— Odo, The Prison Letters —
~~ Ursula LeGuin ~~
In the recent past, these introductory sections have relied upon either the quote at the top of the page, or the picture just below it, to help me find a direction in which to set out for the day’s journey into the labyrinth I call my mind, to anywhere in the vast unknown territory in which the day’s Pearl may be hiding…. As a result, I have experienced what might be called an ambiguous reaction, to the reduction of stressful indecision over this process. One side of that reaction is pleasure, a feeling of contentment and relief, at not having to work so hard at it; the other side has been an unfortunate tendency to rant, massively, if not magnificently, here in the opening comments….
Now, while that may be advantageous from one standpoint, it does, in what echoes the casually cruel way of much of the Universe, ignore my routine, as it blithely destroys it…..
Hmm…. we interrupt this introduction to bring you this mildly important bulletin….. Here where I live, in the Bay Area at the top of the Bay, we just had another small earthquake…. most likely an aftershock of the good-sized shaker that occurred day before yesterday, which registered 6.0 on the Richter scale, and knocked down some good-sized pieces of the downtown area…. This one didn’t knock anything off my shelves, though the house did a little dance for about 5 or 10 seconds; it never reached the intensity of the one the other day…. Oh, well, I guess we’re done for now…. back to whatever it was I was talking about before mother Gaia interrupted with her latest little shocker….
Now, where were we? Oh, right, obliterated routine…. This daily alteration of the routine has also seemed to stimulate me, and Smart Bee, which has been coming up with some excellent pearls for ranting…. So, the rants have not only been, often, earlier in the day’s post than is usual, but, longer than is probably wise, or effective…. Hence, I think, the recent drop in the number of readers stopping by…. I have to admit, my blog is probably more work than most, what with the seriousness of much of the subject matter, and my tendency to become pedantic, pompous, & long-winded….
All of this, while, no doubt, interesting to me, is also, no doubt, boring most of you to tears…. So, I’m going to make an executive decision, to bring this to a close at this point, using one of the more efficient emergency methods I’ve acquired over time to help to overcome the seriousness and pomposity that is now threatening to get out of control…. You might recognize it, if you’ve been here before…. it’s number 4, and it works fast. Watch this….
Shall we Pearl?…..
Midnight shakes the memory
As a madman shakes a dead geranium
~~ T.S. Eliot ~~
The treasure of our tongue? To what strange shores
This gain of our best glory shall be sent
T’ enrich unknowing nations with our stores?
What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
May come refin’d with th’ accents that are ours?
~~ Samuel Daniel ~~
— Musophilus, Stanza 163 —
I’m afraid I’ve gotten a little out of hand, again…. I have yet to see how long this section has grown to be; it isn’t done as I write this. I’m doing so as a warning to my Gentle Readers, to give them the option of skipping to the poetry section…. Those unfamiliar with the extent of my ramblings at times are advised to read on, to gain a clearer picture…. of what, is, as always, up to you. You are the one who is learning whatever lesson there is to be learned, aren’t you? I can merely offer my own thoughts; you must do with them what you will…. as long as you don’t try to hurt anyone with them…
This pearl has meandered, though originally, it had a specific design that didn’t include such a lack of focus…. But, as I read the news yesterday, I saw so many disturbing stories, I kept adding them to the end of what I’d already finished, several times, before even beginning to collect the pearls to make the old-school pearl at the end, which I intended to use in lieu of formal ranting….
In other words, there is so much crap going on in the world, I had to collect a bunch of it in order to get it out of my head, before it sat in there & rotted…. There will still be an old-school pearl, comprised of five, or seven pearls of virtual wisdom, that will provide, hopefully, some order, and some insight, into possible ways to deal with such an incredibly humongous pile of dross and drivel…. Wish me luck….
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life. It goes on.” — Robert Frost
When Robert Frost made this statement, it was made, naturally, in light of the knowledge of his own life experience, which, at the point in history when it was uttered, had led him to believe this, with good reason…. I am sorry to say, however, that conditions in the world have drastically changed in the intervening years, and this belief is in danger of being made irrelevant, as no longer supported by the evidence…. When he lived, the world had not yet come to the crisis point which we now face, in which our history, quite conceivably, may come to a final ending…. with no more chapters to follow.
