Demands for intricacy cost less….

Ffolkes,

“True merit, like a river, the deeper it is, the less noise it makes.”

~~ Lord Halifax (1633-1695) ~~

train-scene

Willamette River, Oregon

Scenes from a train….

Hajime…. Living in today’s complex world requires some rather refined coping skills. Such a statement might generally call for a bit of explanation, but, I don’t think there’s much there to argue with; the evidence is pretty clear, for anyone with the wit to perceive it. If one pays much attention to all the crap flying at our heads, they take the chance they’ll miss something important, amongst all the unreliable information, spread so blatantly by those who find the need to lie and cheat their way through life, in order to feel they have some sort of control over others. This neurotic fear is one shared by all humans; some find rather more rational methods to deal with that fear, instead of giving in to its irrational demand for security, a condition unnatural in reality.

The above paragraph summarizes the current world fairly accurately, I’d say. You’ll note the absence of anything in the way of definite solution; that’s deliberate. I can’t honestly say I’ve found the only honorable path to follow; I only know it is one I can live with, according to the understanding of reality I’ve come to hold as the most true. Each of us must decide for ourselves how we will react to our fears, whether they are based on rational information, or not. Each must decide for themselves how to face that fear, or, for that matter, whether we will face it, at all, or allow it to determine our acts according to only that which others have told us is true, by their own standards and beliefs. To choose our way, our own path, is what makes us human; to remove that choice is to deny our humanity.

So be it. I can’t say it much clearer than that; how you take it is up to you; what you do with it is also your choice. If nothing else, here in ECR, that choice will always be yours. May it always be so…. which is also your responsibility. It’s a tough world out there, but, it’s well worth making every effort to make it the one you can live with, honorably, free from the fear that comes with ignorance…

I guess that was a rantish sort of introduction, wasn’t it? Oh, well, such is life. I can’t really say what prompted all the above, but, then, I don’t really care. It’s what it is, and that’s all it is. Just like me. And, of course, Popeye, who taught us all about standing up to fear…. Ya only have to find what your spinach looks, and tastes like….

Shall we Pearl?

“Human language is like a cracked kettle
on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to,
when all the time we are longing to move the stars to pity.”

~~ Gustave Flaubert ~~

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mariusz-goli

I’ve included this young man’s music previously, & consider him one of the finest guitarists alive. He’s getting quite a bit of publicity now, which is well-deserved…. By following the links in the video to You Tube, you’ll find a great deal of his work, with some of the best music you’ll ever hear…. Enjoy!….

*************************************

Mariousz Goli
While My Guitar Gently Weeps

*************************************

*************************************

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Comedy_Tragedy

Dreaming, I wait….

In the most patient moments of rationality
kindness flows smoothly in a special milieu,
fallow thoughts speed first from equality
to give no anxious fever, anger to eschew.

Indignant mothers and step-sons in-law
shall fade simply from brilliant to grey,
intoning ritual dogma, fresh, avid, and raw,
falling, falling, in massive pastoral disarray.

Safety lives not, save brightly in ignorant bliss,
it follows us all, silent and infinitely frail,
foremost too often, soft as a virgin kiss,
alive, always eager, willing, and pale.

Intimate knowledge finds only the bold few
with courage and virtue to gift, unbidden.
No solemn royal version may pass in review,
true love for man, never to remain unhidden.

Sweet feathers of Emily’s hope uplift,
calm, drowsy episodes bursting with light,
With final glad cries we set ourselves adrift,
swimming in the oceans of natural delight.

When sorrow is banished, in ages yet to come,
roots solidly anchored, cold and remote,
Ample supplies of kindness sit silent and dumb,
and the old stranger shrugs on his faded coat.

Dreaming, then, I wait with shadows in the night
aspiring to inspire, a message from the muse’s heart
Never forgotten images, framed in color bright,
tempt me only, grieving, steeped in serenity’s arcane art….

