Roberts novel obviously plucked from my bookcase. He kept reading as I stared at him, obviously unaware of my regard, breathing, apparently, through his legs, which inflated and deflated in a regular pattern every few seconds. As he sat there reading, (I say ‘he’ for lack of any proper definition of his gender, or whether he has one at all… gotta call him something….) he gave the impression of infinite patience, and serenity, idly perusing the paperback novel he had chosen…..

Then, of course, I blinked my eyes, and he was gone, back to dreamland, from where he had escaped, apparently just to provide me with a compelling opening paragraph to grab your attention….. which, hopefully, worked well…. It would have grabbed me, I’ll give it that…. It leaves me without anywhere to go from here, but, I’ve been there a lot, and know I can just wander around in my head long enough to reach the legal requirement for an intro. It’s not as if there is any lack of nonsense on hand, it’s merely a matter of shoveling it into the correct venue…. a statement which will, I’m sure, cause as much confusion for you as it does for me….

Let’s face it, ffolkes, I’m lost already…. I suppose that isn’t a very unusual happenstance, but I’m not generally forced to admit it so early. It must have something to do with getting up so late; I actually slept in until 0610, and woke up in a panic, thinking I’d missed an appointment or something…. then spent a few minutes recovering from my alien visitation before successfully arousing myself to get coffee…. Once I’d had a sip or two, of course, all was well with the world, and I could turn my mind to composition….

Which brings us to here….. I’m going to NOT push my luck today, I think. I’ve got two days to get through before getting on a boat bound for Alaska, and I’m not taking ANY chances of fate intervening in any negative fashion. The lists I’ve made are getting checked off, item by item, and it’s down to the last few; my excitement level goes up with each item I gleefully check off….. Before I can turn to any of what is needed for today’s list, though, I have to complete this little chore that I’ve set for myself, so…..   Shall we Pearl?…..

“Is something VIOLENT going to happen to a GARBAGE CAN?” — Zippy the Pinhead
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Having come to this so late in the day (time is relative, you know….), I’m feeling a bit pressed for time. So, I’ve dipped into my massive archives of material, and come up with this old style pearl, from August of 2011…. It’s a pretty good pearl, quite stimulating in a cogitative sense, not lacking in irony, and possessing a small degree of style… Well, I think so…. Enjoy!…..

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Ffolkes,
As I was diving this morning in search of some fine, lustrous Pearls to start the day, it struck me that the decision making process in humans seems to have a definable limit. Not a limit of content, but rather a limit of use. No matter what it is that we are doing that requires a decision, there comes a point in the process where we say, “enough!” and end the process of gathering information by the decision to act upon it. Now in a cosmic sense this is not a particularly profound discovery, nor, I think, particularly useful. But then most things we discover don’t have a lot of practical use; we just file them away somewhere in the back of our memory where we seldom look for what we need now, but may find a use for later.

There may be moments in the future where such knowledge may become of use, perhaps even critical. But for the most part, a great deal of memory is crowded with stuff we’ve figured out on our own, but which has little relevance to our life at that time. I’m not sure if this trait is an important evolutionary development, or just something that stays with us because it does no immediate harm to our ability to deal with reality.

Little snippets of fact or conclusions we’ve come to, of a personal or general nature, seem to be destined to clutter up our memories, and I suppose that the mere fact of their existence my prove to be their evolutionary purpose; something to keep us from getting anywhere too fast for our mind to keep up. Who knows? Certainly not me, but hey, it was useful to me today, if only because I was able to finesse an entire paragraph while saying absolutely nothing important for you, or me, to know……useful after all……    🙂

“ICONOCLAST, n.  A breaker of idols, the worshipers whereof are imperfectly gratified by the performance, and most strenuously protest that he unbuildeth but doth not reedify, that he pulleth down but pileth not up.  For the poor things would have other idols in place of those he thwacketh upon the mazzard and dispelleth.  But the iconoclast saith:  “Ye shall have none at all, for ye need them not; and if the rebuilder fooleth round hereabout, behold I will depress the head of him and sit thereon till he squawk it.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
(So THAT’S what I’ve been doing all these years! Nice to know there is a word for it…..)

“Power is an illusion; only stupidity is real.” — Smart Bee

“Anyone can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend’s success.” — Oscar Wilde

“If we can put the names of our faiths aside for the moment and look at principles, we fill find a common thread running through all the
great religious expressions.” — Louis Farrakhan, 1993

“It may be bad manners to talk with your mouth full, but it isn’t too good either if you speak when your head is empty.” — Smart Bee

“Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?” — William James

Okay, “enough!”……. I guess it does have a purpose after all…..the prevention of terminal boredom…… Y’all take care out there…..
_____________________________

At this point in time, I am uncertain as to what style of poem will appeal today, so, I’m leaving this section for last…. I’ll be back…. Okay, I’m back…. and I brought with me one of my all time favorites…..

The Little Boy and the Old Man

Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.   

~~  Shel Silverstein ~~

_____________________________

The way this has turned out, I should have just reblogged an old Pearl, and been done with it…  Instead, I have three parts of old Pearls that will serve to make up today’s Pearl, and the hell with the consequences…. Here is a fine old religirant I found, from late in 2012…..

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Originally this morning, I had intended to write something less controversial here…. but, Smart Bee is being a bit recalcitrant this morning in coming up with suitable stuff…. so, I’m going ahead with this discussion of religious thought, even though I was trying not to be so sober today….SIGH…. “The best laid plans of mice and men, etc….”  Such are the mysterious ways of Smart Bee….

I believe in god, I just don’t like him. — Smart Bee

Now, here is a concept I can get behind…. I am often unsure of how to express my own beliefs about the idea of a God, or god,  capitalization depending, I suppose, on one’s sense of reverence regarding same. All the twaddle I was taught in Sunday School was an obvious pack of lies; even at age 5 I was unconvinced of the stories they told me. None of them seemed any more real, or plausible, than the cartoons I watched on Saturday morning, and there was certainly no bloodshed in the cartoons…. mayhem, yes, bloodshed, no…. But, the story of the crucifixion is enough to give even the most ghoulish of child nightmares, for sure and for certain…. What were they thinking?….

But, the statement above goes along better with what I would like to believe (which is no more, and no less, than any other human…. believing what we’d LIKE to believe is always more attractive than what MIGHT be true…. neither of which necessarily has anything to do with what is actually REAL….), because most of the stories and lessons we heard as children about God make him out to be a petty, narcissistic, vindictive asshole, to be quite frank.

Well, there is that, plus, most of the preachers, to me, seemed to me to be much more interested in other people’s business than their own, with many of the same characteristics of their ignoble so-called creator. None of them were much of a recommendation to me as proper examples of what a good man should be, and none of what I heard about god, or God, put (H)him in that category, either.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” — Jesus Christ (Gnostic Gospel Of Thomas, Saying 70)

Or, better out than in…. so to speak. Which, as you know if you’ve been reading here previously, is something I believe in wholeheartedly….. Jesus, for me, falls into a similar category for me as God, or preachers…. kind of in limbo regarding all the stuff that was, and is, said about him. He was obviously a real historical figure, and not a mythical supernatural being, and as such his words and actions were recorded for posterity. The accuracy of what was written is, to say the least, questionable, if for no other reason that he spoke Aramaic as his primary language…. that is pretty well established.

