“When in doubt, tell the truth.”
~~ Mark Twain ~~
Artist’s rendition of EUSA Mars Lander “Insight”
Due to land on Mars in 2016, recorded by two satellites soon to be in orbit around Mars.
Image from Space.com
Good morrow, mon amis…. Today’s Pearl is somewhat special…. It was created mostly yesterday, with some from even the day before. Parts of it are from the archives, including the following intro section from a Pearl a couple years ago that speaks of some recent discussions here, and, in my opinion, is quite good, if your standards aren’t strictly Puritan…. It might not be Ibsen, but, it’s art, to paraphrase a character in a book…. (Go figure….)
The rest is, I think, also pretty fair, all things considered, though not necessarily in the same order as all things.
Huh? What did he say?
Ah well… Don’t fret; we’re going to just go on ahead as if it never happened. Two minutes from now, I promise, you’ll have forgotten this moment of disturbance in the Metaphorse completely….
Alright, Luigi; they’re as ready as I can get them. Take it away….
‘Tis a sad commentary to note one’s entire life boils down to one moment, particularly when, in that moment, one realizes the greatest skill one has developed is the ability to dither, or blather, or, as they used to say, to speak piffle….. Disheartening, to say the least; I had hoped for something a bit more dignified, or at least more useful. Piffle, as it was called in the previous century, is only useful to those who speak it, or, to those who understand and appreciate it; it’s a very small number…. The rest of society views piffle somewhat askance, as they have no idea either what is said, or what it may mean…. which, ultimately, is their loss…..
Of course, I can’t claim to be anywhere near as good at it as, say, Lord Peter Wimsey, from Dorothy L. Sayer’s novels; her books tend to intimidate as much as educate, as I believe she wrote with the Oxford Dictionary at close hand (seldom having to open it, I would guess…). Every page she wrote was filled with brilliant demonstration of a writer who loved the English language, one who seemed to use ALL of it in her writing. In my most egotistic dreams, I write only half as well as she did, for I don’t ever expect to be able to match her expertise, or her originality. Only someone with such a strong love, and full understanding, of the language could use it in such a way as to make it ironically humorous, while at the same time, pointedly insulting, laughingly charming, thrillingly suspenseful, or scathingly brilliant.
SIGH…. To my everlasting regret, I can’t do that, not as well as I’d like. It is a constant disappointment to me that I cannot; it’s one of the few skills in my life that I can say truthfully that I have been unable to master, once I set my mind to its acquisition. Perhaps, before I pass on to the next dimension, or whatever happens after we die, I’ll get closer to writing better piffle; I hope so. If not, well, I can always go back and read more of Ms. Sayers’ work, though I believe I’ve already consumed all of her Lord Peter stories…. They are the kind of books one can read over and over, finding something new every time….
All of the above is what could be called a distraction. I wrote it as a sublimation of the desire to whine about the intro again, hoping to distract both y’all and myself from the fact that this section once again is filled with material that has no real connection to anything, other than as a means to pass the time until my brain kicks into gear sufficiently to start writing something more nourishing to the mind. There may be those among you who would point out the lack of ANY material here that meets that standard, but, I don’t expect them to speak up; they’ve been threatened about doing so, and have assured us of their silence in this matter….
Of course, I can’t expect that threat to hold them off forever, so it’s probably better to just get on with the business of the day…. According to the stats I’ve seen recently, very few readers will see this anyway…. My number of followers keeps growing, but the number of Likes per day continues to drop…. I’ve averaged about four Likes per day for over a week now, though stats indicate my following is up to 270….
I don’t much care if ffolkes don’t always Like what I write, but, it’s a bit disheartening to think that no one at all cares to read it…. But, it doesn’t really matter, since I don’t much care one way or the other about fame, or money…. only about sanity (my own…), and sanity is the reason I write…. Not that what you see here is particularly sane by normal standards, but those aren’t valid here without permits anyway…..