There is a specific reason for my pessimism when it comes to the subject of climate change, and Mankind’s responsibility for the pollution which has been PROVEN to be the cause of our danger…. Scientifically speaking, there is no longer any room for doubt about that; the evidence is just too overwhelming to either ignore, or minimize, or, as some still do, deny….. We, as a species, and as a member of the circle of Life on this planet, are in significant and imminent danger of dying off, the same as the dinosaurs did, millions of years ago….
The difference here and now, between what is happening to us, and what happened to the reptiles who once roamed the Earth, is that they had no choice in the matter…. The large asteroid/comet/big rock, that slammed into the Earth in the past, created an instant climactic catalyst, so powerful it caused the entire world’s balanced climate to change overnight…. This eventually led to the demise of most of the life then present on the surface of the globe, in a cosmically short time, over a couple thousand years or so….. until the diversity of life here reestablished itself, and the mammalian age began….
What is happening today is not a huge world-wide explosion, or cosmically significant instant impact, by a swiftly moving boulder the size of, oh, say, Texas?, that is causing the changes…. It has been conclusively proven that the millions upon millions of tons of chemicals, specifically carbon monoxide, along with a host of others (none of which are helpful to the air….), that are unceremoniously dumped, every day, into the atmosphere we all breathe, are responsible, in a direct-line, logical, evidential progression, for the changes we are now witnessing on a world-wide scale….
All the strange weather patterns, the melting of the polar ice, at both poles, causing the level of the oceans to rise, the rise in the overall temperature of the planet, and all the other cataclysmic events we are seeing now, are OUR OWN FUCKING FAULT, for refusing to halt the idiocy, even though our culpability has been relatively common knowledge, now, for over 50 years…..
Yet, according to the article below, after all this time, and all the evidence, there is still so much resistance to the issue in the ranks of the ignorant, fundamentalist assholes who control the House of Representatives in this country, any piece of legislation that acknowledges that danger, or tries in any way to put a stop to the idiocy, is blocked automatically in the GOP controlled Congressional House of Representatives, by these same fundamentalists who categorically refuse to even LOOK at the evidence that is killing them, and their entire families, without them even knowing it….. It makes me sick, to realize these fucking idiots are in a position to block any attempts to rectify the situation, thus, unwittingly (as they do EVERYTHING in their life….), strengthening my impulsive urge to buy a gun, almost immeasurably….
Read the article, and after you’ve calmed down, (Okay, so that’s just me….), you can do what I did…. Look through the old-school pearl(s) I’ve collected & placed below the link, shrug phlegmatically, then, start practicing the unpalatable act of resigning yourself to the most likely outcome, to wit: In about a hundred years, or possibly less, unless we make immediate drastic changes to society, and the way we approach LIFE on this planet…. well, if we don’t, we are all, most surely, going to die, painfully, and without hope of any deus ex machina, from a imaginary supernatural force that, reportedly loves our undeserving, sorry asses, so much, they will change reality to allow us to live….
Sorry, ffolkes, that just ain’t going to happen…..
I don’t know about y’all, but, I’m really impressed at the depth of ignorance in our Beloved Ruling Class that is implied by this article…. simply massive stupidity at work here, ffolkes….
Oh, yeah, and then there’s this…. Below is another link, to an article about Señor Rick Perry, who is one of the “fundies” mentioned above (He is on record, as believing the idea of Man being the primary cause behind climate change is a “question that hasn’t been answered to his satisfaction”…), Consider this, ffolkes…. This man, for the moment, at least, is one of the top contenders for the GOP presidential candidate at the next election, in 2016…. Well, one of the most visible, anyway…
Don’t worry, though, he is confident the suit against him for abuse of his office’s power, )brought against him by people in his own state bureaucracy, for threatening to refuse to sign a bill, that provided funding for corruption investigations in his state), will be dismissed as baseless…. He is confident of this, in spite of having publicly stated, beforehand, he would veto the bill, if he didn’t get something he wanted from a Democratic opponent…. When it was refused, he vetoed the funding bill, thus firmly allying himself on the side of those who are corrupted, and those who believe their lies…. and, in the process, making it harder to investigate HIM…. Hmm, what do you think?