What many fail to consider is this…. in order for us to hear his words, we have to hear what was translated through at least four or five languages, from the original Aramaic. First, it would have been translated to Latin, or possibly another middle eastern dialect of the time, then into Latin. Then it was translated to probably Italian, French, and Spanish; then into German and, possibly, it underwent its first change into English, back when it was still considered to be Middle English…. I’m pretty sure the first King James version didn’t occur until well after the Renaissance period.

So, my question is this…. how much of the original meaning of his words came through into the English translation? It’s funny, but when, as a teen, I asked this of my pastor, all I could get from him was that, because the words were inspired by God, then the meaning would have been accurately translated by all those different people, as they were doing God’s work…. which, even then, made me go, “Hmmm? Could you explain that again, in English, with something, anything, that approaches an answer?” (This was before I spoke Spanish, or German, or anything else but English….)

That seems to be a problem with preachers/priests… they tend to lump everything into the same mold, and expect us to believe that what they say is true, even though there is no direct evidence to support any such twaddle. “The Bible says God said it, I believe it, and that’s the end of it!” seems to be their logical train of deduction, even though there is no logic, or deduction, to it.

I wasn’t born in Missouri, but, you’ve got to SHOW ME the evidence before I’ll waste my time trying to place any belief into such grandiose ideas. When one of the church minions asks me, sarcastically, if I expect God to send me a telegram, I usually reply, “Well, that WOULD be more persuasive than expecting me to take it on your word, now, wouldn’t it?”  Idiots….

“God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.” — H.L. Mencken

This attitude, the elitist idea that those who believe are somehow superior to those who do not, is one of the root causes of most of the trouble our species is having today. The insane attitude that this planet, and all the other creatures on it, were placed here specifically for our benefit and use, is responsible for all of the pollution that continues to pump into the ecosystem, for all the abuse and chauvinism against the other life forms who live here, and for a great number of the social issues, such as poverty, racism, misogyny, and violence, that plague us as a culture. 

We are not only NOT the masters of creation, we are not even qualified to be our own masters; we cause ourselves as much trouble as we do the rest of creation, if not more, all because religionists insist that those who believe them are good, and everyone else is bad…. a stupid idea at best.

“God made Man to his image and likeness, and Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment.” — Voltaire

Hence, my lack of faith in the nonsensical claptrap that the various religions attempt to pass off as truth. Reality, to me, is scary enough, without the idea of some insane supernatural creature, sitting up in some fanciful Utopia, looking down and giving a rat’s ass about what I’m doing with my life. It just doesn’t make any sense to me to try to visualize a god…. by the very definition of the beast, they cannot be imagined by a creature of lesser scope…. and telling me that you have a direct line to God, and know what he wants me to do with my life, only makes me wish I could order your new medications personally…. Oh, didn’t I mention it? We now have medications that will keep people from believing delusional material, or at least keep them from acting on those beliefs before thinking about them at least a bit….. but, who’s going to give it to a priest, when the doctor believes the same bilge?

Now that I’ve alienated any number of true believers out there, I guess I’ll let this discussion die a natural death. I could obviously continue indefinitely, but, the rest of the day calls, and I should get to it…. If you have any thoughts on these conclusions of mine, please feel free to leave them in the comments section below…. and remember, please, the rules of engagement prohibit outright flaming on this site…. Confine name-calling to short, impersonal epithets, and please, include some logical thought in your responses, as neglecting to do so wastes my time, and everyone else’s…. I don’t mind being called a fool, but, as I said, let’s see your evidence….

“I find your lack of faith in the Force disturbing….” — Darth Vader (Star Wars)
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Well, it’s clear that I’ve done some decent work in the past, though this may or may not fall into that category. Regardless,  I like it, so it stays…. Plus, this way, I can be done, and get on with what is important, like staring at the clock to make it go faster….. Where did I put those time distortion pills, anyway?….  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..

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

dozer3

If we must, we can use the anchovy paste….

Ffolkes,
Now, this is scary…. I never knew that a mere blank, white screen could hold so much fear….. Not only is the screen blank, so is my head, and time is passing. It’s already after 0800, due to being up until 0100 for some unknown reason, and not arising until after 0700….. No big deal, but throws me off a bit to have my schedule change again, willy nilly, just because my head wouldn’t shut up last night…..

Then, of course, there is the problem of this morning’s Pearl…. Once more, I’m completely at a loss as to how I should get going…. no fictional scenarios are floating around in there, and my sense of humor doesn’t seem to be awake quite yet, despite the rest of me being up and about, just as if I were normal….. which, as we all know, just isn’t the case….. I left that unfortunate state behind me, a long way in the past, and haven’t seen hide nor hair of it since, oh, 1958 or so…..

“We have met the enemy and they are us and you are me and we are all together.” — Walt Kelly, Lennon, and the Beatles

“When you talk to the half-wise, twaddle; when you talk to the ignorant, brag; when you talk to the sagacious, look very humble and ask their opinion.” — Edward Bulwer-Lytton

“Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe. And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are?” — Smart Bee

Okay, so, I cheated….. sue me. I thought, maybe, if I threw out some pearls, it might jog my brain, and something worthwhile would fall out….. I do like all three of these little gems, especially the first and last…. the middle one is one of those ‘surprise’ pearls, by which I mean that the source is a surprise….

Edward Bulwer-Lytton is the author of the book in which the line “It was a dark and stormy night….” was first used, and the opening paragraph of that book, whose title I never can remember, is used as the ultimate example of the over-blown, floridly wordy, and pompous style of writing that seems to abound in certain literary genres….. It is such a bad piece of work, that, each year, a contest is held, wherein people submit the worst opening lines for a book they can think of, to win a prize, which has grown to thousands of English pounds for the year’s winner….. Some pretty funny stuff is composed every time….

I’m not going to rant here… in fact I’m going to just abandon all attempts at making this a real intro, and just dump it on y’all in its current state. I don’t think it will splash, or cause any permanent damage, so, I’ll take my chances, since it’s way too late to start over…… In the interests of self-help, and to make at least one strong attempt to regain control of this missive, we’ll leave this alone now…. Shall we Pearl?…..__________________________________

“This song of the waters is audible to every ear, but there is other music in these hills, by no means audible to all…. On a still night, when the campfire is low and the Pleiades have climbed over rimrocks, sit quietly and listen … and think hard of everything you have seen and tried to understand. Then you may hear it – a vast pulsing harmony – its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” — Aldo Leopold

Mr. Leopold’s fanciful flight of imagination is lovely, and true, as well. Without mentioning it by name, he gives a fine description of what has been called the Music of the Spheres, or, as I like to call it, Star Song…… I’ve found, over the course of a moderately long life, that some folks can hear this music, and some can’t. It doesn’t have anything to do with intelligence, per se, though more intelligent ffolkes seem to hear it than those who are less endowed with that characteristic. But, it isn’t essential…. I believe the ability to hear it has to do with two factors; one is imagination, and one is curiosity, both of which are somewhat dependent on having been developed in childhood.