~~ gigoid ~~

8/18/2013

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pearls_3

Naked Pearls

Start to End….

*******

“Doing it the hard way is always easier.”

~~ Murphy’s Paradox ~~

*******

“I am as a weed
Flung from the rock, on Ocean’s foam to sail
Where’er the surge may sweep, the tempest’s breath prevail.

~~ Lord Byron — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 2 ~~

*******

“What is a weed?
A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.”

~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson ~~

*******

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be,
and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”

~~ Johann Wolfgan von Goethe ~~

*******

“For when I was a babe and wept and slept, Time crept.
When I was a boy and laughed and talked, Time walked.
Then when the years saw me a man, Time run.
But as I older grew, Time flew.”

~~ Guy Pentreath ~~

*******

“And in the end
the love you take
is equal to the love you make.”

~~ The Beatles, The last lyric of their last song ~~

*******

Homer: “Marge, is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”

Marge: “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”

~~ The Simpsons ~~

*******

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Hmm… In looking back over this morning’s mess, it’s less messy than it felt. Not too shabby for off-the-proverbial-cuff, eh? It’s okay if you don’t agree; it won’t hurt my feelings. In fact, I liked this one so much, I’ll try to do it again tomorrow, just to see if I can. What the hell, I’ve got nothin’ better to do, right? See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes; by now, it’s considered de rigeur….

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

Featured Image -- 2780

À bientôt, mon cherí….

Metaphoria is no longer a threat…. it’s Reality….

Ffolkes,

“A note of music gains significance from the silence on either side.” — Anne Morrow Lindberg

“When you’ve seen one non-sequitor, the price of tea in China.” — Smart Bee

“Remember – more than three shakes is a wank.” — Written on urinal

“Pulchritude possesses exclusively cutaneous profundity.” — Smart Bee

“A pearl of virtual wisdom gains significance from the ignorance of the bozo on either side.” — gigoid

English

    Hmm…. it seems I’ve decided to start the day with a five star pearl, complete with graphics, to state the underlying premise of the pearl’s meaning/POV/relation to reality….. In this case, it’s all very real, and connected, or, if not, it wants to be… and should be…. We here at ECR are, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, not into the abuse of language, unless needed to ward off the forces of evil, or protect the innocent…. which, in our society, either happens all the fucking time, or seldom, and, never, with any real predictablilty…. I know, that’s just the way it is, but, I don’t have to like it, exactly, do I? No….

Fortunately, though, I do….. Like reality, and English, and, for that matter, any and all languages…. not that it’s ever done me any good. People still don’t understand me, but, that’s one of those, “been there, done that” sort of things, so we won’t go there in the intro; we’d never get anywhere if I start whining too early…. I do TRY to be an adult, even if it doesn’t always work…. Since I have now completely lost my way, with not a single clue as to what I meant to do when I started writing, I’d best begin the long, slow process of casting around for something to actually address…. SIGH…. You are SO strict!…..

Now, don’t you feel better? I know I do; getting that much nonsense out in just two paragraphs is quite a release…. Plus, it gets some of the administrative BS out of the way without letting anyone know it’s even happening, right in front of them…. I’m not even required to tell you what that means, or even costs, as it’s all covered in the forms you signed on the way in…. after, of course, we accessed your account for the entrance fees…. You knew about that part, right?….

No? Oh well, your signature says you did, so, we’re covered, and you’ll never notice the hidden fees, anyway; it’s working like planned, and that’s good. The revolutionary committee can use the funds…..

Let me caution you, though, and remind you; this is all a joke, right? Y’all didn’t sign anything, and I have no frigging idea who is even out there, unless they let me know by commenting, or hitting the Like button…. the Net is still THAT anonymous, anyway, though I’m sure the NSA has a way to know who is where, reading what…. That, after all, is what metadata is all about, and they’ve had over ten years to play around on our internet without most of us knowing anything about what they were doing…. not until Edward Snowden dropped his bombs, anyway….