I think Mr. Perry is very slick (this is after I get control of the nausea prompted by having to think about him at all….); his whole attitude is one of skillful denial, and Alfred E. Neumann-like obliviousness (In recent months, he has adopted the wearing of some studious looking, nerdy black frame glasses, to give him a more intellectual look… In reality, he doesn’t realize that it gives him a striking resemblance to Alfred, the iconic image of Mad Magazine, and a logo for all that is crazy in life…)…. I can just hear him, talking to reporters outside the courthouse, “What, me worry?…. No corruption here, ffolkes, keep moving, no need to even look….” Remember now, this is a man who wants to be president of this country….
(No capital for “president of the United States”? What’s up with that? Oh… I stopped capitalizing it when I lost all respect for the office, back about the time of Nixon, followed by Johnson, then the sheer hell of the Reagan years, and Shrub the First, and the vacuum of time that was Jerry Ford…. Oh, yeah, and that other guy…. what was his name…. oh, right, the Junior Shrub, George the Blithering Idiot….)
So, maybe Perry is what the GOP, and all the fools and idiots who bought into the lies that have inundated the public’s consciousness now for most of the time since World War II, (that’s when the worst of the reliance on clandestine activity in the government became habitual, and the almost automatic denial and lying to the public sector has its root…. and, in many cases, is used as the justification for all of it…. Falsely, of course. but what has ever stopped a politician from lying when it suits their purpose? Nothing known to man or science, that’s for sure…), has been looking for all this time…. Maybe he will get the GOP nomination, & we’ll have him as a daily target for our barbs in the 2016 election…. One is allowed to hope, anyway….
Any who, here’s the latest on Ricky Bob…. THEN, we’ll get to the pearls….
Okay, so, these articles just keep jumping up at me, barking and howling until I let them get on board this train wreck…. But, this one may help…. Over the last couple of days, I’ve written several pieces on the militarization of the police all over the world, and especially in the United States…. One of my favorite columnists, Mark Morford, who writes for the SF Chronicle, and SFGATE, an online outlet connected to the Chronicle, has written his piece for this week on the same subject; he has produced his usual brilliant take on the matter for us to share….
He gives a complete and accurate summation, of the background, and the roots of the current situation in Ferguson, Missouri…. He also analyzes a lot of what is NOT generally considered, with some actual positive points of hope for a creative solution it may be possible to find…. sort of…. It’s a great read, and will, perhaps, add to your comprehension of the issues at hand…. I know I enjoyed, anyway, and, it adds to the overall picture that shows the damage to our culture, so prevalent today….
Okay….. Now, the pearls…. centered for visual balance, which encourages the same in one’s thoughts….
“As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it.” — Dick Cavett, in “Playboy”, 1971
“And the people bowed and prayed, to the neon Gods they’d made.” — Paul Simon
“In any country there must be people who have to die. They are the sacrifices any nation has to make to achieve law and order.” — Idi Amin Dada
“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends on whether you are at the right or the wrong end of the gun.” — P. G. Wodehouse
“Nothing is too high for the daring of mortals: we storm heaven itself in our folly.” — Horace (65-8 B.C.)
“A candidate is a person who gets money from the rich and votes from the poor to protect them from each other.” — Smart Bee
Well, that was pleasant…. I guess. Perhaps if so many of them weren’t so true to life, the overall effect wouldn’t make me so uncomfortably nauseous…. This is one strange pearl, but, for a rant like this, it works, I’m thinking…. I wonder, though, maybe I should go eat some worms…. At least I’d have a reasonable reason for the nausea…. I need a little something to take the edge off before we go on…. Ah, this will do…. A little reminder the politicians, etc., aren’t the ONLY f___-ups who bear the responsibility for this whole mess…. You and I have played our parts, remember….
“In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility
then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.”
— Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Chapter 29
To try to make up a bit for the extreme length of the previous section we’ll go with something short, and classic….. How about this one?….
Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t care;
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear’s big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do, Isabel, now I’ll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry.
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and she straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.
Once in a night as black as pitch
Isabel met a wicked old witch.
the witch’s face was cross and wrinkled,
The witch’s gums with teeth were sprinkled.
Ho, ho, Isabel! the old witch crowed,
I’ll turn you into an ugly toad!
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry,
She showed no rage and she showed no rancor,
But she turned the witch into milk and drank her.
Isabel met a hideous giant,
Isabel continued self reliant.
The giant was hairy, the giant was horrid,
He had one eye in the middle of his forehead.
Good morning, Isabel, the giant said,
I’ll grind your bones to make my bread.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She nibbled the zwieback that she always fed off,
And when it was gone, she cut the giant’s head off.
Isabel met a troublesome doctor,
He punched and he poked till he really shocked her.
The doctor’s talk was of coughs and chills
And the doctor’s satchel bulged with pills.
The doctor said unto Isabel,
Swallow this, it will make you well.
Isabel, Isabel, didn’t worry,
Isabel didn’t scream or scurry.
She took those pills from the pill concocter,
And Isabel calmly cured the doctor.
~~ Ogden Nash ~~
Second in a series of very old Pearls to grace the third section, here is one from a couple of months after I began posting on WordPress… In those days, an entire Pearl was the size of what is now considered one section, which in most cases ends up here, in section three. I’m bringing back these old pearls to give a feeling of continuity, if only in my own mind…. It also gives me, and y’all, a picture of how things around here have both progressed, and stayed the same…. By the “look and feel” of this group of pearls, a five-star pearl is still the most compelling sort, when it works…. this one works…
A great confusion arose in my mind yesterday; a confusion so great, I could not find a way out, and several things that should have been done were not. This missive is one of those things…..I actually had most of it done, but my ever-present extremely high level of anxiety had me out doing other things that seemed more important at the time. Turns out it wasn’t but, hey, Murphy knows me by first name, so it doesn’t surprise anymore when stuff goes wrong. Hence, today, I must play clean-up on yesterday’s unfinished tasks, thus keeping me from what I’d like to do, which is to get some writing done. No hope there today, not when it takes almost all I’ve got to write a Pearl.
Speaking of which, I finally found the little poem that explains about the Pearls, at least from a minimalist standpoint. I merely take it as proof that I am not alone, that others have walked this path before me, seeking out the finest oysters, and bringing their Pearls of Virtual Wisdom into the light of day……
He who would search for pearls must dive below.
— John Dryden —
(1631-1700) — All for Love, Prologue
“Nothing is rubbish if you’ve got an inquiring mind.” — Doctor Who
:sagan: /say’gn/ n. [from Carl Sagan’s TV series “Cosmos”; think “billions and billions”] A large quantity of anything. “There’s a sagan different ways to tweak EMACS.” “The U.S. Government spends sagans on bombs and welfare — hard to say which is more destructive.” — from The on-line Hacker Jargon File V423
How charming is divine philosophy!
Not harsh and crabbed, as dull fools suppose,
But musical as is Apollo’s lute,
And a perpetual feast of nectar’d sweets
Where no crude surfeit reigns.
— John Milton —
(1608-1674) — Comus, Line 476
Order is heaven’s first law; and this confest,
Some are, and must be, greater than the rest,
More rich, more wise; but who infers from hence
That such are happier, shocks all common sense.
— Alexander Pope —
(1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle iv, Line 49
“As the tempest and the thunder affect not the sun or the stars, but spend their fury on stones and trees below; so injuries ascend not to the Soul of the great, but waste themselves on such as are those who offer them.” — Akhenaton? (c. B.C. 1375)
Lotta poetry today, yes? It’s good for the mind to stretch in different ways sometimes; keeps it flexible….y’all take care out there…..
All things considered, not bad…. we’ll take it. Not only that, but, we won’t make any further big deal about it….. I’ve done all I can do; since all you can do is all you can do, I’m done…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….
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.