Shall we Pearl?
“Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat.” — Robert A. Heinlein
All us hippies are getting old…. Here is the fourth band who is celebrating their 50th anniversary as a band this year; the Stones, of course, decided to go on tour, I suppose to show they’re not too old to rock…. If their music is any indication, they’re definitely not too old…. Enjoy, ffolkes… I do suggest not looking too closely at the boys; the tour date I’ve included was just last year, and they’re looking a bit worse for wear….
“To the uneducated, an A is just three sticks.”
~~ Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ~~
OCCIDENT, n. The part of the world lying west (or east) of the Orient. It is largely inhabited by Christians, a powerful subtribe of the Hypocrites, whose principal industries are murder and cheating, which they are pleased to call “war” and “commerce.” These, also, are the principal industries of the Orient.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”
Recently, the Supreme Court, or one of the higher Federal Courts below them, made a decision which vindicated Edward Snowden completely (though you couldn’t tell that by the actions of the current administration, who continues to seek to prosecute him to literal death…), ruling the collection of data performed by the NSA was just as illegal as everyone knew it was…. I’m a bit under the weather, enough to preclude a fresh rant today, so, here is one of the better politirants from 2013; in fact, from the same day as the introductory section used above… Go figure…
“The rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million.” — Eugene V. Debs, US labor leader.
(Note: Debs received one million votes in 1920 as candidate for US President, while serving a 10-year jail sentence for having said in June 1918: “Wars throughout history have been waged for conquest and plunder…the master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles.”) — Smart Bee
This has been sitting around for a couple of days, since I found it in SB. It’s the perfect beginning for a politirant, and the news of late has provided a number of interesting side notes to this idea, so I find myself in the position of being compelled to rant, which is the best attitude to start with….
The recent news has shown a number of items concerned with the revelations just released a few weeks ago, when a former NSA contractor spilled the beans about how the US government has been spying on its own people, collecting personal data from phone records, mercantile records, and from review of emails and other data mined from the internet… The revelations, of course, are in the process of being denied and/or devalued by that government, who are trying to convince the public that the spying is “transparent”, and that the information is NOT being collected to investigate American citizens…. This, of course, is a bald faced lie, and anyone who believes it deserves anything that happens to them….
The government of this country is in the hands of people who are controlled by the corporate masters of society, sometimes willfully, most times without their complete knowledge. They (the corporate masters…) don’t give a SHIT about the rights of anyone else, so the above statement that got Mr. Debs in trouble is shown to be perfectly true. The people who control society don’t believe in the sacred nature of rights, for anyone who isn’t them, so it can be said that the rights of one are as sacred as the rights of a million, because to the 1% (a number that is actually far larger than the number of real masters of society…. that’s probably closer to .001%…..), neither one is sacred at all….
What disturbs me a lot of the time is that there are still a lot of people who believe that, of the choices available in the political spectrum, one side or another is better, and showing support for one of them will direct matters to a more favorable (for the people) resolution…. The fact is, neither the Republicans, nor the Democrats, nor any of the Independents who are in office, or trying to get into office, have any interest at all in doing anything other than establishing their own agenda as the one used by society. Those agendas have nothing to do with helping the general public; they are designed to benefit only those who ascribe to the correct philosophy. No matter which political party or entity you choose, you’re going to get screwed, in the final analysis.
“The art of government is the organization of idolatry.” — George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
If you still think that Barack Obama is going to help the common man, well, I suggest you listen to the crap he is putting out right now about this surveillance. Remember, too, that he signed the law that killed the Bill of Rights, on New Year’s Eve of 2012, the infamous National Defense Authorization Act, which makes it legal for the government to arrest citizens without a warrant, to hold them in an unknown place, without any oversight or review of rights, and try them in a secret court, without legal representation. It authorized the use of drones in a domestic fashion (which they continue to lie about, and say they aren’t using them…. when reports from all over the country provide relatively incontrovertible PROOF that they ARE using them….), and, most assuredly, authorized the illegal wiretapping and internet data mining that is currently going on, even though it has been exposed.