Since it IS a joke, I’m going to pretend as if we actually had a punch line ready, to bring matters to a satisfactory close…. We don’t, of course, have anything of the sort, but, since we’re only pretending, I didn’t want to pay for a real punch line, so y’all will have to make do with what is in the bag over there…. You see it? Yeah, that’s it, the grimy yellow one with the nuclear material logo…. If you’d just hand in to me….. Thanks… Oh, my, it IS filthy, innit? Oh, but, look, here’s a #4 ending…. we can plug it in right here, and….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“A heart is not judged by how much you love but by how much you are loved by others.” — The Wizard of Oz

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

“Why ask me? I’m just visiting reality.” — Smart Bee, channeling gigoid again….

Okay, ffolkes, your vacation is over….. Below is a fresh spate of ranting, with an old-school pearl at the end, comprised of quotes that jumped up for attention when looking for some enhancement for future pears, and for a specific type of quote for another section…. They fit in with what the headlines had stimulated me to write, I couldn’t resist, naturally, even though the ranting portion of what is here is ample for any section on its own….

I have, apparently, lost all sense of proportion when it comes to this sort of outrage, engendered in me when I observe the crap going on out there in the public arena, because it seems to be the only way to reduce the negative effect on me…. Well, it’s the one I’ve chosen, so, either way, here it is… Like reality, even if you’re only visiting, as I tend to do on occasion, you have to choose, and then deal with the consequences of your choice….

http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2014/08/28/cops-cuff-12-protesting-low-security-guard-wages-at-sf-apple-store/?cmpid=hp-hc-bustech

It occurred to me when I was perusing the headlines that, in the recent past, we’ve seen a LOT of headlines just like this one. Without reading the article first, I wanted to note the following thought/question that came to mind…. I was under the impression that, in the United States, protesting was protected by one of the amendments to the US Constitution, as part of the first 10, known generally as the Bill of Rights….

One of them, specifically the First Amendment, (indicating its importance in the minds of the men who created it as our guide to how we would have our government structured, and operated….), guarantees the right of any American citizen to peacefully assemble, to petition the government for a redress of grievances, by specifically stating that Congress, or the States, may not create and pass any laws to the contrary…..

In spite of this, how often do we see American citizens, not merely arrested for exercising their right to protest, but, abused, jailed, and prosecuted for it…. under the guise of “protecting the public order”, which has become more important to many than their freedom…. Okay, now I’ll go read the article, to see what the police and government have to say that justifies ignoring the First Amendment to the US Constitution…. After, I’ll most likely rant to beat the band, so, if you’re going to skip that, now would be the time to read the poem….

So, it seems to be an acceptable phenomenon, at least to the media, for the police in such instances to not even have to comment on why they made arrests, unless they do so with some sort of overreaction, or in an abusive manner than will grab headlines…. They just make strategic arrests of those they believe are the active leaders of the protest, with the intent, and usual effect, of both removing the direction the activists provide, and intimidating and distracting the remaining citizens, er, protesters…..

Hell, you can tell how the issue has progressed, or, if you will, evolved…. All you have to do is to listen to the police, on their radios, talking to each other…. Listen to the words they use to describe the citizenry…. mostly they are words that objectify the people, by calling them names that take away their humanity…. suspect, unsub, subject, male & female individuals, etc…. all are removed from any emotional content, and placed in the arena of battle language….

Enough on those fools…. Next we come to a governor of one of our fine states, his wife, and the corporate asshole who gave them money to give his business a boost…..