Babies all hear this music, but learn, as do we all, to tune it out as they become more concerned with other aspects of growing. If imagination and curiosity are encouraged when young, a child will again learn how to tune in to this universal music, but, if not, they may never hear it past the age of 10 or so, losing along with it much of their sense of wonder, and many of childhood’s most important lessons. These losses can affect the course of their lives for all their days, keeping them unaware of much of the beauty in the world.

I am forced, at this point in this narrative, to make a confession…. I’m lost. When I started this pearl, I had a specific argument I was going to present, with evidence, suppositions, and conclusions all laid out in logical order for your examination. Now, however, I am faced with the simple fact that, while composing the above two paragraphs, that argument has flown completely out of my head, and gone off to wherever such ideas go when Murphy gets hold of them like this….

If I knew, I’d go kick his ass and get them back…. SIGH…. I don’t, though, so I’m going to make one try to salvage this space, and fill up the remainder of this section with an old-school group of pearls…. I’ll try to keep them in the same general genre, or near the same area of thought as above, but, obviously, no guarantees are possible…. Lloyd’s would never cover it…..

“It’s hard to face tomorrow, but it’s easier than facing no tomorrow.” — Smart Bee
——–
A novice of the temple once approached the Chief Priest with a question. “Master, does Emacs have the Buddha nature?” the novice asked. The Chief Priest had been in the temple for many years and could be relied upon to know these things.  He thought for several minutes before replying. “I don’t see why not.  It’s got bloody well everything else.” With that, the Chief Priest went to lunch.  The novice suddenly achieved enlightenment, several years later.

Commentary:

His Master is kind,
Answering his FAQ quickly,
With thought and sarcasm.    ~~ Smart Bee
——-
“Everyone is born with genius, but most people only keep it a few minutes.” — Edgard Varese
——-
Against those skilled in the attack, the enemy does not know where to defend.
Against the experts in defence, the enemy does not know where to attack.

— Sun Tzu
——-
— Bother! said Pooh,  as Eeyore missed another period.
——-
Like. if guns are outlawed, the lawyer population will explode out of control. — Smart Bee

Bloody brilliant, if I do say so myself…. but, then, I’ve always said Smart Bee was much more than just your average database….. There IS a point to the group of pearls included, but, don’t bother trying to figure it out, you’d only get a headache…. It’s kind of the same idea as the old saw about “Never try to make a pig wear shoes…. You’ll both end up dirty, and the pig still won’t dance….”
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I’m in the mood for a bit of mad genius…. so, here is one of the maddest genius’s ever, by acclimation….

Thalidomide

O half moon—-

Half-brain, luminosity—
Negro, masked like a white,

Your dark
Amputations crawl and appall—

Spidery, unsafe.
What glove

What leatheriness
Has protected

Me from that shadow—
The indelible buds.

Knuckles at shoulder-blades, the
Faces that

Shove into being, dragging
The lopped

Blood-caul of absences.
All night I carpenter

A space for the thing I am given,
A love

Of two wet eyes and a screech.
White spit

Of indifference!
The dark fruits revolve and fall.

The glass cracks across,
The image

Flees and aborts like dropped mercury.

~~ Sylvia Plath
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“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. {2} If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. {3} If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. {4} Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. {5} It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. {6} Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. {7} It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. {8} Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. {9} For we know in part and we prophesy in part, {10} but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. {11} When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. {12} Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. {13} And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” — 1 Corinthians 13 NIV

It is such a shame that the Bible has to be regarded as divinely inspired, in my mind. There are a number of passages in the various books by different authors that display a deep insight into human nature, and, like the one above, beautifully give to man words of such truth they can form the basis of one’s entire world-view. Insisting that such ideas are only possible to God, to me, isn’t realistic, nor is it true. I’ve known a number of people I would consider very wise, who have never even heard of the Christian God…. so, where does that fit into the picture?….

No, from what I can tell from reading it, most, or, okay, I’ll be fair, much, of what is written, most especially those parts intended as dogmatic proclamations, are more human in origin, obviously, than they are divinely inspired. The premises all favor the church over the individual, and submission of each individual to dogma is required of the faithful; that much is apparent in every statement that asserts God’s authority over Man as Creator.

It’s obvious to me, anyway…. I could never figure out why God, who could make universes, needed me to fall down on my knees and humble myself….. What kind of sick thrill does he get from that? I know that anyone who acts in a subservient manner to me makes me uncomfortable, and feel like I want to kick them, and tell them to stand up and show some pride…. or at least some dignity….

Any who, in the Bible, there is all this good advice, and good ideas, like the one above…. but, in order to find them, one must wade through all the nonsensical stuff that the priestly hierarchies would have us believe is “written by the hand of God”…. Much more likely t’was the hand of Guido, or Etienne, I would think, at the insistence of assholes like Paul, and Peter, those evil men who barely waited until Jesus was underground to start perverting his teachings…. I’ll bet they were a bit surprised to have to wait until after he rose, and left again, before getting down to the business of altering texts, twisting meanings, and generally setting things up to suit themselves, all with the convenient authority he so trustingly gave them….

Not for nothing is it said that Jesus was an innocent…. he believed he could trust his disciples, forgetting entirely they are human, and will act out of self-interest FIRST, every time, when it comes to morality…. Hell, soon after he died, all twelve of the disciples went their own ways, and began the task of creating the thousand and one different sects based on the teachings of Christ that exist today…. or at least, setting the stage for their creation…. There WERE only twelve of them to start with…. Even with that, it takes a while to split it all up to the point we now see today, with thousands of separate churches, all based on one or another of the basic core principles Jesus left behind as legacy, and all interpreted through the lenses of each person’s glasses, colored in self-interest….

Ah well, at least if one has the patience to look, some good things can be found in the Bible…. I just wish that people would learn not to take it so seriously… because, I’m sorry to have to tell them this, but, God doesn’t publish books, nor does He (as I understand the concept of Him….) use ghost writers….. In fact, I should think that, if such an entity had something to tell us, He might make it pretty obvious where the message came from, and what it meant…. otherwise, what would be the point? If nothing else, I would expect a God to be, at minimum, logical…..

Okay, I’m done….

“Due to intense mind fog all thoughts have been grounded.” — Smart Bee
__________________________________

Whew, what an ordeal! I wasn’t sure I’d ever get done, but, once again, the perseverance I learned at my father’s knee stood me in good stead…. It’s done, and you can’t make me do it over…. Well, I suppose you could, but, you wouldn’t, would you? Would you? Hmm…. I think, before you have a long time to think about that, we’ll take our leave, until 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

dozer3

A witch, a stitch, and three cracked cups….

