Frugal memories of Cracker Jack….

Ffolkes,

“I’m not crazy. I just don’t give a shit!”

~~ gigoid, the dubious ~~

scaredy cat stump

Frightened Feline, Stumped


Good morning…. I suppose it’s only natural to be a bit thick at this time of day, regardless of how much sleep I may have been blessed to receive. But, does it have to be thick as a brick? It sure would make it easier if it didn’t take so damn long to find two neurons willing and able to work together long enough to get started on this, at least until the coffee can kick in. Of course, that would eliminate more than half of my opening ideas, since I generally end up doing just as I’m doing now, to wit: beginning the day with whining and complaints at how early it is….

I would imagine it’s getting as old for y’all as it is for me; it’s really a shame I can’t seem to think of anything else much of the time. Nobody told me it would be so difficult to come up with interesting, believable, compelling literature first thing in the damn morning. And, damn if I’m not experiencing some of the strongest feelings of deja vu I’ve ever felt…. What to you think? Should we go for three full paragraphs of cheap whining, or just get on with the regularly scheduled insanity? I vote for getting the hell out of here….

Since my vote is the deciding factor, that’s what we’ll do. Sorry for the boring intro; I’m sure you’ll give me, just this once, the benefit of the doubt, and forget the whole thing, won’t you? No? Ah, well, fuck it, then…. Luigi, fire that puppy up, and get us out of here, now! I’m done with this….

Shall we Pearl?….

He that holds fast the golden mean,
And lives contentedly between
  The little and the great,
Feels not the wants that pinch the poor,
Nor plagues that haunt the rich man’s door.

~~ William Cowper ~~

~~ Translation of Horace, Book ii, Ode x ~~

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s and m dog walk Cascades 1


Today’s video has been preempted by pictures…. One of the more consistent Gentle Readers of this blog has moved, and is involved in exploring an area of the country new to her and her partner and dogs. They discovered a very beautiful hiking area near where they are looking for a home, and posted some picture of the hike…. I thought they were great pictures, of a very beautiful part of the country, so, rather than a video today, here are a couple pictures, and the link to her site, where you can see the rest…. They’re worth it, even if the drought is affecting the forests heavily…. Enjoy!….

s and m dog walk Cascades 2

s and m dog walk Cascades 3

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Dont keep calm

“The Earth is degenerating these days. Bribery and corruption abound.  Children no longer mind their parents, every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching.” — Assyrian Stone Tablet, c.2800BC

Mankind, as a species, is fond of touting how special he is; one is constantly hearing how advanced our culture is, how magnificent the works of art we have produced, how wonderful is our species! The pinnacle of Creation! Which makes us, possibly, about the stupidest creatures ever conceived, for basing our sense of entitlement on a massive sense of delusion and denial of reality….. If we can assume, for the purposes of discussion, the tablet referred to in the above quote was created on today’s date all those years ago ( as likely a date as any other day….), our species has made absolutely NO progress in the past 4,815 years! Whoever wrote those words on the tablet could easily have been born in 1950, for our world today exhibits EXACTLY the same symptoms of decay as described…..

Now, I don’t know about y’all, but, it seems a little specious to claim such a position of ascendancy when we cannot even bring ourselves to make sure everyone in the species experiences the same advantages as any other; what is the point of having a society/culture, if it doesn’t provide the same advantages to ALL its citizenry? None I can see. Yet, we continue to behave as if there is no tomorrow, lying, cheating, preying upon each other as if the future did not exist…. There are times when it seems we understand, for there is evidence, such as in movies, when a character can make a statement that catches the fancy of the public, who repeat it endlessly, without ever realizing it applies to themselves…. such as, “My mama says “stupid is as stupid does….”

Yes, Forrest’s mama had it right; what wasn’t clear to most folks is that it was talking about THEM. Most of the people I see in this world have no clue they are a slave; they live their lives just as if they had some choice in what they do, never realizing they are hemmed into such a narrow field of existence, they cannot see they are confined at all, believing themselves to be free men…. And the beat goes on, as it has for almost 5000 years, without ever getting anywhere that might actually brings us all into a future we can live with….

This rant isn’t going much of anywhere; I’ve already whined and complained for four paragraphs, without ever buckling down to any specifics…. Part of that is the simple fact there is SO MUCH about which I could rant, it’s hard to pick one…. Should I rail against the industrial machine? Should I indict the pundits, who lie and cheat and steal their way around the halls of government? Should I condemn the Dogma Dogs, who sycophantically endorse the corporate mandate, promising immortality and manna from heaven for the privilege of wearing a slave collar? Or, should I just bemoan the fact of my peer’s lack of honor and strength of will? Any and all of these are part of the core problem, but, I’m tired of them all…. and, that’s only a partial list!….

Ah, the hell with it. I’m gonna go find some pearls to sublimate, and be done with it for today…. We’ll all just have to deal with it…. If the group gets a bit smarmy, well, chalk it up to the mood I’ve put myself in with this rant….

“Bother!” said Pooh, as he found his smack had talc in it. — Smart Bee

“It is alarming and also nauseating to see Mr. Gandhi, a seditious Middle Temple lawyer, now posing as a fakir of a type well known in the East, striding half-naked up the steps of the Viceregal palace, while he is still organizing and conducting a campaign of civil disobedience, to parley on equal terms with the representative of King-Emperor.” — Winston Churchill, — speech to the West Essex Conservatives, February 23, 1930

“It makes no difference who you vote for– the two parties are really one party representing 4 percent of the people.” — Gore Vidal

“And if I said a year ago that these [social] programs weren’t working, perhaps I have been vindicated.” — President George Bush, on how Lyndon Johnson was to blame for the LA riots

“Definitely, times have changed. If you flunk out of high school today, you will likely have to settle for being just Vice President.” — Smart Bee

“I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate.  And I can  picture us attacking that world, because they’d never expect it.” — Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

“Keep the war alive.” — A White House official, — describing President Bush’s 1992 reelection strategy

“Do unto them before they do it to you.” — American proverb

“Talk of revolution is one way of avoiding reality.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

“Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sure sign he expects to be paid for it.” — H. L. Mencken

“You’re standing where I want to pee.”

~~ gigoid, to Ronnie Raygun, in one of his favorite dreams ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

Piraeus calls me, silently

Sizzle, sizzle, crash, bang, boom.
Intellect burning with subsequent doom.
Lingering long over decisive style,
Whistling up chaos all the while.

Such frozen thoughts may shatter,
Should we infer, but, no matter.
Firing blanks is children at play
Blooded sages all gasp in dismay.

Nonsense is good sense at times
Mundane objectives trip lightly in rhymes.
Fallen angels dance on a pin
Until each sinner enters within.

Fast moments with natural rain
Bring ashes, yet still must remain.
Final thoughts clamor for more
Find them only on a far distant shore.

~~ gigoid ~~


Written 9/3/2012.

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pearls_3

    Now, THIS is a pearl!….

When the night has been too lonely,
and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
 far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love,
in the spring becomes The Rose.

~~ Bette Midler, “The Rose” ~~


“If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.” ~~ V. Smart Bee ~~

“Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius

“The bird of paradise alights only upon the hand that does not grasp.” — John Berry

“In morals, what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion, what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.” — Mrs. Jameson

“The mountains, too, at a distance appear airy masses and smooth, but seen near at hand, they are rough.” — Diogenes Laertius — Pyrrho, ix

“Do every act of your life as if it were your last.” — Marcus Aurelius

“To him who is in fear, everything rustles.” — Sophocles

    Do I contradict myself?
 Very well then I contradict myself
(I am large, I contain multitudes).

~~ Walt Whitman, ‘Song of Myself’ ~~


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Well…. That was something. Rather than try to figure out exactly what, I think I’ll just go proof, and be done with it. Given the state of my attitude so far today, it’s probably for the best if we don’t make any further attempts at rationality; besides, my lawyer’s on vacation, so, I’d rather not have to deal with any consequences just now.

It’s Monday. I’m going to pretend it’s Sunday, again. I can do that; I’m retired….. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I can remember where I parked the Tardis….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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No discounts for Pug Dogs…. Huskies, maybe….

Ffolkes,

“Ward, I’m worried about the Beaver.”

~~ June Cleaver ~~

foxy stump

Foxy Stump


Good morning…. Wait! Scratch that…. Reverse it….

Morning. Good…. I guess. Perhaps, if it hadn’t begun at 0133, my greeting wouldn’t sound as grumpy; since it did, we’ll all have to deal with it. Not that such an event is out of the ordinary….. No, sir, around here, the hour we get up is what we call a Mystery of Life, not susceptible to prediction, or, for that matter, to any sort of consistency, beyond the simple fact we hope it will happen at all….

Now, for some, that might be considered just a little snarky; for us, it’s high hopes. I have decided to give up sleeping altogether, I think. It doesn’t seem to be working out well, so, I may as well be constructive, & try to get something done…

I know. I’ll make a Pearl!. Yeah, that’s the ticket…. Okay, let’s do this thing, before I get any more radical ideas…. Or, would that be, ideas more radical? Ah, hell, who cares? Get us outta here, Luigi….

Shall we Pearl?….

“The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the falsehood. One word of truth outweighs the world.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn

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the addams family tv series

    Although Raul Julia was also more than perfect in the role, in my mind, John Austin, WAS Gomez Addams…. He had the proper crazy look in his eyes, whenever he talked of anything gruesome or horrifying, just as Gomez should look…. Although, it must be admitted, Raul’s delivery of certain lines is destined to be legendary…. Who can deny the sheer genius of his expression, and tone, in his line, “Two, ten, eleven. Eyes, fingers, toes.”?….. Not I…. But. for all around goofiness, this cast was the best, in my estimation…. For your pleasure today, I’ve included a movie, a reunion of the cast from 1977, called Halloween with the Addams Family…. or something like that…. Enjoy!…..

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The Addams Family

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Dont keep calm

    I’ve got nothin’…. Nada damn thing worth writing about is to be found anywhere in my head; nor is there anything particularly compelling NOT in my head pulling me to comment upon, oddly enough. The news in any one day is liable to set me off with little problem, but, today, I’m just not in the mood…. Therefore, we’ll start this section over, now….

Sandclock .jpg


My first blog was posted on WordPress sometime in the first week of June in 2011; the following entry is the fifth, or sixth, post I put up, in the format style then prevalent for Pearls, which evolved as an email document first…. I’ve updated, & cleaned up, the formatting a little, to bring it into line with what has evolved over time…. It’s not a rant, but, it will do….. I hope you enjoy this little peek into the early days here at ECR….