“As if the world and they were hand and glove.” — William Cowper (1731-1800) — Table Talk, Line 173

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Closing-arguments-set-in-former-Va-governor-trial-5720480.php?cmpid=hp-hc-nationworld

I can’t even write about this, ffolkes…. In this story, none of us come out looking very good…. Not the governor and his wife, not the man who bribed them, not the state, or the courts, and, most specifically, not the public, as the story unfolds without anyone commenting much, or even actually paying much attention (other than the few media hacks who keep dragging it back into the public eye whenever somebody in the court at their trial scratches an itch…. The media, on this story, seems to feel that if they keep shoving our faces in it, we’ll think they’re cool for kicking everybody when they’re down…. In truth, the whole issue disgusts me so much, we’ll go on….

http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/Hillary-Clinton-on-Ferguson-We-are-better-than-5719406.php?cmpid=hp-hc-bayarea

Hillary is all about implications and subtext when she talks these days; she knows everything she says is looked at with a microscope decorated with the Presidential Seal…. she REALLY, REALLY wants to be president of this country. You can see it all over her face, especially in the picture adorning the page where you’ll find the article above….. She is shamelessly using the tragic events in Missouri to spread all the lies and innuendo she can,  getting the public broken in, and used to hearing this sort of crap from her, all the while creating an image, showing herself as the thoughtful, compassionate woman, yet, one strong enough to run this superpower country, better than any man, especially her idiot of a husband….

Now, if anyone can point out anything…. anything at all, in what she says, or does, to alter that opinion, please, feel free to bring it up, along with any justification arguments you may wish to add…. I don’t expect much response, as there isn’t anything out there that fits that description, that I’ve been able to find, anyway, and I looked pretty hard…. Hillary is a politician, not a woman, or a man-like woman; she’s one of the psychopathic, mega-maniacal, arrogant assholes who want to control everything everybody else does, for their own aggrandizement and personal gain, not because they are altruistic at all, but, because they are possessed of overpowering ambition, and a complete lack of human connection, that allows them to sociopathically create their own set of rules, where everyone in the world loses, except for them….

Sorry, all you hopefuls out there, with the great desire to see a woman in such a position of power, wrongly thinking it will make any difference at all…. This is not, as I said, a woman, but, a politician, right down to her bones…. And, as per my personal experience over the last 50+ years of observing and analyzing presidential elections, and the candidates who run for that office, has shown me, there is not a single politician at that level of the game who tells the truth, at all, unless it somehow will benefit them, and help them achieve their goals…. It is the nature of the beast; a politician can no more keep from lying than they can keep from acting like an asshole…. which means, never…

And yes, it pisses me off, that they even have the chance to get their fingers in the public treasury, and direct this nation for a period of time it usually takes two decades to recover from, or longer….

Enough for now…. y’all can, no doubt, fill in your own ranting on these issues, so, here are a group of pearls to help keep the outrage simmering, or, at least, allow you to laugh about it….

And finds, with keen, discriminating sight,
Black ‘s not so black,–nor white so very white.

~~ George Canning ~~
(1770-1827)
 — New Morality —


“Riches are the savings of many in the hands of one.” — Eugene Debs (1855-1926)

QUORUM, n.  A sufficient number of members of a deliberative body to” have their own way and their own way of having it.  In the United States Senate a quorum consists of the chairman of the Committee on Finance and a messenger from the White House; in the House of Representatives, of the Speaker and the devil.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

Blest paper-credit! last and best supply!
That lends corruption lighter wings to fly.

~~ Alexander Pope ~~
(1688-1744)
— Moral Essays, Epistle iii, Line 39 —


“Justice is itself the great standing policy of civil society; and any departure from it, under any circumstance, lies under the suspicion of being no policy at all.” — Edmund Burke

“Now we are going to set this pile of evil ablaze.  But remember, because these are children’s toys, the fire will spread quite rapidly. So, please stand back and try not to inhale the toxic fumes.” — Minister in “Krusty Gets Busted”, from The Simpsons

What a great finish! Krusty knows how to stick it to the establishment, right in the eye with a sharp, filthy stick…. my kinda guy….

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In honor of the whiskey I consumed late last night, in a frantic, futile attempt to smother the pain long enough for the meds & chocolate to kick in, so I could sleep, here is one of the poems of the most famous poet of all time…. who never wrote a poem without being firmly drunk…. Enjoy!….