Ffolkes,
“O frabjous day! Oh, joy! I am filled with exuberant good will! Come, join me in greeting this fabulous new day!……”

There…. we’ll see how that works….. I thought I’d try something a bit new and different today, since I’ve been complaining to myself so much about the intro section. These words, stolen piecemeal from a Dorothy L. Sayers novel, coupled with a bit of doggerel that was laying about in me head, have but one purpose, and that is to distract and confuse Murphy long enough for me to at least get started on this Pearl. I don’t know how it will work, but maybe if he sees that I’m already up, started writing, and in a good mood, he could get a bit discombobulated by my apparent cheerfulness. Just about anything is worth a shot, if it means less hassle from him in the long run…..

Gosh, it’s quiet…. I didn’t realize just how much ambient noise it adds to the background to have Murphy and the boys hanging about all the time. It’s so quiet I could hear myself thinking, a distinctly new feeling. So new, in fact, I don’t know how to deal with it, precisely. I feel kind of guilty at disturbing the peace; there is so little of it around here most of the time, it’s rather pleasant to not have the clamor and bustle ringing around my ears. It’s almost soothing…. and boring as hell. This calls for some music, I think….

Ah yes, you can’t beat Bonnie Raitt, for a bit of atmosphere and stimulation. Slick slide and blues guitar, gutsy, crystalline voice, red hair, and a beautiful smile…. Ah me, I’ve been lost in love for her for close to 40 years or more. When she lets her voice soar, such as in the song “Angel from Montgomery”, it sends chills up and down my spine, and there is nobody who can rip out your heart any faster than when she sings a song such as, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”…… Every time I hear it, I want to fall on my knees before her, and cry out “You don’t HAVE to MAKE me love you! I am yours forever!” Alas, she never hears me, and my fantasy fades again….

So much for unrequited love…. As we all do, I lived through my loss, and have come through the other side relatively unscathed by the hammer of love lost, or more accurately, love never found (a slight, but important distinction). It’s a hard loss, for sure, but, hey, I’ve always got her music to get me by….. A little time, one of her CD’s, a bottle of Jack, and the pain will eventually pass away, as it does in Time….. Of course, it all rushes back in, twice as bad, the next morning, along with the hangover, but, there is always a price for our healing….

Well, once again, I’ve managed to get through another intro section without really saying much of anything, at least nothing that could be construed as either significant, or even interesting. What can I say, it’s a gift…. Now that you have unwittingly fallen right into my trap, and consumed four and a half paragraphs of pseudo-literature before you even realized you were caught, we can get on with the normal (got to stop using that word!….It really doesn’t apply….) business of the day, for what it’s worth….. Shall we Pearl?…..
__________________________________

“Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.” — Robert A. Heinlein

I had an idea, but it went away…. They do that sometimes. The idea was connected somehow to this quote from Bob Heinlein, and, as might be expected, was intended to serve as the springboard for yet another episode of raking Christianity, and religious institutions in general, over the coals. Since the clever concept I originally had has deserted me, I have absolutely no idea of where to go with this…. I mean, it’s a simple enough matter to turn it into a rant; I have no problem coming up with a newly sharpened stick to poke at the priesthood whenever needed, or merely wished for. But, having bellied up to that bar already this week, I hadn’t intended to go there…. Let’s see what happens now….

“And on the seventh day, while He was resting, He created snack cakes.  And He saw that they looked good, and He did bite into one, at which time he realized that they tasted like something that had been sitting on a shelf wrapped in cheap plastic for decades.  He had too much goop on His fingers to blast them into the void from which they had come, and therefore He drove them out until they had left the Promised Land and were stuck in a cheap, tacky display on the end of the aisle.” — Haagendasz 3, 12-15

While I am firmly convinced that this makes as much sense to me as it does to read in the Bible from, oh, say, the Book of Leviticus, or even Genesis, I am not sure it will make a proper ranting platform. I mean, it IS as easily proved as any of the real stuff in the Bible, and certainly holds the same amount of logic to its assertions. But, somehow, it just isn’t SERIOUS enough to soothe the ranting urge… No, we’ll just have to keep looking….

“One would like to stroke and caress human beings, but one dares not do so, because they bite.” — Vladimir Lenin

Ah, now THAT is a sentiment I can get behind. It shows deep insight into human nature, and in a small way, says something about how that nature is self-destructive. A fine little aphorism, but, not really suited for ranting, as it is so true and complete in itself….. We’ll keep looking….

“Forgive us, for we know not what we do.  Not that we CARE or anything.” — Smart Bee

Aha! Now, that’s the kind of pearl that can start off a grand rant! It’s a perfect perversion of the Christian insistence on keeping their believers buried deeply in ignorance and fear, and ironic enough to please the most discriminating of critics. I love the ending line; it’s just so….. Christian! At least, by every measure I’ve ever seen, it is…. Now, there are Christians out there, I’m certain, who will take some offense at that, but, I would ask them to stop a moment and think…. There, there, now, darlings, I know it hurts, but it will get better the more you do it….

“All religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few.” — Stendahl

See? I don’t discriminate!…. Now that your mind is loosened up a bit, so you won’t strain it, consider this…. In the Christian world, once one has been granted admittance to the group, becoming a member of the Church, how much effort do those members make to become better people? How much do they actually use the precepts of their dogma to influence their behavior BEFORE they act? How many of them actually try to weave the teachings of Jesus into the fabric of their lives?…. My own observations tell me the number is pretty small, compared to the whole…..

Christians make a big fuss about making sure that it is understood how compassionate and forgiving Jesus is/was, and meant for all his followers to be; then they go and drop bombs on a bunch of short brown people, because those people aren’t Christian…. Oh, the stories and fantasies given in justification always point to some other reason, but the bottom line is, because those other people are “heathens”, they aren’t entitled to any of that compassion or forgiveness. Only their co-members are entitled to consideration as something other than dirt…..

What often makes me the angriest when I see this behavior is the outrage expressed by those self-appointed Chosen Ones when their entitlement is challenged in pieces such as this one. The entire weight of the Church is often called into play to respond to any criticisms leveled against it in public, much like a dragon protects its stolen gold, reacting with fire and destruction to any perceived threats. It pisses me off because their manipulation of others, and their stated wish to be of service, is all based on LIES and hypocrisy, delivered with a smarmy smile that just says to me, “Snake!”, and makes me want to look around for a shovel to pound it with….

If an article in a newspaper that is critical of the Church is widely read, there will be, guaranteed, a fire-storm of heated responses from the Church’s mouthpieces, all heaping abuse, and accusations of discrimination against the critics. The making of such accusations is the typical, almost knee-jerk response of the Church whenever it is called to task for its shortcomings; they learned long ago that the best way to distract the membership from the truth of any criticisms is to make their own false accusations in return, but louder, and for a longer time…. They know that any lie, repeated loudly and repeatedly, will be accepted as truth, especially by their members, who are already predisposed (read: brainwashed…) to believe whatever the preachers/priests tell them….