From 6/8/2011:

Ffolkes,

The morning light pours over the far hills, warming air gone still in the night’s cold, with amber drops of dew glistening along the branches of awakening trees, gilding the edges of the day. Birdsong trills, insects hum, as a meandering brook winds through the forest, rushing along in its desperate race to the sea. The water babbles as it moves, all the voices blending together into a continuous stream of just-unheard secrets, gravid with meaning. The air begins to move, heated by the burgeoning warmth swirling up through the leaves, adding it’own thoughts, dreams to the chorus thus formed. Thus does the world turn, unheralded, implacable, real. Thus is another Pearl born; ask me not how, or why, for I no longer know. Knowing I must, is all I know, or need to know….

“If you want to know all about the sea, you go and ask a sailor, or a marine biologist, or an oceanographer, and they can tell you a lot about the sea. But if you go and ask the sea itself, what does it say? Grumble, grumble, swish swish. It is too busy being itself to know anything about itself.” — Ursula K. LeGuin

Leave the past behind;
leave the future behind;
leave the present behind.
Thou are then ready to go to the other shore.
Never more shalt thou return to a life that ends in death.

~~ The Dhamapada ~~

It is the heart afraid of breaking
  that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking
  that never takes a chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken
  who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
  that never learns to live.

~~ Bette Midler, “The Rose” ~~


“I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be “happy.” I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” — Leo C. Rosten

It may not be Art, but it is Frank, and Earnest….. y’all take care out there…..

Note from the future: I note there are only four pearls in this entry; it must have been before I decided odd numbers worked better…. Here is one final pearl to balance the whole deal…. Hopefully, it will fit in with the above….

“One of your most ancient writers, a historian named Herodotus, tells of a thief who was to be executed.  As he was taken away he made a bargain with the king: in one year he would teach the king’s favorite horse to sing hymns. The other prisoners watched the thief singing to the horse and laughed. “You will not succeed,” they told him.  “No one can.”  To which the thief replied, “I have a year, and who knows what might happen in that time. The king might die. The horse might die.  I might die.  And perhaps the horse will learn to sing.” — The Mote in God’s Eye, by Jerry Pournelle & Larry Niven

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Picture 158

Picture 158

Canal Image- Poem’s Inspiration

from the National Gallery of Ireland – see link below

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=70523


Seamus Heaney was considered the poet laureate of Ireland for much of the latter part of his life, a period of time covering most the twentieth century. I discovered his work a couple years ago, soon after he died, and have loved it ever since. The poem included today, his last published work, was sent to me by a friend, to whom I’m very thankful, and not just because it gave me an entry for this section…. It’s a beautiful poem, too….

Banks of a Canal

Say canal and there’s that final vowel

Towing silence with it, slowing time

To a walking pace, a path, a whitewashed gleam

Of dwellings at the skyline. World stands still.

The stunted concrete mocks the classical.

Water says, ‘My place here is in dream,

In quiet good standing. Like a sleeping stream,

Come rain or sullen shine I’m peaceable’.

Stretched to the horizon, placid ploughland,

The sky not truly bright or overcast:

I know that clay, the damp and dirt of it,

The coolth along the bank, the grassy zest

Of verges, the path not narrow but still straight

Where soul could mind itself or stray beyond. 

~~ Seamus Heaney ~~


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ankh

    This pearl, while a bit loose in association, nonetheless provides us with some pretty good ideas about how to live a life with which one might be content. I’d say that’s a pretty worthwhile goal, myself, but what do I know?…. You could do worse….

For life, with all it yields of joy and woe,
And hope and fear (believe the aged friend),
Is just our chance o’ the prize of learning love,–
How love might be, hath been indeed, and is.

~~ Robert Browning ~~
~~ A Death in the Desert ~~


“The only abnormality is the incapacity to love.” — Anais Nin

“True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.” — Halifax (1633-1695)

“In those whom I like, I can find no common denominator; in those whom I love I can: they all make me laugh.” — W. H. Auden

“I grow old ever learning many things.” — Solon

“The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is …. Nothing should be able to harm a man but himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.” — Oscar Wilde

“Insist on yourself; never imitate.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

All things that pass
Are wisdom’s looking-glass.

~~ Christina Rossetti ~~

+ ————————————————- +
+ ———- Sic transit gloria mundi. ———— +
+ — “Thus passes away the glory of the world.” — +
+ ————————————————- +


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I suppose there is something to be said for serendipity in disguise, when it slaps us in the face…. Of course, it’s a little hard to think of that when your face is tingling like a big dog, but, hey, can’t have everything, right? Besides, it’s done, so, we, meaning I, officially, (it’s documented) don’t give a shit any more. In fact, I’m taking my shit on the road. Not permanently; in fact, unless someone faster, bigger, or meaner than me shows up, I’ll be back tomorrow morning, no doubt bright and early, (Why is it BRIGHT and early? It’s dark as hell outside….), since sleep seems to be a thing of the past…. As many of us who have spent time on the street would say, WAKE UP, YOU BOZOS! Or, maybe we’d say, see ya….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


Reality’s version of twisted flaws….

Ffolkes,

A man so various, that he seem’d to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome;
Stiff in opinions, always in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long;
But in the course of one revolving moon
Was chymist, fiddler, statesman, and buffoon.

~~ John Dryden ~~

~~ Absalom and Achitophel, Part i, Line 545 ~~

Mars Rocks
Mars Rocks ~~ NASA


Have y’all figured out the mystery of dejá vu, mentioned in yesterday’s Pearl? If any attention at all has being paid, you’d be able to answer in the affirmative, because the feeling is directly tied to the opening sights here at ECR, as well as the stimulus for the discomfort we feel at finding out we aren’t as attentive as we supposed…. Perhaps, it is more accurately described as a feeling the Universe is fucking with us in some unknown way…. which, in this case, is perfectly true…. Look again at today’s title, then compare it to yesterday’s title, and the title from the day before…. Then, you may groan, and groan again, before congratulating me on a good trick….

End of quiz…. Now we’ve settled the question of just how silly and desperate I am, we can go on, though, frankly, I haven’t a clue as to where we might go. Naturally, thanks to my large, red, round proboscis, I forgot to figure out what to do AFTER explaining about the titles…. Now, I’m at a loss for anything to do, a sensation, which, however familiar it may be, isn’t one of my favorite emotions, by any means. I’ve been stuck here so often in the past 3 years, I’ve PROVED the old saw about familiarity, and contempt.

Aha! Got it! I’ll talk about the photo, above, at the top of the page…. It’s one of the latest photos from Mars, taken by the Curiosity Rover, as it trundles its way across the Red Planet to its ultimate goal, Mount Somethingorother,  chosen years ago on Earth. This particular picture is significant, but, only for the effect it has produced among some of humanity’s fringe elements. The pile of rocks in the center of the photo has some oddly shaped rocks, a couple of which lend themselves to the human brain’s tendency to “fill in” details not actually present, in shapes that are somewhat amorphous in Reality, such as when we see the shapes of animals, or other objects, in the clouds in the sky….

A number of our more susceptible minds back here on Earth believe the shapes indicate the presence of life on Mars, because they resemble carved animals, such as made by ancient civilizations here…. The close-up pictures do, indeed, resemble such carvings, but, not so much as to assume, from several MILLION miles away, we can tell whether they are the product of intelligence. But, these folks are convinced, and proceeded to trumpet the news all over the Internet, so the rest of the world could share their delusion….

In the interests of saving your ass from any such indignity so early in the day, I will NOT use this silliness as a comparison to OTHER delusions, rather more familiar to all of us…. That sort of comment could easily lead to a rant, which is already taken care of for the day, as you will see below…. No need to drive y’all off before we even get started, is there? Nope….

I notice I have distracted myself long enough to finish the intro; what we see above is definitely a sufficient supply of relatively sober discussion, all pointed at moving us along to where we are scheduled to be at this point in time. (Please remember, there is no legal requirement it has to make any sense at all….) As usual, the process to bring us to this point here was, by all evidence, fully unconscious, thus protecting us from claims of evil intent, if not from the odd accusation of deliberate emotional abuse of the unwitting, or, as we call it down at the Philosopher’s Club, screwing with the natives…. All of that, being moot, can be ignored, at which, as is patently obvious, we are VERY good….

Look! It’s our opening! Let’s all brace ourselves, bring our masks into position, grab your partner’s hand….. We’re all going to jump together, okay? At the count of one….. Wait for it…. There! ONE!…. Jump, quick, or we’re all dead meat!….

Shall we Pearl?

“A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser to-day than he was yesterday.” — Alexander Pope

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Today’s video is one I’ve seen, which shows an animated play-by-play description of how the Curiosity Rover landed on Mars, about a year or two past…. It is an incredible feat of engineering; just think of the problems that could have kept it from working! Brilliant! And, a small piece of hope among all the terrible news we have to contemplate, here on Earth…. It’s pretty cool….


NASA Rover Curiosity Landing on Mars

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“One Galileo in two thousand years is enough.”

~~ Pope Pius XII ~~

Pope Leo X

“The abundance of things engendereth disdainfulness.” — Proverb


It’s almost too easy. Both of the first two pearls, one text, one text/graphic, are both rather incontrovertible, in terms of their relative Truth. Both are documented statements, since Popes, right from the start of the tradition, have always kept immaculate records, which often don’t show much sense about their desire for secrecy, as most of it tells the absolute truth, without embellishment, in spite of its origin. In short, they’ve pulled their own covers innumerable times throughout history, with statements such as these two, always with corroboration in other documents from the same period….

Thus, the importance of the third pearl climbs to new heights, for it sounds like it is a mere observation; in light of the words of Leo and Pius, the assholes, it becomes nothing less than an indictment, and a very pointed one, at that. The very corruption so blatantly spoken, and displayed by these predators of the Middle Ages, shows its effect on the populace it has oppressed, in the mildness, and simplicity of the language, in direct contrast to the opulence the Church has espoused from its beginnings… thus showing their arrogance and true natures were not going completely unnoticed….