Alone And Drinking Under The Moon

Amongst the flowers I
am alone with my pot of wine
drinking by myself; then lifting
my cup I asked the moon
to drink with me, its reflection
and mine in the wine cup, just
the three of us; then I sigh
for the moon cannot drink,
and my shadow goes emptily along
with me never saying a word;
with no other friends here, I can
but use these two for company;
in the time of happiness, I
too must be happy with all
around me; I sit and sing
and it is as if the moon
accompanies me; then if I
dance, it is my shadow that
dances along with me; while
still not drunk, I am glad
to make the moon and my shadow
into friends, but then when
I have drunk too much, we
all part; yet these are
friends I can always count on
these who have no emotion
whatsoever; I hope that one day
we three will meet again,
deep in the Milky Way.

~~ Li Po ~~


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Above, you may have noted my use of the word ‘futile’ to describe my attempts at sleeping last night…. While forgoing any details, suffice it to say that very little of what I attempted had any success, and leave it at that…. So, what you get here, in the depths of my fatigue and liver-related misery, is the fastest sort of pearl I can create…. Let’s see what Smart Bee has in the way of items to ease me out of here with the least fuss, and noise…. Wish me luck….

“Even in mathematics, the sacred yoni appears in both the shape and substance of 0, the void, while the lingam appears in the shape and substance of 1, the creative lightning, and out of the union of the 0 and 1, all of the numbers of creation can be generated in binary notation.” — Robert Anton Wilson

“What the people believe is true.” — Native American Proverb (Anishinabe)

“Prize that which is best in the universe; and this is that which useth everything and ordereth everything.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121-180 AD) — Meditations, v, 21

“I never like to think of the future. It comes soon enough.” — Albert Einstein

“Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold — but so does a hard-boiled egg.” — Smart Bee

“Only ideas that we actually live by are of any value.” — Hermann Hesse

A truth that’s told with bad intent
Beats all the lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so;
Man was made for Joy and Woe;
And when this we rightly know,
Thro’ the World we safely go,
Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.

~~ William Blake ~~
(1757-1827)
Auguries of Innocence, 53


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Okay, not too shabby, considering the source, and the condition of the source….. Quality, or lack thereof, notwithstanding, it’s done, and nobody can make me do it over…. which is probably just as well…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes…..

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

Kowabunga!


Put the cheeseburger down, sir, and step back from the condiments….

Ffolkes,

Traffic has been light this morning, and what is there is moving along well, so I guess it’s okay to get started…. Not that traffic has anything to do with this, but, it works on the radio, so I thought I’d give it a try…. By this time in the process, it really doesn’t matter what I do, it’s all going to be wrong, or misguided somehow, and whatever I produce will crash and burn within moments. The investigators are never able to tell afterward exactly why it crashes (the burning part is obvious…. leaking fuel, oxygen, heat, all present…. only the ‘why’ is mysterious…), but, it does. I really don’t expect them to know how to determine sabotage by icons of nature like Murphy, as he is well able to make such things appear to be due to natural causes…..

You know what I mean by that, right? Natural causes? Same thing the beloved ruling class means when they say some political prisoner died in custody, of “natural causes”, to wit: they killed them…. Oh, they might call it “pilot error” but it was “termination with prejudice”, you can bet on it….. Sorry, but anybody who, during an election campaign, says they’ll stop what is being done to people at Guantanamo, and at other facilities, in other countries, where it doesn’t break our laws so blatantly, and then totally ignores the whole issue, isn’t what I would call trustworthy, and can’t be counted on to tell the truth about anything.