“Ignorance can be compounded, made denser, until the light of our spirits is smothered.” — Deng Ming-Dao

I’ve given up arguing with the faithful; it’s a pastime that is endlessly amusing, but ultimately saddening. Kind of like the frustration of wrestling with a pig; you just get dirty, and the pig likes it….. It is hard for me to watch people continually make the choice to be ignorant, to be cowards, afraid to face the universe on its own terms, always preferring to allow other people, with fewer scruples than they possess, tell them what they should think, and how they should live. Trying to get most folks to see reason is much like banging one’s forehead against a brick wall…. not terribly amusing, and the blood is hard on one’s clothing, as well as the insult to the forehead….. Since I’m not a fool, I have ceased trying to get them to see beyond their own misapprehensions, and just use what I see as fodder for these posts….. Less frustrating, to be sure, if no less depressing….

I seem to have ranted myself into a corner again; I don’t see a way to continue this without becoming either vitriolic, or boring (some might say “more” boring…. all I can say to them is “thptttttt!”….); I’d guess it’s probably too late to avoid being rude. Since there is still some ways to go before we can call it a day, I think I’ll close this off, and go in search of an appropriate poem for the day…. As a final word of caution and warning, in the unending struggle against ignorance, let me leave you with these….

“If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.” — John Stuart Mill

“All a man can betray is his conscience.” — Joseph Conrad
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A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark’d, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;
Mark’d how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;
Ever unreeling them—ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you, O my Soul, where you stand,
Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,—seeking the spheres, to connect them;
Till the bridge you will need, be form’d—till the ductile anchor hold;
Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.

Walt Whitman
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“If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.” — Noam Chomsky

Funny, isn’t it, how such statements, easily identified as being valid right up to the present day, are completely ignored by the mainstream public, and the media? I mean, it isn’t surprising that the politicians themselves would try to ignore this; that is, after all, their primary line of defense against criticism of any kind. But, it seems to me that the general public might be interested in at least seeing some of the evidence being used to justify the assertion, and that the media, as the ostensible responsible journalists they are supposed to be, would be all over that evidence to ascertain how much of it is valid. It isn’t an accusation that is made lightly, I think, and my own take on it is that it is perfectly true, given what I know of the Nuremberg Trials after WWII….

Now, this may seem like it is leading into another rant, this time on politics, and that would be a very astute observation…. usually. I’m a bit fagged out, though, having had quite a battle yesterday and last night with my back pain, which apparently is going to continue into today. I really do try not to let my pain keep me from doing what I want to do, but there are times when it just sort of ignores everything I want, and says, “Nope, here you go…. have some misery for a while….” It’s making it a bit difficult to think clearly, and to stay on track…

So, I’m going to switch horses right here in mid-stream, and turn this toward the old school…. Here are the pearls I could find this morning on the subject of our Beloved Ruling Class, bless their tiny little minds, and their tinier hearts…..

“”Beware the [lobbyist], my son, the jaws that bite, the claws that snatch” (with thanks to Lewis Carroll).  No matter how noble the cause or well meaning its professional advocates, lobbyists are still paid to get results.  They’re subject to errors in judgment, shortcomings in motives, and most of them don’t even vote in your district.” — Pierre S. du Pont

“I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the rights of the people by the gradual & silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” — James Madison, Virginia Convention, 1788

“Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either.” — Gore Vidal

“There are two main periods in which your elected representatives to the legislature do not do any business. One is before the election and the other is after the election.” — Smart Bee

It may have been the wrong decision to turn this over to my subconscious mind; the rant above took less time than finding that last pearl…. ah well, it finally got to the point where I can tie it all off with this, and wish you a safe and joyous day out there in the real world….

“Once harm has been done, even a fool understands it” — Homer
__________________________________

Wow…. that turned into an epic, and somewhat of an ordeal. Let’s see how it came out, in toto…..  Hang on, be back in a few moments….  Not too bad, all in all… A bit of polish here, a bit of clarification there, and it’s good to go…. Well, it’s done, anyway. Y’all are the final judges of how it came out, so, I’ll turn it over to your tender ministrations…. be gentle with me, okay?…..  Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Bitter occidental visions of midnight sun….

Ffolkes,
Puppies…. everybody likes puppies, right? So why did I get all the funny looks when I served some for dinner the other night? Tell me, what’s the big deal? How come all the women rushed to the bathroom to spew, and all the men started yelling at me? I don’t understand…. if everybody likes them, what’s the problem? No mint sauce?…. Are they supposed to be baked instead of grilled? What?…..

Okay, okay, there’s no call for hissing and booing. It’s just a joke….. and damn funny, too!  Bet you were surprised, eh? I generally don’t use puppies for humor’s sake, especially not in such a film noir sense. It’s too hard to get anyone to laugh, at least not until they’ve said “Awwww”.  But, I thought it was worth a shot, and I was right….. at least, I think so….. Besides, I wouldn’t want to destroy any illusions about the classy way I run this blog….. high class, that’s me….yup. It says so right here on the label…..

Rather than continue in this vein, I think we’ll open up a different one…. I get the feeling this one could end up somewhere I don’t want to go. Instead, let’s Pearl, okay? Okay!…..
___________________________________

Fundamentalism:  an effective form of mirth control. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee is almost always right on the money, and this one is one you could take to the bank. Have you ever noticed this? It seems that in order to be ordained as a fundamentalist minister, one must lose or destroy their sense of humor. This lack of funny bone is one of the primary characteristics by which one may recognize this fortunately rare beastie; it is often accompanied by a very strong sense of hypocrisy, and a sense of entitlement all out of proportion with Reality….. and they get all upset and frothing at the mouth when someone (like me…) points out their hypocrisy, especially if the proof is obvious.

“I see little divinity about them or you.  You talk to me of Christianity when you are in the act of hanging your enemies.  Was there ever such blasphemous nonsense!” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), The Devil’s Disciple

This hypocritical nature is shared with the fundies by politicians, bankers, and lawyers. Of course, the fundies dress differently than the latter three categories, who all dress the same, in power suits with white shirt and power ties.  You can differentiate one from another by the type of accessories they wear.  Politicians usually have an American flag pin on their lapel. Bankers, of course, have a diamond stick pin for their ties.  And the lawyers will usually add a vest to the suit, or wear the scales of injustice on their lapel…… Although each claims they are different from the other, all of them are adept at lying with great facility…..

“The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.” — H.L. Mencken

This insight is quite powerful, and very true to Reality. This characteristic of the American voting public has always fascinated me, in the same way that a poisonous snake is fascinating to study…. they’re beautiful, but very dangerous to one’s health. I suppose the public’s calm, even resigned, acceptance of the lies they hear, from the beloved ruling class, and from the priestly hierarchies, is a natural outgrowth of the hypocrisy inherent in each of them individually. In other words, because they’ve chosen to believe in a certain set of lies, i.e. Christianity, they are only too willing to accept being lied to by their ruling class. It’s kind of pathetic, if you ask me….