The Catholic Church, whose public face has often belonged to folks like those two above, not merely in the Middle Ages, touts itself as the champion and protector of the poor, in such hypocritical tones of unctuous sanctimony, I often consider just slapping one of them. It enrages me when they get started spouting off about “Christian Charity”, thinking nothing of making such statements on TV, in elegant, rich robes lined with actual gold thread, standing on the steps of a palace, in which the treasures and riches collected in two hundred centuries of outright thievery from those same poor people, collected in one ten-penny per pound tithe at a time, from people who cannot buy the ingredients for stone soup.

(Now, don’t think I was raised Catholic, and have a bone to pick with them; I extend my disdain to ALL religions based on a deliberately fostered delusional belief in a powerful, supernatural imaginary friend, whose love for me is limitless, just because…. That makes up just about the whole list, as far as I can tell… still checking, so I’ll let you know if and/or when I find one…. I use the Catholics mainly because the Popes, like those above, have been so fucking obvious, and often, stupider than even those they enslave, about their disdain for the poor and downtrodden they purport to care about… I KNOW they love them: without the poor, and ignorant, where would they be?…. Dead and buried, most likely…)

The delusional system built up by the Church educators is designed to prevent any real original thinking; as any logician knows, it is not possible to reach a correct conclusion when the data is skewed in a particular direction, for a basic reason, to wit: any results of using the data will have no corresponding corroboration in Reality, anywhere…. In short, you can’t make Real out of Unreal…. no matter how often one repeats the assertion that it can, and has been done…. Honest, trust me, and you, too, can live forever!….

Pretty good grand prize, eh? Take the worst fear anyone has, fan it with stories of a burning, eternal pit of suffering for not believing, promise them it won’t happen to them if they never again think for themselves, and they will be able to live happily forever, surrounded by all those they love, in peace and everlasting harmony, by the grace of…. who? Oh, that guy nobody has ever been able to show any real proof of seeing, touching, or anything, other than by sloppy reasoning, or assumption of magic signs and portents, telling only those who can see how God’s existence is proven by the way the wind is blowing today…. Even though it has blown the same way every day of their life, without ever offering anything other than “ipse dixit” for proof of its relevance….

When I first learned the stories and justifications given by preachers, and adults, back before my fifth birthday, it all seemed rather improbable to me, not to mention downright vicious and petty, in terms of the scariness of the lessons about certain things…. Plus, death, and living forever aren’t concepts kids like to think on for long, so, when I did, it just didn’t make sense…. I couldn’t figure out why God wanted Adam and Eve to get kicked out of Eden like that; it was obvious to me he did, or why would he put the tree there, then tell them to leave it alone? I sort of felt like Calvin, when he said, to, I think, his Sunday School teacher after hearing one of the kid’s Bible tales, when she asked him if he liked the story….

“Hard to say, Ma’am. I think my cerebellum just fused.” — Calvin, Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes

Yet, people buy it, mostly because they are taught to believe it at a very young age, before they actually possess any power of reasoning for themselves…. So, those people they want to spend eternity with, who are alo victims of a millennia-old scam, based on belief in a supernatural best friend of great power, and limitless authority over all of us, because WE ARE SUCH GULLIBLE FOOLS, in their turn, pass on the very same set of delusions, using the same techniques now used by the spies, and governments, who train their agents to brainwash prisoners, or those they wish to control…. Repetition, rote, behavioral modification, based on key basic functional fears works every time…. except, it seems to a lucky few….

But, hey, to each their own, I say…. Just don’t ask me to buy into it; it leaves me cold….

“A doctrine insulates the devout not only against the realities around them but also against their own selves. The fanatical believer is not conscious of his envy, malice, pettiness and dishonesty. There is a wall of words between his consciousness and his real self.” — Eric Hoffer

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I’m working on a new poem, which, oddly enough, came to me yesterday while watching the opening of an old video…. Since it isn’t ready to share itself with the world yet, we’ll go with the work of a poet needing no introduction, whose work always hits the mark, for me…. I give you, Emily….

A clock stopped — not the mantel’s
   Geneva’s farthest skill
Can’t put the puppet bowing
   That just now dangled still.

An awe came on the trinket!
   The figures hunched with pain,
Then quivered out of decimals
   Into degreeless noon.

It will not stir for doctors,
   This pendulum of snow;
The shopman importunes it,
   While cool, concernless No

Nods from the gilded pointers,
   Nods from seconds slim,
Decades of arrogance between
   The dial life and him.

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Today’s old school pearl came together quite nicely, without much interference on my part. I didn’t even have to rearrange the order in which they appeared, which is unusual. There were no parameters given, but, it seems to be a rather obvious comment on Life at Large, one of our default categories….. Enjoy!….

“If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?” — Smart Bee

“You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. ” — Lazarus Long

“Don’t count on ever having both at once; they’re mutually incompatible in practice.” — gigoid’s corollary to Lazarus Long’s Observation

“Consider well the proportions of things. It is better to be a young June-bug than an old bird of paradise.” — Mark Twain

“How many Bodhisattvas does it take to change a light bulb? One – “If the thunder don’t get you, then the lightning will” — Smart Bee

“Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” — Thoreau

“Forward, as occasion offers. Never look round to see whether any shall note it…. Be satisfied with success in even the smallest matter, and think that even such a result is no trifle.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, ix, 29

It is the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking
that never takes a chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.

 — Bette Midler, The Rose


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I don’t want to even THINK about what it took to get this done…. It’s all sort of a blur, so, bear with me if the resulting Pearl is a bit off the norm…. whatever meaning THAT word has for us…. I’m outta here. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, hopefully with less sawdust in my brain….

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,
   and sometimes,
I just sits.

gigoid, the dubious

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

Kowabunga!


À bientôt, mon cherí….


					

The White Rabbit’s waistcoat won’t fit….

Ffolkes,

As I closed my front door early this morning, on the way out to drive to work, a large white rabbit, dressed, oddly enough, in a gentleman’s morning attire, complete with, waistcoat, pince nez, and a huge watch chain hanging from the pocket, ran quickly past me, muttering what sounded like imprecations indicative of great agitation…. Well, being familiar with Lewis Carroll, and his pederasty fantasy child, I DIDN’T give chase, not having the time, or the slightest  inclination to attend any tea parties, experiment with mushrooms, or wage any battles of wit with a Cat, especially one as curmudgeonly as the Cheshire who gave Alice all that lip and grief….

Nor, as I’m sure you are aware, did I really see any rabbits this morning…. The first clue it was all fiction was in the first line, when I said I was driving to work…. which is, as you may know, something I no longer do for anyone but myself…. The second was the waistcoat, which, as you may have noted, was mentioned in today’s title, and as such, was NOT expected to be in the body of work today…. There are times, and this is one of them, when I suspect this process is not entirely under my control…. which begs the question, who’s driving this bus of bozos?….

The answer, of course, is that NOBODY is driving the bus, ffolkes…. I’ve given up, and nobody else can be persuaded to take up the gauntlet; I’ve even tried employment agencies, but, after a few stories from the few they’ve sent over got back to them, it’s been hard to find anyone willing to take it on…. I mean, it’s not like it’s a HARD job; it’s just the strangeness that gets to them, I suppose…. Well, that, and the uniforms; I shouldn’t have gone for the one with the epaulets on the shoulder; everyone thinks they look ridiculous, and hates to wear them….

Of course, I’ve had to let everyone go anyway, what with the recession and all. Even though the economy is on the mend, or so they say, (I think they really have no clue about what will actually happen; they just play the odds and guess…. like we all do since Cassandra died….), if I try to pay a living wage, it eats into my meager profits…. which are also non-existent…. All of which is why it’s a dead giveaway for me to say I’m about to drive off to work…. Hard to do with no car, and no job…

All of the above, of course, is just another distraction, a load of bilge-water, best if left to its own devices lest the smell get into your clothing…. I’m up quite late, for me, and suffering again from the usual complement of painful joints, hips, and the concomitant deleterious effect on my energy, and motivation…. I have to bust through the reluctance to move at all, in order to get past the point where it holds me down, or up, whichever direction I’m going at the time…. Then, well, let’s not get any more into that; it’s just encouraging me to whine….

Instead, I’m going to get on with what we have in store for today, whatever that might be…. Once again, your guess is as good as mine, as to what that may be, or look like…. So, we’ll use trusty method #4, and get on with it….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Acquittal of the guilty damns the judge.” — Horace

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Do not be angry with me if I tell you the truth.” — Socrates (470?-399 B.C.)

Yarrr! Avast, ye land lubbers! Stand your ground, and pay heed!….

The pirate phenomenon came to my town this weekend, in the format of a festival…. A consumer’s delight, where about a hundred or so craft, food, & beverage vendors, singing and musical groups, stage production companies, and otherwise normal folks get together dressed up like pirates, talking like pirates, and generally celebrating the pirate culture, such as it was….. It’s all pretty romanticized, considering the whole scenario of piracy as a way of life; all of the cool, frosty stuff is kept, and all the pain, misery, abuse, and poverty that went along with most of it is ignored….

The historical period when piracy on the high seas was popular, back a few hundred years, was a lot more brutal on the general public than most folks realize, but, hey, that’s America for you…. just look at the parts you want to see, and ignore what you don’t…. They did have their priorities straight, though…. The ATM machines were quite prominent, in three locations for the consumer’s convenience, set up by the food & beer area, and in the first row of craft & clothing vendors….

This all sounds a bit curmudgeonly, of course, which is a result of my thoughts AFTER attending…. I actually had a good time, without spending a fortune, and had some decent noms (food, for those of you not current on slang….)….. I had a sausage roll, Scottish style, just as greasy as the one I had in Scotland, and the shepherd’s pie looked pretty good, too…. Sadly, the only liquor available, other than beer, was rum, which does NOT agree with me at all, due to an unfortunate incident in college, where a quart of rum and I had some issues…. I still can’t smell the stuff without a nose curl….

“And here you thought your money was going to waste. Well, a Federal Appeals Court has ordered the FDA to determine whether drugs proposed for Lethal Injection executions are “safe and effective!” — Smart Bee

The festival is one of those uniquely American deals, a consumer celebration designed to bring tourist dollars into a town that is suffering badly from the economic shenanigans of the corporate elite, who have been busily raping the American economy since the days of Ronald Raygun and his band of banker, ex-USC grad buddies, who managed to spew so much BS around, people began to think it didn’t stink…..

I mean, how else can you explain any reasonable, rational person falling for the “trickle down” theory of economics, otherwise known as Reaganomics, a not-so-hidden attempt at outright theft by the government, if ever one was seen? Only sheer, bald-faced lying could have carried that one off…. But, then, remember some of Ronnie’s OTHER moments of truth?…. Such as….