SIGH…. there I go, ranting again in the intro…. It just seems to keep popping out, with little provocation. I mean, how much provocation can I claim at 5:55 in the morning, unless, for some unknown, and unwelcome, reason, I’ve been dreaming about this stuff, which I don’t think I’ve been doing…. not so’s I remember, anyway. It doesn’t matter, really, though, because I’d planned to rant today, so this can be considered a warm-up, or stretching exercises…. As long as you don’t consider it terrible, and go away, I’ll be happy….. It gets so lonely around here in the mornings, and the neighbors don’t appreciate me breaking out my guitar at this hour, so, I’m stuck with this computer, and my imaginary audience, for company…. Sad image, isn’t it?….

Don’t be sad, though, because I like it like this…. Now that much of the stress is gone from my life, of waiting for the bureaucrats to act, for my retirement to kick in, for poverty to end (at least for me…), I am able to enjoy my retirement time, getting a big kick out of watching the world run around like crazy, acting out the panoply of human stories and games, and knowing that nobody has any say about what I do, or when I do it, other than me, myself, and I…. and, of course, Patricia, to whom I’ve lost my heart…. She’s allowed to take up my time with her business on an “ad lib” basis…. but, I can’t consider that an onerous chore, or any kind of bother…. rather the opposite, truth be known….

Okay, well, I’ve blathered and meandered, and wound my way through another four paragraphs that don’t say much of anything, other than some pointless attempts at humor…. I should probably take my own advice, and not try to do that so early, especially before the coffee has kicked in fully….. but, SOMEBODY has to do it, and I’ve never been one to shirk my duty, once I know what it is….

The upshot of all this is, I’ve met the legal requirements for this blog’s opening remarks, so, I’m going to take that assessment and run with it…. If nothing else, it will prevent the formation of bruising around the eyes, where it feels as if I’ve been punching myself since I got up, twenty minutes ago…. Hmm, maybe I wasn’t done sleeping…. Ya think?…. Oh, well….

Shall we Pearl?…..
_____________________________

As noted above, I tend to rant at the slightest provocation, and, though that tendency isn’t one I particularly wish to curtail completely, it is one that contributes to at least one of the problematic characteristics of blogging, a long winded way to say it makes these posts too long sometimes…. Then, I feel guilty, for taking up so much of people’s time, and ending up preaching to the choir, anyway…. This is why I’ve been resorting so often to old-school pearls to get my points across, or at least, out there for perusal and cognitive processing… Again, in short, it’s easier, on you, and, to some extent, on me….

Yesterday, I read an article in the news (you can read it here:  http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2013/08/06/planet-continues-to-warm-to-new-normal/ ) about climate change. The article discussed the yearly report, from the world’s scientific community, on the extent of the changes in the Earth’s average temperature, the changes in the polar ice, and the rising of the world’s oceans, as the increasing temperature melts those polar ice packs, little by little… The report itself makes no attempt to ascertain, or explain, the causes of the warming; it only reports the factual numbers of how much is changing each year…. It does note, however, that the levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere on their scale of measurement haven’t been seen on our planet for approximately 800,000 (!) years….

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Criticism, Part ii, Line 15

I haven’t seen the reaction yet from the fringes of the far right of the political scene, but I expect them to be out any time, once again parading the extent of their ignorance, shouting their outrage at the numbers, claiming that the scientists are “fudging” them, or claiming that we humans don’t understand what the numbers mean, because we don’t have infinite knowledge, like they do…. because “they” believe in God, which gives them the right to challenge the scientist’s figures…. If asked to do so, I could probably write one of their articles; it doesn’t seem hard, as one needn’t bother with presenting any facts, or evidence to support one’s theories…. I would, of course, feel very silly, but, I could do it….

Don’t worry, I won’t; plenty of others will do so, with much more sincerity, if less factual, than I…. It does piss me off, though, to have to watch these idiots go through their contortions, trying to refute the obvious danger that the changes reported by the scientists pose for us as a species, along with all the other species with whom we share the air we breathe… It pisses me of a lot, because they make it harder to get anything done about it, and muddy up the waters made clear by the report, never realizing that by insisting on the truth of their delusions, they are signing their own death warrant….