We may as well begin referring to the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution as the Bill of Former Rights, because, face it, ffolkes, you don’t have them anymore. I’ve heard it said that they are not rights, anyway, as a right is something nobody can take away from you…. More accurately, you have no rights that you are unable to defend…. and the government has slyly convinced most people that they don’t want those rights anyway…. Look how many formerly intelligent people are jumping on the bandwagon about gun control, forgetting all that our forefathers cautioned us about, when they warned about the possible encroachment of big business and the churches into the workings of government…. Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Mason, Franklin, all of them mistrusted the corporate interests and the preachers, having suffered much at their hands, and they tried to warn us against listening to them….
But, what happened to Eugene Debs back in 1919, when he was sent to prison (in direct violation of the right to free speech….) was not the first indicator that things had regressed, and the trend toward government takeover of the rights of US citizenry has continued right up to today. The recent revelations about spying, you will see, will be quashed, and ignored by those in power, as there is now nothing we can do to stop them from doing whatever they want…. According to the laws we let them slip by us, it’s all legal ffolkes…. We are screwed, and the only good thing I can see about it, is that, due to global warming, climate change, and the imminent destruction of the human species by our own pollution, we won’t have long to put up with it….
Books are burning
In the main square, and I saw there
The fire eating the text.
Books are burning
In the still air
And you know where they burn books
People are next.
~~ “Books Are Burning”, XTC ~~
This poet needs no introduction; as well, you’ve seen him frequently on these pages…. Here is one I’d never seen until today; it confirms my opinion of Ogden’s poetry, as the work of a genius, who like to hide his talent behind silliness… and did it very well….
As I was going to St. Ives
I met a man with seven lives;
In seven sacks,
Like seven beeves
On seven racks.
These seven lives
He offered to sell,
But which was best
He couldn’t tell.
He swore with any
I’d be happy forever;
I bought all seven
And thought I was clever,
But his parting words
I can’t forget:
Isn’t over yet.
~~ Ogden Nash ~~
The pearl for today’s final section was created ahead of time; I managed to find a period of space yesterday morning while trying to distract myself from physical issues, combined with the near constant hunger that goes along with dieting, as a matter of course…. So, it’s a little different, not in the quality of the pearls, or of the message it somehow imparts rather well…. It’s just…. different…. I think you’ll enjoy it, and, if not, well, you can always get your money back…. Just ask the laughing Buddha for it…
There is a time in the tides of men,
Which, taken at its flood, leads on to success.
On the other hand, don’t count on it.
~~ T. K. Lawson ~~
“In the dark colony of night, when I consider man’s magnificent capacity for malice, madness, folly, envy, rage, and destructiveness, and I wonder whether we shall not end up as breakfast for newts and polyps, I seem to hear the muffled cries of all the words in all the books with covers closed.” — Leo Rosten
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” — Winston Churchill
“Freedom is a hard-bought thing – A gift no man can give.” — Opening lines, Settler’s Song, by Jessamyn West
“He that respects himself is safe from others; He wears a coat of mail that none can pierce.” — Henry Wordsworth Longfellow
“It wasn’t until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say ‘I don’t know’.” — W. Somerset Maugham
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.” — Abraham Lincoln
“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.” — Mohandas ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi
He who knows man is clever;
He who knows himself is enlightened.
He who conquers men has force;
He who conquers himself is truly strong.
~~ Lao Tzu ~~
See? Told ya…. different. Now, maybe you’ll listen…. You can trust me. I’ve never been elected to anything….
Done…. and, amazingly smoothly, too. It makes me a bit suspicious…. Ah well, we’ll trust the Universe, for once, though my experience tells me to have caution; a lot of times, when deciding to trust, it turns out badly. But, since my hands are going numb this morning, we’ll have to go with it…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can feel my hands….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
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
The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….