“Trees make more smog than cars.” — R. Reagan

Any who, that’s all over now, except, of course, for the hundred or so years it will take to recover from it…. In the meantime, we have these kinds of distractions to keep us busy, and having fun doing stuff that makes no reasonable sense at all, spending massive amounts of time and money to pursue a lifestyle so hard and so insane, it no longer exists anywhere but Hollywood…. But, as the pictures show, it’s fun, for all ages, and there are a lot of interesting things to see and do….. Here are some pictures that will give an idea of the day…. Enjoy!….

“Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

June 13-15 2014 005“Somewhere between real and real real.” — Senator Dan Quayle pinpointing their location to reporters — aboard the Quayle campaign plane. — (reported in Wall Street Journal, 10/21/88)

June 13-15 2014 007Just WHAT is that octopus doing with that mast?…..

June 13-15 2014 010Spare change, anyone?…..

June 13-15 2014 013“Oh, God, look at that!”…..

June 13-15 2014 015A little tough to romanticize this….. though one does wonder how the bear fits into the story, eh?….

June 13-15 2014 017Some people have WAY too much time, and money, on their hands….

syphilisAn indicator of how strange and perverted the human race is…. This lovely character was the most popular costumed figure wandering the festival grounds, with just about every other person encountered wanting their picture taken with him….

Well there you have it ffolkes, my day hanging out with a segment of America’s most gullible consumers….. It must be the cynic in me that sees not only the romantic side of the whole phenomenon, but, its uglier, less acknowledged economic factors….. But, hey, I found a great deal on a really good dirk, in case I ever want to wear my kilt and heraldry badges….

“Cynicism is disillusioned idealism.” — Harry Kemelman

Let’s go on, shall we?….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The perfect poem to go along with the odd little rant in section one, here is the first stanza of T.S. Eliot’s epic poem, The Waste Land…. I have provided a link to a site where you can read the rest of the poem, which is quite long, but well worth the time and effort to peruse…. Enjoy!….

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/176735

The Waste Land

FOR EZRA POUND
IL MIGLIOR FABBRO

I. The Burial of the Dead

  April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm’ aus Litauen, echt deutsch.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke’s,
My cousin’s, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

~~ T. S. Eliot ~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Okay, I’ve made it this far, which is a surprise to me…. Soon after beginning, some severe arthritic hip pain began to throb in my lower back, and has resisted all attempts to curtail its advance…. Hence, this will be old-school, and just about as quick a pearl as ever was…. I hope….

“I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.” — Dorothy Parker, The Portable, 1944

It is the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking
that never takes a chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.

 — Bette Midler, The Rose


“Be of good cheer,” said Diogenes; “I see land.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi

“If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.” — Mark Twain

Teach him how to live,
And, oh still harder lesson! how to die.

— Beilby Porteus (1731-1808) — Death, Line 316

“If you would know a man, observe how your cat treats him.” — Smart Bee

“If you can see a thing whole… it seems that it’s always beautiful. Planets, lives…But close up, a world’s all dirt and rocks. And day to day, life’s a hard job, you get tired, you lose the pattern. You need distance, interval. The way to see how beautiful the earth is, is to see it as the moon. The way to see how beautiful a life is, is to see it from the vantage point of death.” — Ursula K. Le Guin, Dispossessed

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There it is, such as it is…. I’m going to go consume massive quantities of mind-numbing, obliviating drugs, & then take another look at the day in a few hours, once my attitude has been adjusted…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if they don’t catch me….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

Soft pedal the soap suds; we’ll hard ball the onion powder….

Ffolkes,

As all of us tend to find out during our lives, at some point, that knowing what to do, and doing it, are two separate events, with very little, if any, reason one HAS be connected to the other, other than by natural interest. However, the process of finding out what we know, and bringing what we know into action are essentially mutually exclusive, and one of our most important lessons is in learning to keep the two separate in our own minds and efforts….

Now, this little piece of advice on life is pretty good, and actually works to help a lot of folks…. But, it’s pretty damn obscure, too, and not something that a lot of people think about too often…. This doesn’t even mention how deliberately obtuse I’ve made this discussion of these characteristic habits of human behavior, or how I’ve made this just as thick and nonsensical as I could, just because…. This is what happens when I allow my bozoid tendencies get mixed in with my scientific training…. It only happens early in the morning like this, so you may not have noted it previously…. Wait, no, that’s backwards, again… you may HAVE noted it previously….. Duh….

Yep, that’s correct, ffolkes, this intro is another experiment, one that worked out reasonably well, all in all. My thought was to just start typing about a subject that was NEARLY real, but, not quite, then to treat it as material that would otherwise be regarded as TOTALLY real…. It was my thought that the contrast thus set into play would create an atmosphere that would encourage intellectual play, or at least a compelling literary experience…. Sad to say, though, I think it isn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, in spite of my earlier enthusiasm (all the way back at the start of THIS paragraph!….), and in spite of all the advertising-inspired language I heaped on it….

That’s okay, though, it’s working, if not exactly as I’d envisioned. I find that a lot in reality, don’t you? It works, but not exactly the way we expect it to work…. Hell, that phrase right there could be made into an internet meme, couldn’t it? “Things don’t always work the way we expect!!” Just put it to music, have some funny little animal flying by on a severely animated GIF, and it would go viral in a heartbeat, what do you want to bet? I saw where one of those made it onto a list of the Year’s Best Viral Videos, so, it’s almost a sure thing, or, as much as anything these days can be called that….

Speaking of sure things, we’ve got a Pearl to put out here, and this discussion, such as it is, and as interesting as it may be, is NOT getting us any closer to completing that process. We now have five paragraphs here in the intro, which makes it a legal document, for our purposes, and I’m taking advantage of that little section of the law to end this here, without any legal ramifications or otherwise annoying announcements….

Shall we Pearl?

“One lie does not cost you one truth, but the truth.” — Friedrich Hebbel
_____________________________

So, there I was, cruising through an archived piece, and I came across this politirant, with religirant undertones, (well, to me, anyway….) from January of this year…. I think I may have used it fairly recently, but, don’t remember for sure, and don’t feel like looking to find out (Don’t forget, I AM exceedingly lazy….. It’s a gift….).

It doesn’t matter, because it is one of my best rants, and it’s worth a do-over, just because it’s all still true, and still needs to be said…. Along with the evil selfishness of those who seek power over others in the public venue, the attitudes taught to children, and adults, by those who would have us join them in the delusions of religious dogma, are evil, dangerous, and, patently, are demonstrably responsible for the problems and issues facing our species in today’s world…. Thus, any time I can take a few shots at them, and at the BRC at large, I will…. They’re just lucky, that the shots I take are not out of the guns I don’t own….  yet….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From 1/21/13:

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.” — Justice Louis D. Brandeis, dissenting, Olmstead v. United States, 277 — U.S. 479 (1928)

Finding pearls is sometimes frustrating, but then I find one like this, which is just a perfect representation of what I want to say, and it all seems worthwhile again…. This statement, though written in 1928, could not be more relevant to the present if it were written yesterday. We are observing this principle in action, as the POTUS and Congress thrash around, trying to convince the public they are responding intelligently to the furor over gun control. Of course, there IS no intelligent response possible, but they’ve never let that stop them before, so….

Gun control will always be a hot-button issue, even after they’ve been taken away. And, you can bet your booties that day is coming, as the BRC and the unseen manipulators who control society will continue to create conditions that produce the mad ones, the ones who ultimately break free of their insanity, to let it loose on the world. This scenario suits the purposes of the ruling class very well, as it allows them to keep the populace stirred up in fear, making them easily led to the place they wish them to go. It is always easier to take away a right, when the people clamor for the government to take it away, out of unreasonable fear….

A mighty pain to love it is,
And ‘t is a pain that pain to miss;
But of all pains, the greatest pain
It is to love, but love in vain.

– Abraham Cowley (1618-1667) — From Anacreon, vii, Gold

This is often how I feel about my country. I consider myself to be a patriot, in the classic sense; I support the idea of my country, but do not necessarily support the government. I love the idea of America…. a place where men and women are free to work out their own destiny, without the interference of the system they have created to oversee the necessary societal issues, i.e., without being persecuted for their beliefs, whatever they are…. The concept is an ideal, and one that the world has never actually seen before, not in practice. There have been attempts in history, but none so bold as the one made by our forefathers, who managed to create a system with the potential to create a veritable utopia….

But, within moments of the signing of the Constitution, the bankers, the preachers, and the lawyers were all taking their shots at the system, trying to find ways to amend its protections, and weaken the defenses against the very things they are trying to do. Since the Bill of Rights became law, there have been members of the Beloved Ruling Class trying to dismantle them, and reduce the protective qualities they possess. Much of the time they don’t even bother to hide it, but just couch it in terms that distracts the public from examining their claims too closely….

That struggle, to maintain the purity and intent of the original Bill of Rights, continues to this day, and is now undergoing its most fearful threat since the initial days of this country, more dangerous even than the Communist Purge in the 1950’s, during the McCarthy era of our political history. Once again, events have been manipulated to make it appear as if there is great danger, to the public, and most significantly to our children. Emphasizing this danger to our progeny is the most powerful weapon the BRC possesses, and they are making full use of it in the media, you can be certain…. Manifest a threat to children, and the ire of the public is yours to control…. much like Pavlov’s dogs….

I also think that Justice Brandeis was being nice, when he mentions that the BRC may be acting with good intentions, but lack of understanding. I think that the BRC knows EXACTLY what it is doing when it pursues legislation such as the current limits to gun ownership, and I don’t think they care at all that people don’t really NEED their protection or their help to protect themselves from the evil in the world. What the citizens DO NEED is less intrusion by the BRC into their private, or even public, lives.

I don’t care how ethical a government official SAYS they are, I don’t think they are more ethical than me, or the average Joe…. Nor can they be trusted to act in a manner that is beneficial to me, or to any other private citizen; their actions are only concerned with their own private agenda, and anything they say to the contrary is a BIG, FAT LIE! (Sorry, don’t mean to shout at you….)….. This, I think, is an assertion that doesn’t even need me to point out the proof, as it jumps up in everyone’s face on a daily basis…. The BRC LIES TO US, every day, and it isn’t hard to catch them at it, as it happens virtually every time they open their mouths to speak….. What amazes me is that they get away with it so easily….