“Instead of striving to be like Jesus most Christians would rather presume that Jesus was just like them.” — Callan Williams

I guess the most ironic part of all this is the absolute cluelessness of those who choose this path. They really have no idea how insane their beliefs have become; they refuse to look at any evidence that doesn’t agree with what they have chosen to believe, other than those (often erroneous or irrelevant) passages from the Bible that they will toss out with such finality. It cracks me up when someone quotes the Bible; they act as if merely referring to that book denies the truth of any other source, like once they have referenced scripture, no other answer is acceptable…. when in fact, what they’ve quoted often has no relation to reality at all.  And the colors they turn when this is proven to them are fascinating…..

“I don’t mind being screwed, but the government thinks I’m a nymph.” — Smart Bee

Okay, I’ll stop harassing the poor churchies now. I know it’s dishonorable to have a battle of wits with people who are unarmed, but some days I just can’t help it. I look at all the damage that churches have perpetrated on society, and my blood boils, my brain ignites, and my fingers start typing accusatory dross and ironic drivel, without conscious volition. Besides, they certainly have it coming, and they’ve had lots of practice, at deflecting accusations, and at outright lying about their motivation. So, fuck ’em, as we like to say downtown…. they’ve been doing it to me, and us, for a long time; now it’s my turn….

Man, n.:  An animal so lost in rapturous contemplation of what he thinks he is as to overlook what he indubitably ought to be.  His chief occupation is extermination of other animals and his own species, which, however, multiplies with such insistent rapidity as to infest the whole habitable earth and Canada. — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
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A Dialogue Of Self And Soul

i{My Soul} I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul

i{My Self}. The consecretes blade upon my knees
Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;
That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
From some court-lady’s dress and round
The wooden scabbard bound and wound
Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn

i{My Soul.} Why should the imagination of a man
Long past his prime remember things that are
Emblematical of love and war?
Think of ancestral night that can,
If but imagination scorn the earth
And intellect is wandering
To this and that and t’other thing,
Deliver from the crime of death and birth.

i{My self.} Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
Five hundred years ago, about it lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery —
Heart’s purple — and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier’s right
A charter to commit the crime once more.

i{My Soul.} Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows

i{Is} from the i{Ought,} or i{knower} from the i{Known — }
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.

i{My Self.} A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;
The finished man among his enemies? —
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?
I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

William Butler Yeats

I could probably write a nice, wordy piece dissecting this poem, but, for the sake of both of us, I won’t. I’ll just say that I can see why Yeats is a member of the top 20 poets of all time, in every list of that nature ever made…. He’s got game….
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_
_  / \                           o
/ \ | |                       o           o             o
| | | |                            o               o
| | | |   _                    o    o                 o       o
| \_| |  / \                 o                     o    o
\__  |  | |             o                           o
| |  | |            ______   ~~~~              _____
| |__/ |          / ___–\\ ~~~             __/_____\__
|  ___/          / \–\\  \\   \ ___       <__  x x  __\
| |             / /\\  \\       ))  \         (  ”  )
| |    — —–(—->>(@)–(@)——-\———-< >———–
| |   //       | | //__________  /    \    ____)   (___      \\
| |  //      __|_|  ( ——— )      //// ______ /////\     \\
//       |    (  \ ______  /      <<<< <>—–<<<<< /      \\
//       (     )                      / /         \` \__     \\
//————————————————————-\\

“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.” — H. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Ya gotta love ASCII art…. each piece created is another example of just how silly the human mind can be when over-used, or suffering caffeine withdrawal…. throw in Hunter Thompson, and you’ve got a hit!…. Enjoy….
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All things considered, I like it. So, I’m going to leave it alone, for better or worse. 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!

Seven? With one towel and lip gloss?….

Ffolkes,
Despite the heat, we stayed inside the camouflaged brush hut, peering out through the firing holes to observe the surrounding forest. A clearing opened to view, about 20 feet away to the east, at the edge of a thick copse of ironwood trees. Nothing moved, in the trees, or the clearing, though the cries and screeches of many birds and animals punctuated the air of the otherwise silent forest.

As I gazed out into the clearing, sweat rolled down my back and sides, but was insufficient to stifle my excitement. Soon, if we were lucky enough to have picked the right path to watch, I would have the honor and glory of bagging the very first trophy head, the very first time one of the world’s most elusive, vicious, and fearsome beasts would be brought down in their wild state. Nothing would keep me from bagging my very own feral politician…. or even better, one of its pack mates, a ruffle-crested preacher…..

Well, one can dream, can’t one? This is the type of dream I’ve been having of late, just before waking up. I don’t know whether it is a good thing or not, but it’s a good feeling in the dreams when I bring one of those suckers down…. and goodness knows the ranks of both preachers and politicians could use some thinning. The herds they gather in are getting kind of extensive, and before you know it, they’ll be infesting our neighborhoods. Can’t let that happen; they’re already too much of a nuisance in the world, and should be eliminated just like any pest that brings disease and death along with it……

Now imagine me saying that in Ricardo Montalban’s voice, or James Earl Jones’….. Sounds more impressive doesn’t it? Funny how things are… Since I really don’t have much more to say here in the intro, perhaps we’d best just get on with it…. Probably for the best…. shall we Pearl?
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The Angel

I dreamt a dream! What can it mean?
And that I was a maiden Queen
Guarded by an Angel mild:
Witless woe was ne’er beguiled!

And I wept both night and day,
And he wiped my tears away;
And I wept both day and night,
And hid from him my heart’s delight.

So he took his wings, and fled;
Then the morn blushed rosy red.
I dried my tears, and armed my fears
With ten-thousand shields and spears.

Soon my Angel came again;
I was armed, he came in vain;
For the time of youth was fled,
And grey hairs were on my head.

William Blake

I find this to be an intriguing piece, and can relate to the emotions he evokes, at least the part on aging. I thought it might be nice to begin with a classic, rather than ending, and I was write…..
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If solid happiness we prize,
Within our breast this jewel lies,
And they are fools who roam.
The world has nothing to bestow;
From our own selves our joys must flow,
And that dear hut, our home.
— Nathaniel Cotton (1707-1788) — The Fireside, Stanza 3

I am beginning to think it is a poetry day. I like this particular piece, as it drives home a point common in Eastern religions, that happiness lies within one’s self, not in the outer world. Mr. Cotton here also expresses another part of that viewpoint that he shared with Emerson and Thoreau, that travel is not necessarily beneficial.

While I see the point to which they refer, I cannot agree with that assessment, as I happen to believe that traveling the world, while not necessary to being happy, can be a very good path to finding it within ourselves. The experience we gain from traveling teaches us about how we deal with the world, and self-knowledge is the true path to the happiness within….

The secret is to not travel simply for the purpose of seeking happiness, to pay heed to the old saying,  “it is better to journey than to arrive.”  As the poem, and many sages throughout the ages have noted, true happiness is not found in the world, so going about looking there for it is a waste of time and energy. But, I disagree with the above that it cannot be found there; if it is within us, then it is still there, whether we are at home or abroad.