“I believe and I say it is true Democratic feeling, that all the measures of the Government are directed to the purpose of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.” — William Henry Harrison

As is obvious, I’m not the only one who is dissatisfied with the BRC, or as some say, the Government. I like to use the BRC, because then I can supply the defined parameters to include ALL of the various types of assholes who are part of that group; lawyers, preachers/priests, bankers, Senators, Congressmen, judges, elected officials, all are charter members of the BRC, and the targets of my ire, as well as the meat for my consumption here on ERC. I guess it would be accurate to say that the BRC consists of all those who seek power over others for their own personal gain, and just let it go at that….

“One of the most difficult of the philosopher’s tasks is to find out where the shoe pinches.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein

There is the pinch-point, ffolkes…. There are essentially two types of humans…. those who seek to have power over other people, and those who seek power over themselves. Anyone who doesn’t fit into those two categories is not living up to their full potential as a human being, and will not in any way have any say in what happens in the world. They are the cannon fodder, the unwashed masses of folks who go through life without ever directing their conscious mind anywhere but right in front of themselves, oblivious to all the evil that occurs around them, as well as unaware of all the beauty that exists.

That is their choice, and I cannot fault them for their lack of courage; it’s a scary world out there…. but, as human beings, I believe we have a duty to our fellow man, and that duty means NOT keeping quiet, NOT letting those who would do evil act with impunity. In my position, all I can do is speak up when I see injustice, or immorality, and issue my objections to what I observe…. It’s all I can do, so I’ll do it all I can…. because, as Albert sez….
Albert E & true sin_____________________________

In searching for a poem for this morning, I came across this one from my favorite poet of all time (another epiphany I just accepted as truth….). Upon reading this, I realized, all of a sudden, the reason I like her work so much, heretofore hidden from me by my own obtuseness, I suppose, is her innate and unbreakable grasp of the power of metaphor, combined with an ability to express that understanding in a way that can only be called elegantly personal.

Poetry, to me, is ALL about metaphor, and language, and how we humans put those two elements together with the power of imagination, to create mental images that echo with meaning…. This one, to me, echoes endlessly, revealing deeper meaning with each returning voice…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do….

A shady friend for torrid days
Is easier to find
Than one of higher temperature
For frigid hour of mind.

The vane a little to the east
Scares muslin souls away;
If broadcloth breasts are firmer
Than those of organdy,

Who is to blame? The weaver?
Ah! the bewildering thread!
The tapestries of paradise!
So notelessly are made!

~~ Emily Dickinson ~~

_____________________________

Being the sort of person who appreciates tradition, even if it is only my own, we will now proceed to the dock, where I shall dive into the deep waters that hold and protect my oyster beds…..  There, swimming peacefully among the colorful denizens of the sea of knowledge, I will endeavor to find, hidden among the more delectable physically edible specimens, a worthy group of lustrous gems, to form into one strand that will encircle and encompass the wisdom of the ages….

Hmm… You don’t think that’s just a little too ambitious, for one little pearl? Or, perhaps, to fanciful an expression of the concept as metaphor? No? Good, neither do I…. Let’s see what I, and SB, can come up with today….

“No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate who considers pleasure the highest good” — Cicero

Piglet of Borg: “If I weren’t such a small Borg, resistance would be useless.” — Smart Bee

“Before you have sex you have to be elected to a high government position.” — Zippy

“If an ass goes travelling he will not come home a horse.” — Thomas Fuller

“Behead a Lawyer for Allah!” — Smart Bee’s Jihadic Imam

“The major contribution of Protestant thought to the knowledge of mankind is its massive proof that God is a bore” — H.L. Mencken
(It certainly worked that way for me!…..)

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes The Rose.

— Amanda McBroom, The Rose, as performed by Bette Midler

Ffolkes, I’m a fairly smart guy…. Not that that particular piece of information is terribly useful, but, it is, for the moment, relevant… I’m smart enough to see that this is a pretty damn good pearl, with shiny individual gems, some of which made me laugh out loud, and others that made me cry in both joy and sorrow. There’s even a bit of good advice from one of the ancient sages…. What more could anyone ask for, before they’ve even had any breakfast? Smart as I am, Smart Bee was smarter today, and I like it…. So should you….   😉
_____________________________

New method for proofing…. Before starting on this closing section, proof and edit…. Seems to work okay, and certainly gives me a good idea of the total picture…. Now, what the hell do I do with it? I’m done! I don’t NEED it now I’m done…. Sheesh! I am a bozo, of this there can be no doubt…. I’ll see ya tomorrow, should I survive that long….

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

dozer3

He exudes substantial melancholy leakage….

Ffolkes,
Having left home so many years ago, he…. No, that’s not right….try again…

Never before had there been such a storm in Beulahland…. no that’s no better….again.

The shadow reached out to tap the shoulder of the man to whom it was attached….. hmm, better, but not there yet…..

Maria screamed, as the deafening blast shook the windows in their frames. Dust flew everywhere, obscuring the nightmarish scene before her eyes. Across the room, her father lay dead, eyes staring at the ceiling as if the answers were all there……

I don’t like any of them…. not even the last one, that showed a bit of promise. Ah well, it’s just as well. I’m starting way late again, having once again slept late. It’s no doubt due to having put in about 6 or 7 miles yesterday, walking to look at apartments. I can see I need a different method, as trying to walk to all these places is going to wear me out before I ever find anything. I’ve never spent a long time without a car, so this is a new experience for me, and I’m not sure I like it much…..

I’m not going to indulge in a display of whining today, though the universe is giving me plenty of reason to do so. Actually, I think that, after putting this Pearl together, I’m going to take the rest of the day off…. catch up on some sleep with a nap, listen to the Giants get beat by St. Louis again (hey, I don’t like it, but the last two games haven’t been encouraging….), maybe even cook a real meal, like on the stove and everything. Yeah, that’s the ticket….. in the meantime, shall we Pearl?…..
___________________________________

“The evidence of the emotions, save in cases where it has strong objective support, is really no evidence at all, for every recognizable emotion has its opposite, and if one points one way then another points the other way. Thus the familiar argument that there is an instinctive desire for immortality, and that this desire proves it to be a fact, becomes puerile when it is recalled that there is also a powerful and widespread fear of annihilation, and that this fear, on the same principle proves that there is nothing beyond the grave. Such childish proofs are typically theological, and they remain theological even when they are adduced by men who like to flatter themselves by believing that they are scientific gents…” — H. L. Mencken

“One of the proofs of the immortality of the soul is that myriads have believed it–they also believed the world was flat.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)

“Convincing yourself doesn’t win an argument.” — Robert Half

Here is an old school Pearl, in a manner of speaking…. These three quotations all say pretty much the same thing, with varying types of expression. Each, to me, seems to express that same idea more succinctly than the one before, leaving out more and more words until the final statement gives the bottom line… which is one that is heavily argued by those to whom it most applies….

It’s funny (ironic funny) to me to hear some of the arguments proposed by the priestly hierarchies in support of their beliefs. Some are couched in formal robes, all dressed up so they appear as reasoned logic, rather than the unwarranted assumptions that they really are. Mr. Mencken’s expression above would be the most effective in engaging these wordy individuals, as it would appeal to the side of them that pretends to being a scientist. They might reject the arguments, since their own arguments are, in the final analysis, subjectively formulated, not based on observations but on induction, just as the platform of their entire argument is all based on an imaginary entity’s theoretical wishes…..

“Jesus loves  me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so”…. Such an innocent sounding piece of doggerel…. one would scarcely believe it is one of the most insidious examples of blatant propaganda in existence. The proponents of the “Old man in the sky” group start drumming this into the minds of children as soon as they are able to talk, and, as they well know, before they learn to doubt what their elders tell them. Children naturally accept what their parents tell them, almost exclusively for the first few years of life.

This home-schooling form of brainwashing continues once they are of an age to start looking outside their family for knowledge of the world, with teachers, preachers, and kindly old aunts who continue to inundate the young minds with stories of Bible heroes and villains, drilling into the malleable minds the sense of entitlement and elitism that will provide them with the impetus for bigotry later in life.

In addition, this period strengthens the brainwashing given earlier, teaching the kids that they should only trust certain people to tell them the truth, and that all the other religions in the world are not only not saved, but are not eligible for saving, due to their own beliefs, which are characterized as villainous, and as enemies, to be reviled and persecuted because they are different….

“The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame.” — Oscar Wilde

This entire process, this systematic, deliberate mental conditioning, is, to my mind, pretty despicable. It denies its victims any possible way of examining the information that other systems may possess, by convincing them that all other forms of knowledge are not only wrong, but blasphemous in nature, and should be cast aside whenever encountered, without ever examining the information for its relevance, or its accuracy.

Education is learning that you did not even know what you did not even know you did not even know. — Smart Bee

The whole system is designed to continue the delusional system into the future, while keeping the congregation in the dark of ignorance. It has no other purpose…. it is not in place to help or sustain the members of the congregation, but rather to control that population’s thoughts and behavior, ensuring the power and influence of the priests, pastors, preachers, or whatever name they choose to call themselves…..

I can only count myself as fortunate, to have been raised without the brainwashing on a regular basis. We attended a Presbyterian church, probably an offshoot of the old Church of England, where the adage about “cake, or death?” was originated…. The net result of this was that I was able to include other systems in my education, and found the entire construct to be a house of invisible cards, easily knocked down with a single bite of the Apple….

“How come you never see a politician (or a preacher) laugh? Because they know what they’re getting away with, and if they started laughing, they’d never stop.” — Smart Bee

And you know what else?…. I always thought Satan got a pretty raw deal, all for exercising the free will he was given…. and so did Adam and Eve…. Even as a child of five, I always wondered why God had set them up to fail like that…. it’s like, “Here’s the apple…. don’t taste it….” and then making sure we, as humans, had a sense of wonder and curiosity strong enough to disregard the admonition…. Even then, it looked like a set-up, and I could never reconcile the image in my head of a God, supposedly with infinite knowledge, setting up his own creation like that…. it just didn’t seem very God-like, or even fair…. and I still don’t get it, even today…..

With a subject such as this, it’s hard to know when to stop…. the issue has been one that has held Mankind back for two millennia now, preventing us from achieving our real potential as a species. All the progress we, as a species, have made in the last 3,000 years or so has been in spite of the efforts of the priestly hierarchies to keep us as ignorant as possible; at every turn of the wheel of science, the powers that be have thrown sand in the works, to try to slow down the acquisition of knowledge.

“Neither do the ignorant seek after wisdom.  For herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself; he has no desire for that of which he feels no want.” — Plato (428-348? B.C.)

They know that an educated populace, capable of reasoning beyond the limitations placed on the human mind by religious dogma, is the greatest threat to their continued existence as the leaders of Mankind. They know that once people are exposed to knowledge (the flesh of the Apple, remember?), the less they will submit to the brainwashing that is the lot of the common man…. and it scares them to death…..

Doubt. Question authority. Ask the next, deeper question. And never, ever, give up the right to make up your own mind…. In the final analysis, that power is the only one we all have, and the only one that cannot be taken away from us without our consent…. Viva la raza!…..

Oh, and won’t it be nice when you don’t have to give tithes anymore?…..

Though old the thought and oft exprest,
‘T is his at last who says it best.
— James Russell Lowell (1819-1891) — For an Autograph
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The Rose

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin’
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love
In the spring becomes the rose.

~~ Amanda McBroom ~~

I first heard this song as sung by Bette Midler, back in the 70’s or 80’s, whenever it came out. I thought then, and still believe, that it really couldn’t have been done better, and is one of the loveliest poems put to music I’ve ever heard…..

Now, I’ve given clues before that show that I am a closet romantic, but my feelings for this song prove it without doubt. As I sit and read the verses, I can hear Bette’s voice, flying up on the high notes, and tears just come into my eyes without any warning…. The last verse, particularly, is very moving, and never fails to bring with it a lot of emotion and, oddly enough, hope….  hope for me, for the world, it’s all the same at this point in my life….. It gives me strength to think of spring, when the world is renewed and the seeds of hope that have germinated in silence all winter bloom in all their glory, driving out all thoughts of the cold, and the dark….

I miss having someone to love…. I am perfectly content with my own company, as I learned long ago how to laugh at my own folly, thus ensuring I never get bitter about being alone. But, it is lonely….. I’m glad my friend Carol posted this poem, for it is a reminder that the future has yet to be written, and that somewhere out there is a woman whom I will meet someday, and never again have to be alone, unless I choose to be so….. SIGH….. I just wish time would get a move on, as it seems to me that two plus years of solitude should be sufficient for me to appreciate…. I could use a change of direction, and some company…..   🙂    Ah, me, time will tell…..

I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen,
Of Meadow-flowers and butterflies in summers that have been;
Of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were,
With morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair.
I sit beside the fire and think of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see,
For still there are so many things that I have never seen:
In every wood in every spring there is a different green.
I sit beside the fire and think of people long ago,
And people who will see a world that I shall never know.
But all the while I sit and think of times that were before,
I listen for returning feet and voices at the door.

— J.R.R. Tolkien
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“To make a good salad is to be a brilliant diplomatist–the problem is entirely the same in both cases. To know exactly how much oil one must put with one’s vinegar.” — Oscar Wilde

To those of us in society who are seekers of truth, Oscar Wilde is a frequent flier, in terms of how often one of his quotes will show up. He had a way with words second to none, and in his time, touched on almost every subject dear to the hearts and minds of those who actually use both extensively. It goes without saying that this quotation is true; it is an expression often turning up in discussions of how people learn, and communicate what they’ve learned to others. “A spoonful of sugar, makes the medicine go down” is one of these expressions, one that supplies the very same dosage of truth as does the above from Oscar…..

This technique is one that everyone who wishes to share their knowledge MUST learn; it is immediately obvious when what we have to say is NOT going to be believed, as people will simply stop listening, or even react negatively to what they are hearing, because it is opposite to what they feel they know to be true. Often, one will need to duck quickly, or take to their heels, should the reaction to what is said be taken amiss…. people get testy about their deeply-held beliefs, especially if those beliefs are faith-based, rather than based on reason….. Sad, but true….

So, it becomes an important skill to be able to impart information to someone who doesn’t have it in such a way that the person can digest it, or process it in their mind without stirring those strong feelings that crop up when the message is not couched in the proper terminology. Even the non-verbal techniques used when teaching are important to learn; what one says can be negated entirely by using a facial expression that isn’t complementary to what is being said out loud…. Tone of voice, facial expression, volume, all play a part in whether or not the message given will be received, and the person who ignores this is destined to experience a lot of pain and anguish at not being able to get their message across to the ones who need it most….

So, remember Oscar’s little reminder, and use the proper amount of oil to go with your vinegar…. For a good, tasty vinaigrette with the proper emulsified consistency, you need to learn the technique of pouring the oil into the vinegar slowly, whisking briskly while adding the oil, until the proper thickness and emulsification takes place….. Only then can the person you are serving enjoy the salad fully, and take in the beneficial qualities that otherwise would be lost if the message fails….  In the kitchen, the rough estimated proportions are four parts oil to one part vinegar…. but that can change, depending on the oil, the vinegar, and the cook, so flexibility must be maintained….

When successful, it makes a great salad, all but guaranteeing that it will be consumed until the plate is empty….. the goal of anyone serving others, whether in food, or in education…..
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Although arising late, this turned out fairly well…. at least it feels like it from this end….. So be it; it will have to do, as I’m not going back and starting over…. 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!

It can only be cannon fodder….

Ffolkes,
Light and dark chased each other through the night in my dreams, laughing and playing existential tag up and down the stairs. We watched, smiling, as they cavorted, pleased to see them together again, after so many ages of standing apart, ignoring the other. Reality had assumed a more pleasing configuration, and the stars smiled…..

Such is what dribbles out when I sit to type some days. It’s not bad, but a bit amorphous, and I’m not sure where it might go. Light, dark, Reality, it’s quite an eclectic group of characters, and could be interesting to develop, were I so inclined…. Fortunately for us all, I’m not so inclined at the moment. I say fortunate because I have the feeling that what would come out of it would not be something I’d care to write…. it could get pretty sappy, or even go romantic. Shudder….. not really, just being silly. But, still, not going there this early in the morning……. it could sour my coffee…..

I think I’m dithering, and that appalls me; I do try to maintain some slight degree of dignity, most of the time, when I’m not indulging in whimsy. If I’m not careful, I can see that this could easily get away from me today, so I think we’ll just dive in and get on with it… shall we Pearl?….
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Ladies’ Sewing Circle And Terrorist Society — Smart Bee

I chuckled mildly when I saw this; it’s pretty good contrasting of two images in one phrase, producing a delightful little intellectual shock. Plus, I figured this way I can include the word “terrorist” as one of the tags, which will no doubt draw the attention of those NSA covert information gatherers who are now keeping track of all the terrorists’ communications on the internet. Of course, this is NOT a communication from one terrorist to another, not even in code. But I figure the more times I use the word in this section, and add it to the tag cloud, it should draw their attention like a moth to a bright lamp at night…..

Why, you may ask, do I wish to draw the attention of the covert assholes who are denying my right to privacy?  (Well, this is published, so maybe not privacy, but freedom of speech for sure….)  I’m not certain, actually. I’ve been a little bored lately, maybe that’s it…. Naw, I never get bored! I guess I’m just feeling a bit cranky after several days of fighting my own body, and I need something outside myself upon which to focus my angst and resentment. They seem to be a likely target for venting my spleen…. and if not, well, we’ll have a chance to see if my preparations for confrontations of this nature have been effective, eh?

In at least one respect, I’m baiting them, for sure…. I’ve not said anything particularly seditious here up to this point, though it would have been simple to do so; I’m trying to be careful not to cross the line over into the actual statement of action that would trigger their overreaction. It’s another test, of sorts, to see how much they will tolerate before taking some sort of action. I post every day, pain or no pain, so if you don’t see a post from me some morning, you’ll know the experiment had an unfortunate, if not unforeseen, result, and they’ve come to take me away for questioning and reconditioning…. a thinly disguised pair of euphemisms for torture, which is now an authorized tool in the tool bags issued to our police forces, and is now an interrogation technique cleared for use on US citizens, such as you, or me….

There, that should do it. Four paragraphs should be enough to draw their attention, and I’ve been careful not to say anything that is illegal, at least not under the Constitution I know. If it doesn’t suit their new ideas of what people are “allowed” to say in public (and when has THAT phrase ever applied in this country, I ask?), well, they’ll do what they do, I suppose… So keep your eyes on this space, and we’ll have at least one picture in a frame to indicate the current health of the First Amendment in our country…. or we’ll have a missing writer, disappeared into some federal enclave, never to be seen again…. but, you’ll know where to start looking, at least….
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“Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you “like hell. — Edna St. Vincent Millay

When my former wife decided to leave the family we had created, shortly before my daughter was to graduate high school, I was devastated, badly. There was also a sense of relief at not having to be confronted on a daily basis with all that was wrong in the relationship, but it was mostly overshadowed by the depression caused by failing in my duty. You see, to me, being married was not just a labor of love, it was a duty I had assumed, and I was taught that to fail in one’s duty is the worst thing that a man can do in life. Whether or not that failure was my own, or due to the efforts of others, is immaterial in the final analysis. Duty is duty. So, when I saw this from Ms. St. Vincent Millay (a favorite sf/fantasy author, as well as poetess) I felt an immediate connection to it, as it is a very accurate description of the form that my depression assumed.

“There is not so agonizing a feeling in the whole catalogue of human suffering, as the first conviction that the heart of the being whom we most tenderly love is estranged from us.” — Bulwer

And, in spite of the 12+ years that have passed, I feel this way still. She never believed me when I told her that my love for her was stronger every day; that may have been the source of the entire problem. I don’t know why, as I thought that 20+ years of faithful marriage was pretty good proof of my intentions. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what the issue may have been; she did what she did, and we all know there is no going back in time.

So, I still spend some time every day walking around the hole that is still there in my world, and still spend time at night not sleeping because I have no one next to me to whom I can turn.

Though I had thought for a time that I had found another woman, an honest one, that also turned out to be not true, as she ended up removing me surgically from her life in two days, and never even bothered to give me a reason…. Though it hurt, it was so viciously dishonest that the pain of the betrayal hasn’t lasted as long.

We all have our holes to walk around, and fall into. Sometimes they never go away, and we just have to learn to make new pathways around them. But, it still hurts….. and that, too, is Life…. and in Life, Love can regrow, as it can be metaphorically equated to a Rose…. so there is always hope.