The trick is to use the journey to learn about one’s self, thus finding within the self all that is needed to be happy. This knowledge can only enhance the experience gained in dealing with different parts of the world, and to my mind, makes the happiness all the sweeter….

I mean, really, would you rather be happy at home, finding the pleasure in simple chores, or would you rather be in Dublin in a centuries old pub, singing drinking songs, and finding new ways to live happily?…. Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll take the pub, every time…..
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“Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” — Genesis 1:28

Is it any wonder that our society is falling apart? Given the above, I think that any doubts one may have about who and/or what is responsible for the mess in which we find ourselves are pretty well dispelled. This decree of Entitlement is taken seriously by every priest, every preacher, and every politician who ever trod American soil (the phenomenon is world-wide, but for now let’s just concern ourselves with our problems here at home….). Did you ever hear a clearer statement of justification for hatred, bigotry, and prejudice? If you can answer yes, I’d be interested in hearing it, as this is just about as clear an expression of elitism as any I’ve ever heard….

Perhaps it is just me, but I find this to be disgusting. It is a clearly false assumption, based entirely on hearsay that was uttered by men who wanted to have control over others, and wanted to establish in the minds of those others the idea that God gave them the right to do so. I’m not sure just how they got everyone to believe them, to buy into the delusion, as it seems completely obvious to me that it is a lie of major proportion.

But, they did, and for well over two millennia this idea of Mankind being the Lords of Creation has led us down a primrose path, straight to the edge of extinction…. The efforts of sages, philosophers, and clear-thinkers throughout the ages has not been sufficient to convince the majority of Mankind that our entire societal make-up is based on a lie, in spite of the simple fact that it is true….

As long as the majority of people in this country, or any other, for that matter, accept this lie, this entitlement, then the changes necessary to survival for our species are never going to happen. This sort of separation from the remainder of the Circle of Life is what will keep us from ever becoming part of that Circle. Our species will not survive, if we do not choose to join the rest of reality; we cannot survive alone, and every action taken to divide us from the other inhabitants of Earth pushes us further down the path to extinction.

It pisses me off no end to know that this inevitable end is all because the majority chooses to embrace a lie, a delusion, rather than having the courage to face the universe as we are….
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What we have here is as close to a “normal” Pearl as it gets, considering how little “normal” has to do with this process. I’m letting it fly as it is, though both of the above ranting sections could easily be expanded; my ranting chops are a little stiff this morning, though, so they will have to do…. 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!

Transformers in a creamy sauce….

Ffolkes,
I think everyone out there has experienced being left on hold by some large corporation with whom you have tried to conduct business over the phone. Once, while speaking with my internet service provider, I got left on hold, and forgotten, three times, over the course of a 45 minute call, that dealt with an issue that took 20 seconds to correct. I’m sure you all have a horror story or two to add to this; it’s a common practice these days, for companies to increase their profit margins by reducing services, such as phone operators. It is also a big pain in our collective ass….

My whole life is currently on hold, by the Federal government, bless their pointy little heads. The Social Security Department, having decided in their wisdom that I am not yet worthy, have denied my disability application, so I am compelled to go through the appeal process, adding perhaps another 6 months to the time I will have to survive without the additional funds that SS will provide from the money I have put into the system over the last 45-50 years.

Six months more of this…. This includes never being able to go anywhere, as I cannot afford a car, and riding buses, though efficient financially, is very slow and laborious, not to mention hard on my back. Riding across town to buy my bread at the discount store is a four hour bus trip, to cover a distance I could drive in 8-10 minutes each way. Also, the buses don’t run before 8 AM or after 9 PM, so no staying out late or starting early.

No going out to dinner, and no going out for a cocktail; those events are not even close to being included in the monthly budget. Hell, if I buy more than a hundred dollars or so of food, it puts a strain on things. I don’t starve, by any means; I do have more than many families with kids have to get by, and for that I am grateful to my 29 years of state retirement contributions.

But, there are no extras included in there…. no laundry, no clothing, no shoes can be purchased, without first doing without something else that may be critical. I am impressed more and more all the time with the creativity shown by the families who are getting by on less than my retirement; this isn’t easy, at all.

Living this way has given me two things… One, as stated, a feeling of intense admiration for the folks in society who get by on the pittance that they can earn, given the lack of jobs and the determination of the 1% to keep things this way. Two, a burning, intense hatred (a word I don’t much use, as I consider it unhealthy in general…) for that same 1%, in which I include all politicians, priests, preachers, rabbis, imams, bankers, industrialists, and specifically Mitt Romney’s asshole of a wife. (Well, him, too, but she is particularly noisome…. “average housewife” my dying ass…..) It is clear by the daily nonsense I see in the news just how little they care, or even comprehend, about the situation in today’s culture of disparity. And, as far as I can tell, by all available evidence, it is deliberate on their part; they just don’t care about anyone else….

Ah me…. I had not intended to rant first thing this morning. But, having awakened once again in pain, followed by a bout with my PTSD’s lovely gift of depression and tears this morning, it just sort of flowed out of my head and onto the screen. I don’t wish to make this sound like a litany of whiny complaints. I know I have it better than a lot of folks.

But, damn it, it doesn’t have to be this way, and if there was even one person in government that I could point to and say, “Look, there is an honest man, trying to make things better for those who elected him,” then I would feel at least a little bit encouraged. As it is, I can only look forward to more of the same, for at least six more months…. and I defy anyone out there to tell me I’m wrong here. It should be easy, one would think…. all you have to do is find ONE person in office you can show me who is trying to do right. One, that’s all…. go ahead, I dare you…..

That will take you a good, long while, so in the meantime, I’m going pearling…. y’all can come along, or not, as you wish…. I’m too much in the depths of depression to care….. but, you are welcome, if you so desire…. let’s go…..
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O men with sisters dear,
O men with mothers and wives,
It is not linen you ‘re wearing out,
But human creatures’ lives!
— Thomas Hood (1798-1845) — The Song of the Shirt

Yesterday, I reblogged an article posted by rmott62, a very strong, inspiring young woman who writes about her experiences as a sex trade slave. I use the word “slave” deliberately, for no other word describes the women, and children who are trapped, abducted, or even tricked into becoming prostitutes. I have reblogged her work, and the work of a couple others who have been fortunate enough to have exited the system in which they were entrapped, several times, and I will continue to do so as long as she, and I, still are publishing. I do this because I am ashamed….

Yes, ashamed…. I am ashamed at myself, and of all the other men in the world who turn their faces away from this issue, and pretend that there is nothing they can do about it. I am ashamed that this practice, of raping and abusing women and girls, just for their own pleasure (though I fail to see how it can be pleasurable to rape or abuse…), just because they can, not only has been present for thousands of years, but continues unabated in today’s supposedly enlightened culture. To my way of thinking, all of us men are responsible for this, and it is our DUTY to do whatever we can to put a stop to it.

Back in the days when mankind lived in caves, when a man in the tribe became dangerous to others in the tribe, for stealing, for abusing others, for whatever reason they had that went against what was good for the tribe, the other men in the tribe made it a point to discipline that man. It may have been merely a physical beating, or banishment from the tribe, or even death, but the other men took it upon themselves to see that the will of the tribe was upheld. Somehow, when culture grew, and started inhabiting cities, and there was more interchange between various tribes, the system broke down. The people of the society were now supposed to be protected from such depredations by law….

But, at about this time, the unscrupulous among us started to solidify their power over society; the richest among the tribes were those who made the laws; they were also the same ones who saw nothing wrong with raping and abusing women, assuming that was their privilege as one of the beloved ruling class. And so the laws were made to reflect that attitude, and the die was cast.

This system has survived the centuries, and now the attitude that prostitution is an integral part of society is so ingrained that even those without any other kind of power over others can go to a brothel and act out their sick fantasies, at the expense of a woman or child who has no defense against the violence that occurs if they should object…. and if there is a discussion it is always about a “victimless crime”….

It disgusts me, right down to my core. It is perhaps the sickest part of our society, and very few people are even aware of it. There is certainly no discussion in the public at large of the issue; it is far too volatile for any politician to ever take the chance of siding with the women who are being abused. Hell, a good half of those assholes in office are trying to take away the few rights women have managed to get into law over the last 40 years; Roe vs. Wade has already been set aside, and the asshole men who can’t stand the thought of a woman having the right to choose anything, much less their own sexual nature, are trying to make sure it never gets revived.

I’m not sure what can be done, at least not on a society-wide scale. The attitudes, and laws, have been so set in stone for so many years that it may require surgical removal to make any progress. But, on a smaller scale, I can make noise about it, and try to shame any man who believes otherwise that he is not only a fool, but an asshole fool, and doesn’t deserve to call himself a man.

When I was in college, the women’s rights movement was in its beginnings, and there was a phrase coined that says it all, to me…. Free our sisters, free ourselves…. None of us men will ever be truly and completely free until we have freed our sisters from such servitude.

That is a fact. It is not just my opinion, it is a fact, and we would do well to pay heed…. and those who engage in this industry had best watch out, for if no one else does, I will be looking for them, and when I find them, I will do all I can to end them. And you can interpret that however you wish; I have no doubt in my mind as to what I mean, and I mean “end them”…..
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“It is ridiculous to suppose that the great head of things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs.” — Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD) — Natural History, Book ii, Sect. 20

This has always been an issue in my mind, from the very earliest times I was exposed to religious instruction, in some Presbyterian Sunday School when I was a young lad. Even at the age of five or six, I had a hard time understanding two things about God, if what they were telling me about Him was true. First, I couldn’t believe that a God, supposedly able to create an entire universe, would take the time and/or energy to care whether or not I was paying attention to His rules. (I also questioned why He would make rules in the first place….)

Secondly, the whole idea of worship made me uneasy…. it seemed a bit, hmm, needy, or vulnerable, to me. I knew that the admiration of others made me feel weird; uneasy and uncomfortable with their fawning (baby sisters & brothers, little kids, and others who show such feelings for their older, more accomplished siblings….). Even the admiration I held for my older siblings, and my heroes, made me a bit uncomfortable. So, I could never understand why an all-powerful being would want any part of such a thing.

So, even then, before I had any real defenses, I suppose my ability to reason made it hard for me to accept a lot of what I was told. It never made sense to me that the pictures I saw of God made him look just like some human patriarch (hmm… no Freudian comments?); I mean, if he was so far above us, how did we know what He looked like? I didn’t remember seeing any photos of Him, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, (another questionable entity to the mind of a five-year old….) playing in the Dead Sea surf, nor did I recall any such word from God Himself. There were a lot of folks saying that the Bible is the Word of God, but the only ones saying so were people, not Gods.

So, maybe I’m a bit different than the average young bear cub, but much of what they tried to foist upon my unsuspecting mind never took hold, as I found it completely unbelievable. It just didn’t make any sense, even by the rules they were setting up for it.  If I, a little kid, didn’t like to be worshiped, why would an omnipotent being have anything to do with it?  Give me a reasonable, rational answer, and I will consider the concept. But, I think you’d best bring a new and different set of arguments, because the ones that have been in play for several thousand years just don’t cut it in my book….

“Everybody has the right to be stupid, but they’re abusing the privilege.” — Smart Bee
___________________________________    Today’s material has been a bit heavy, to match my mood, so this is here merely to provide a bit of comedic relief before we go on…. silly looking, isn’t he?…. But happy, too…. The picture was found on No Ruff Days, a WordPress blog site that has wonderful pictures paired with quotes, all about dogs and their relationship with mankind…. the address is:  http://www.noruffdays.com
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“You can have a winner [in a nuclear war].” — George Bush, 1980.
In 1984, he said, “I never said that.” — The original interview had been taped…

The funniest part of this is that he continued to deny it after hearing the tape…. There isn’t really much more about this I can add; it’s pretty clear as it is. I’ll just say this: It’s not his fault…. Yep, I said that. It’s our fault. We, the voting public, are the ones who not only overlook this sort of asininity, but show our approval by electing these same liars time and time again. As long as this habit continues, then we will continue to see nothing but liars in office, and our journey toward a rational society will be put off that much longer….

Just desserts, I’d say…. If you need an example from current times, just go to any of the several sites that have been set up with the expressed purpose of showing the lies that just ONE candidate has been spewing all over the airwaves, to wit: Willard Mitt Romney. This man is possibly the most clueless candidate to come down the pike in many a year, and he still has millions of people willing to ignore his lack of ability to speak the truth….    Pretty sickening, to my way of thinking…. but, deserved, nonetheless….
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“All riches come from iniquity, and unless one has lost, another cannot gain.  Hence that common opinion seems to be very true, “the rich man is unjust, or the heir to an unjust one.” Opulence is always the result of theft, if not committed by the actual possessor, than by his predecessor.” — St. Jerome (340?-420)

Funny, isn’t it, how certain religious figures from the ancient past seemed to have an entirely different view of reality than did the prelates of the churches of which they were a part? I suppose it is just another example of how those in power are corrupted by their position, and become the very thing against which they preach. I would imagine that today’s modern church has de-canonized St. Jerome, as his philosophy seems to have diverged from what is common practice in the church; they are far too deeply involved with stealing from the people, and supporting those politicians that support them in that practice. Beware the man who says he is doing something “for your own good” for he is reaching into your pocket as he speaks…..
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Well, that was certainly a journey of some distance; I wasn’t sure if it would ever get to a point of closure. But, as always, I fooled myself long enough, and everything came out alright. It’s done, anyway, and that is all I care about at this point. It’s been a struggle, pain-wise, but with a lot of breaks, not too bad; I’m no worse than when I got up, and that is a decent starting point. I’ll just take an extra pill, and see how it goes. Most importantly, it is going…. 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!