When the night has been too lonely, and the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snows,
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love, in the spring becomes The Rose.
— The Rose, sung by Bette Midler
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“Duct Tape is like the Force. It has a light side and a dark side, and it  holds the universe together. The only difference is that “May The Force be  with you” sounds a lot nicer than “May you be covered in duct tape.” — Carl Swanzig

I love this! Not just because it is whimsical, which is a good thing, but because it is a good comparison. Best of all, it lends itself to a long series (6 movies worth) of images it can create using the dialog from those flicks.

Imagine this… Luke is barreling down the pathway on the Death Star, getting ready to fire the missile that will destroy it, when Darth Vader comes up behind to threaten him. Obi-wan says, “Use the Duct Tape, Luke!” So, Luke reaches back to Darth’s Tie-fighter and telekinetically causes a piece of Tape to detach itself from the dashboard (where it had been holding together a crack) and covers Darth Vader’s helmet, causing him to lose control of his ship, allowing Luke to fire his missile…. end of Death Star, thanks to Duct Tape….

Or, when Darth kills Obi-wan, the line would have been, “If you kill me Darth, I shall become stickier that you can possibly imagine!” The possibilities are endless, and think of how much money could have been saved on special effects using Duct Tape rather than movie magic to hold things in place, or move them about invisibly. Probably a LOT….

Ah well, maybe some day George Lucas will produce a comedy re-make using the idea…. It might not be the blockbuster that Star Wars was, but I’ll bet it would more than break even…. Hell, I’d pay good money to see it today…. I could use the laughs…..
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Wake up all you citizens, hear your country’s call,
Not to arms and violence, But peace for one and all.
Crush out hate and prejudice, fear and greed and sin,
Help bring back her dignity, restore her faith again.

Work hard for a common cause, don’t let our country fall.
Make her proud and strong again, democracy for all.
Yes, make our country strong again, keep our flag unfurled.
Make our country well again, respected by the world.

Make her whole and beautiful, work from sun to sun.
Stand tall and labor side by side, because there’s so much to be done.
Yes, make her whole and beautiful, united strong and free,
Wake up, all you citizens, It’s up to you and me.
— Pansy Myers Schroeder

No comments from me here… this is not great poetry, but it is good. It is also a very clear statement of what this country needs, period. Enough said…. for now….

“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking.” — Lao-Tze

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” — Sun Tzu
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If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. — Smart Bee

Although this didn’t have attribution, it sounds just like something the current Dalai Lama might say. It is certainly a truism, in my world, though possibly the most difficult thing for me to actually practice all the time. I tend to indulge my curmudgeon, and let my cynicism have its way with me while I’m typing, so it probably looks like I am a fairly judgmental person.

In reality, I am not. Fortunately for us all, life is not what I type, much as I try to get close to it when I do, so my darker impulses seldom get carried into practice in the world outside my computer. Besides, as I know just how dark that side of me is, I never go there, even in my writing; just being there makes me want to take a shower, and the hot water heater is on the fritz, so I’m reduced to sink baths for the nonce.

In truth, what is above is what I shoot for when I think of other people, and the world at large. Though not perfect, I am mostly successful, unless the object of my consideration is totally devoid of any reason to offer compassion, such as a politician. It is that compassion, actually, that prompts much of my outrage at what unprincipled people do to those who know them not for what they are.

Most people, as far as I can see, are just regular, nice folks who are trying to get by in a world where almost everything is set up to take advantage of regular, nice folks. As a result, over time, their own principles become degraded, as they try to cope with the cheating and greed that is the common practice in modern culture.

Our politicians lie to us; we expect it, and keep voting for them anyway. Banks cheat us, and we have no recourse in law, because the lawmakers are “honest politicians” and stay loyal to those who have bought them, those self-same banks. Lawyers, who should be a buffer between the average Joe and the law, instead use it to their own benefit, and are reviled, mostly, by those they are supposed to serve.

Doctors are in much the same condition; even those true healers among them still must go along with the system, charging such outrageous amounts, and surrendering so much power to the giant medical and pharmaceutical companies in order to be able to treat people, they can never effect any positive  changes. So, the field ends up attracting the worst sort of men and women, who are more interested in the money and fame to be attained than they are in helping other people, i.e., showing compassion….

Still, compassion is not dead in the world; there are still a lot of folks who not only feel it, but give it away freely. Many of them will read this piece, and I know this, because they all follow my blog here on WordPress, and I have proof of their existence, in their own writings, both on their blogs, and in their comments here….

A lot of compassion has been expressed to me for my pain, and for that I am truly grateful. Such is the power of compassion that receiving it like that only makes me want to show more of it in my life… and so I shall…. with the caveat that I will continue to withhold it from those who refuse to exhibit it themselves, whenever I encounter them….
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Today’s Pearl just goes to show that one never knows when there is a rant lurking just near the exit door in my mind, just waiting to pop out and pontificate…. But, it’s all good, as I don’t think I can disagree at all with any of it, upon reflection. It will just have to fly as is, once again, fatalist that I am….. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…. Don’t forget the Duct Tape, either, it’s always handy to have around….


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Luminescent triangles of pewter, on stolen coasters….

Ffolkes,
“The more articulate one is, the more dangerous words become.” — May Sarton

Man, I certainly hope so! If not, what the hell am I doing here? I’m sure as hell not spewing out my guts every day just so people will like me; it’s nice when they do, and helps me appreciate the good that remains in this sad old world, but I’m too old to spend any more effort worrying about how what I say when I write might upset somebody’s applecart. I write to get the stuff in my head out where I can look at it objectively, or at least editorially, and where I can make a rational decision as to whether or not it needs to be eased out, gently and persuasively, or spit out, decisively and vehemently.

I try not to spew too widely, to actually aim what I’m throwing, so that individuals don’t get mistakenly drenched in vitriol, but I can’t keep some folks from taking things too literally, or too personally. I think that, considering how forcefully I have been known to rant, I’ve been very fortunate that I’ve never had what I consider to be a flaming response; everyone who’s ever commented has been polite and encouraging, even those who not fully convinced of my sanity. I’ve met a lot of really nice folks here on WordPress, and online in general, and I thank every one of them for their time spent reading this drivel, and for what I get to read in return. I’m a lucky guy…..  So be it….. let’s Pearl….

“…If I seem to give a damn, please tell me. I would hate to be giving the wrong impression.” — Anonymous, but it could’ve been me….  🙂

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“…Another writer again agreed with all my generalities, but said that as an inveterate skeptic I have closed my mind to the truth.  Most notably I have ignored the evidence for an Earth that is six thousand years old.  Well, I haven’t ignored it; I considered the purported evidence and *then* rejected it. There is a difference, and this is a difference, we might say, between prejudice and postjudice.  Prejudice is making a judgment before you have looked at the facts.  Postjudice is making a judgment afterwards.  Prejudice is terrible, in the sense that you commit injustices and you make serious mistakes.  Postjudice is not terrible.  You can’t be perfect of course; you may make mistakes also.  But it is permissible to make a judgment after you have examined the evidence.  In some circles it is even encouraged.” — Carl Sagan, The Burden of Skepticism, Skeptical Enquirer, Vol. 12, pg. 46

This response by Carl Sagan to one of his fundamentalist detractors shows an important side of the entire argument (re: creationism vs. evolution) that few folks either acknowledge, or understand. In addition to this important point, the manner in which he couches his response is also to be admired…. He states, then examines the claim made by the one contending with him over this question, in a very calm, reasonable, and reasoned fashion, and explains exactly how the claim departs the realm of truth.

Carl is gentle with his opponent, indubitably nicer to him/her than I would be; I tend to grow impatient with such nonsensical conversations quickly. But he is very polite in taking the time to show how what he has done is completely different than what he is accused of, for the simple reason that the accuser made his accusation based on an assumption that could not be either proved, nor justified by reasonable argument. On the other side of the coin, and the street, Carl makes his point, with a small smile, and then, with a short, pithy observation at the end, he twists the knife, hard, and adds a touch of irony and sardonicism that most likely went flying merrily, right over the head of his opponent…… Beautiful!…..
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“To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” — Sun Tzu (fl. c. BC 500)

The appeal of this statement is chiefly seen in its quality of simplicity, that allows even the simplest of minds to grasp and partake of its wisdom. But the grandeur, and the very depth of this piece of knowledge, often go unseen, and are little understood among the common folk. To fully understand this concept in its subtlety, one must place Sun Tzu in the correct context.

As the author of The Art of War, Sun Tzu remains as one of history’s most important figures, both in a military sense, and in a more culture-wide view of his accomplishments; the precepts in that book are still used in military schools world-wide, including West Point and Annapolis. One of those few in human history whose worth was well-known in his own time, Sun Tzu revolutionized thought on the purpose, and the very nature of the structure of armies, strategy, tactics, on the political uses of force, and on the conduct of those who would be warriors. One rumored legend claims that he never lost a battle; I see this as an exaggeration, most likely, but demonstrates the esteem in which he was held by both his supporters, and his enemies.

The strength and grandeur of this statement to which I refer is rooted in what it says, in contrast with who and what Sun Tzu was. Here is a man universally acknowledged to be the greatest warrior of his time, possibly of all time; a man who has spent his life thinking about, and practicing the art and science of war and weaponry. And what is his secret, according to him? That his work is best done when not done at all….. a paradox of unlimited possibility. Attitude, preparation, position, timing, all are key factors in a battle or war, but all are most efficiently utilized when they are never deployed for use….. this may be the single most difficult lesson a true warrior has to learn over the course of life on the warrior’s path, but learning this one key attitude provides the truest context for any other actions one may consider, and the most elegant solution to any problem of conflict…..
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Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe

— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)

Now, on most days, I would include all of the first four stanzas of this classic piece of Victorian literature (which may be recognized, mostly, for it’s irrepressible need to break beyond the oppressive cultural standards of reserve at every opportunity. To be silly was to be, somehow, less than British….). But, today, upon reading this, what immediately went through my mind was, “well, shit, that happens to me all the time!”……

I ask you… is that a normal response? I have no more idea what this means than the next bozo, (without closing my eyes and channeling Zippy…) and I defy anyone at all to say they do, without first showing their certification as recently graduated from therapy (or theology: I think we all confuse those two….. both have their uses, but are extremely annoying to keep around for very long…. not to mention the expense of either one…..) (preachers are always asking for more on top of the 10% tithe they guilt everybody about, it’s what the 700 Club is all about; and let’s not get started on doctor’s fees…. $110 for 50 minutes?  You’re shitting me, right? Psychiatrists are getting as arrogant as lawyers, and we all know what we’d like to do with them…..)

But, all reasonable objections aside, what is a psychiatrist, or even a priest, going to be able to tell me about this? Are they gonna cure me of understanding gibberish? Will they drive this devil out of my fevered mind, to the everlasting regret of my soul? (Not to mention the clean-up after an exorcism; no one ever tells you about that part, do they? It’s the worst part, having to clean up all that blood and vomit that gets spread everywhere…. and who’s gonna ask the priest to do it, eh?….. it’s always the ‘nice’ brother who gets stuck with that crappy chore…..)  No, they’re not, and not merely because I’m pointing a shotgun at them… they can’t…. if I want to understand it, fuck ’em, ain’t none of theirs…. and knowing what it says, well, that’s priceless…..
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“Beauty is a form of genius–is higher, indeed, than genius, as it needs no explanation. It is of the great facts in the world like sunlight, or springtime, or the reflection in dark water of that silver shell we call the moon.” — Oscar Wilde (1856-1900)

Sometimes, when Oscar speaks, it is almost an onomatopoeia, (woo-hoo! spelled it right in one!….). For those of you who, like me, are a bit unclear on the word’s exact meaning, having not used it, or seen it for close to 45 years, well, it may not be unreasonable to expect some confusion. But, as you most likely did, or will do, I looked it up to make sure I remembered correctly what it meant. Since I did, what I said is, for me at least, quite true…. to me, being able to write like that is a thoroughly admirable trait…. I would guess I’m not alone in hoping that my writing will someday achieve the same quality…. to serve by its very existence, structure, and most importantly, its sound, as a perfect expression in Reality of what the words describe.  “Beauty is a form of genius”….. “like sunlight, or springtime, or….”  Just reading the sentence takes one’s mind and imagination precisely to the spot in Reality where that concept resides, where one may look at it, touch its face, and breathe the perfume of its grace and charm…..
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It is the heart afraid of breaking
that never learns to dance.
It is the dream afraid of waking
that never takes a chance.
It is the one who won’t be taken
who cannot seem to give.
And the soul afraid of dying
that never learns to live.
— Bette Midler, The Rose

Well, it seemed to take forever to find the last pearl for today, but serendipity stepped in once more to grace our presence with its bounty…. the above is one of my all-time favorite songs, both for the simple depth and beauty of the poetry, and for the same simple depth and beauty of its performance by Ms. Midler.  If you are not familiar with it, take a couple moments to Google it, or ask You Tube to find a video version; it will be there somewhere. (I think she also sang it in one of her movies, title not in memory, but the one where she and her lover are performers for the USO during WWII….)

Listen closely to the lyrics, not just this stanza, but the entire song, chorus and all.  You won’t regret it, unless, of course, you have left all sense of taste in your other pants….. no lessons here, just let it make your day…… it has that power….. hell, it’s so good, I didn’t even have to go listen to it; it’s playing nice and softly in my head right now…..
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“Don’t try to have the last word. You might get it.” — Lazarus Long

Well…. like most authors, I tend to forget this little bit of important wisdom in the heat and distraction of the creative process… after a while, pounding the keyboard just seems like the natural response to outrage, or angst, or even just incipient boredom. But, it goes hand in hand with another fine old truism from Eastern philosophy, “be careful what you wish for, you might get it”……. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!

Simple truths are always welcome, but seldom seen…

Ffolkes,
In the bitter cold, his hands felt like wooden clubs, and
the skin on his face and nose felt as if it were being ripped off in broad strips. Silently, he crossed the yard in back of the old two-story house where he had lived his entire life, heading swiftly toward the stand of trees just past the rear boundary. Not sure if the other would be there yet, he slowed his pace, slipping between the trees without a sound, until he came to the meeting place, a small clearing among the massive trunks of the ancient trees, empty of life, waiting. Standing outside the circular clearing, he watched, and listened; his breath forming small clouds in front of his face as he waited. “Nothing will stop him now,” he thought, “If he won’t listen to me, he’ll really do what he said he would do, and life itself would change dramatically, for everyone. He’s got to be stopped!” With that in the forefront of his mind, he slowly reached into his pocket, and brought out the ugly little revolver, checked it was loaded and ready, then prepared himself to use it, if necessary. As he looked at the deadly little piece, his mind flew back, through days and years, until he remembered……..
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And on the 8th day, God said, “Okay, Murphy, you’re in charge!”

This little known passage from the original version of the King James Bible was somehow lost in one of the translations the book went through in the years after JC’s adventures, so little is known of its origins, and why it was included in the holiest of books. If anything, its very existence tends to verify the rest of the claims made in the book; nothing is more truthful than reality, and Murphy is well known to all of us who live on this planet. His ubiquitous presence is made felt in every activity humanity engages in, from simple household chores, to sending rockets into space. Not only does his presence make itself known in abundance, but is actually assumed by almost everyone; we are all so used to him f___ing with us, we just shrug our shoulders, grin, and bear it….

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t ever in the Bible; I admit to stretching the truth a bit, and can only claim wishful thinking as an excuse. Because I do wish that this little concept, to wit: Murphy and his ubiquitous and oh-so-powerful natural law, had been included in at least one of the versions we see today. It would make reading through it much more palatable, as well as lending a strong arm to belief and faith, for there is far more observable evidence of Murphy’s activities than there are of most of the other stuff in the book;  acknowledging that would be advantageous, and go a long way toward convincing a lot of skeptics to reconsider their original assumptions as to veracity……

“I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State.   My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.” — George Carlin (Amen to that! And RIP George…..)
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Love is a rose, but you’d better not pick it.
It only grows when it’s on the vine.

Does anyone besides me, and doubtless, Bette Midler, remember the last two lines of the stanza in the song? They are actually the kicker to the thought, the hammer that drives home the nail….they go like this:

You lose your love
When you use the word “mine”……

Point made, ’nuff said….. but that wouldn’t really be my style, now would it? And besides I have a reputation to maintain; no one can spout more nonsense in a shorter time than me, and make you think that something was actually communicated. It’s one of my daily goals to write at least 1000 words before noon, and I don’t care who I trample under the load of crap that sometimes is needed to fulfill that goal. But, really now, this song doesn’t really need much more; its simple style belies the depth of the message, which is therefore crystal clear, and does not require that I point it out to you. All you need to do find an old copy of the song, and listen to it…. it is one of my all time favorite pieces of music, and if nothing else, can serve as more evidence of my strangeness…..
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“There are more stars known to exist right now than the total number of all the grains of sand on every beach in the entire world. With those kinds of odds, it would seem downright naive for someone to go to a beach in, say, some out-of-the-way inlet in Baffin Bay, stoop to pick up only one tiny grain of sand, and declare that that grain alone was the only place where life could exist.” — Hugh Downs

Ah, but Mr. Downs, with all due respect you have forgotten Rule #1 from Mr. Long’s Notebooks, to wit: Never underestimate the power of human stupidity. It merely takes utter faith to put your claim to rest; the faithful can believe anything, as long as it is couched in Scripture-like language, or is labeled as truth by an icon of their particular area of belief. It’s easy for them to explain away such facts; they just don’t believe them.

First, they say, the stars we see, and all the physical laws we have deduced over the years that explain how those stars were formed over eons, not merely millenia, are false, erroneous. All those facts are illusions, put there by God to deceive us, and tempt us away from His Truth, which by their reckoning puts the age of the Universe at about 4200 years, having begun one Monday morning that long ago, with the creation of the whole shebang taking place, not in eons, but in seven days. I’m sorry, but I find that to be just a little more specious than I care to entertain as Truth.

Second, why would a reportedly all-powerful entity want to play tricks like that? I’m not all-powerful, but it seems a little childish to me, and I have a hard time buying into the assumption that someone who is omnipotent would do something so outrageously dumb; it’s a little too reminiscent of a Three Stooges sketch for my taste.

Secondly, I don’t recall, in any of the dozen or so reportedly holy books I’ve read, anyone ever even implying any such concept, or anything close to it, nor does the deity they are discussing make any such claims. Seems to me that anyone who wanted to be worshiped would want the supplicants to know the real reason why. I’m also a bit suspicious of the claim that an omnipotent, omniscient entity would require adoration, blind obedience, and worship, or even want it at all. That kind of attitude, when directed toward me in even a mild form, I find to be repugnant; it makes my skin crawl to have someone gush over me, or admire what I’ve done too strongly. I can’t imagine any entity deserving the name of God wanting any part of that……..and neither do I…..

“God is not all-powerful, as he cannot build a wall he cannot jump.”– Pascal

Wow! Talk about logical certainty! Which, if you stop to think about it, makes mankind the more powerful, as we can do that. Hmm….. let’s see, that one doesn’t actually follow from the first; omniscience is implied yet not assumed, but rather considered as part of the argument. From a purely reasoning standpoint however, what Pascal has said here is in reality a paradox, or rather, he has pointed out the paradox in the assumption of omnipotence in any entity, whether human, or presumably divine. Whichever premise is actually true is one of those mysteries that may never be solved, at least not by reasoning only. It may need physical evidence of some kind before it can be adequately answered. But it does go to show how powerful reasoning can be, when in the hands of an expert……. nothing is sacred, thankfully…..
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A Moment of Haiku

Bare is the soul
who will not see the truth,
even when the truth sees them.

gigoid
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I’m surprised there aren’t more solipsists!

Gut busting laughter ensues…… I mean, really, there can only be one…. and I’m not ready to give it up just yet…
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In looking back over today’s work, and remembering what has been done recently, I find that I’ve been pretty critical of most religions. In that respect, and in my own defense, I do try not to be disrespectful, beyond a bit of name-calling I’m guilty of for sure (usually involving the S word). I also would like to say that I acknowledge the good works that most religions do in the world, whatever their motivation for doing so; it is generally intended to improve the lot of the downtrodden and needy, and so deserves respect. If anyone has hurt feelings, or has any arguments in support of opposing viewpoints, I welcome any discourse in which you wish to engage, cheerfully. And go ahead and call me a few names too, if that helps. But, please do me one favor…..think about what I say, rationally, without getting emotionally involved. It will make both our lives more comfortable, as I tend to strike back hard and fast when attacked without apparent cause….. a leftover habit from my time dealing with the certifiably insane members of our society…..   😉

In the meantime, y’all take care out there….I’ll be back tomorrow…..


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

gigoid

Dozer

Kowabunga!