Rather than bore you with another rant (which, it seems from looking at this small intro, I seem to have already done….) I’ll turn to my old-school format, and bring the point home with a group of pearls…. once again highlighting the advantage to pearls of virtual wisdom, requiring much less effort to acquire than the mundane, standard types of wisdom, which ask us to display intelligence, patience, and perseverance in order to feel the boon of its presence…. Easy money, as they say downtown….

“The radical novelty in modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.” — Walter Lippmann

“These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives; for all the scents of green things growing, each breath is but an exhalation of the grave.  Bodies jerk like puppet corpses, and hell walks laughing” — Smart Bee

“Belief is the death of intelligence.” — Robert Anton Wilson

“Reality is when it happens to you.” — Smart Bee

“Are people more important than the grizzly bear? Only from the point of view of some people.” — Edward Abbey

`Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
By a finger entwined in his hair.

‘Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.’

— Lewis Carroll, the Snark and the Boojum

“Ignorance is not bliss — it’s oblivion.” — Phillip Wylie
_____________________________

 

À Bas Ben AdhemMy fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What’s he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I’m supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn’t it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?

To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician’s voice
He names himself as Nature’s choice.

The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.

Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.

Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It’s simply that I’m sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.

~~ Ogden Nash ~~

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“A people who expect to be ignorant and free expect what never will, and never can, be.” — Thomas Jefferson

I almost used this as a closing remark to the rant/pearl in section one; it’s almost the right sentiment, but, didn’t quite hit the exact mark, so I’m using it here, as the opening remark for another old-school entry. Yes, it’s being a little bit lazy, but, I will reference my point above re: retirement, and the perks thereof, to wit: I don’t care if it’s lazy, it’s what I want to do, and you can’t stop me, at least, not without the risk of injury, to one or both of us…. Since neither of us is willing to see what happens in that case, let’s get on with this…. The primary search parameter for this pearl is “Risk analysis of using ignorance as a survival tool in modern society.” Or, something like that….

“Thank you, Señor MacGyver.”  “Don’t thank me, thank the gravitational pull of Earth’s moon.” — from The Simpsons

“Does history record any case where the majority was right?” — Robert Heinlein, Notebooks of Lazarus Long

“A “sucking chest wound” is nature’s way of telling you to slow down.” — Murphy’s Military Laws, #12

“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.” — George Bernard Shaw

“Far more crucial than what we know or do not know is what we do not want to know.” — Eric Hoffer

Hmm…. how did that get there? Or, more accurately, how did we get here? This comes close to what I was looking for, but, something isn’t quite right…. we’ll go on, find two more that will shore up the weak side, and bring home the point we’re trying to make….

“I used to get high on life but lately I’ve built up a resistance.  — Steven Wright”

“From stupidity there is always something to be learned, but it’s always the same thing: don’t be stupid.” — Robert M. Adams

There… that should do it…. sometimes the thread that ties it all together is thin, and hard to see, but, it generally works out okay…. in the case of this pearl, the wisdom is inherently obvious, unless one regularly fails in the task implied in the final entry….  😆
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Well, that was fun! I don’t know how it will look to others, but, it matters little now, because the road became the journey, and I feel centered…. Hmm… Murphy must be lurking about…. I’d best go proof while I can….. I was right, (write?…), Murphy was hanging about…. That took what seemed like forever to get all the spots I got lazy with my typing… comes from it coming out so fast and smooth, I guess, I had to sit for too long to keep up… Okay, no whining, I’m done now anyway…. and, I’m outta here…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you….

When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.

Which is Why….


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

dozer3

Subsidized pets never rust…..

Ffolkes,
If there is one place in the world I would prefer to avoid during the month of July, Bakersfield would be that place. Hot, dusty, and ugly were the three adjectives that came to mind as I walked out of the bus terminal. The grimy faces of tired, old buildings lined the street, harsh neon lights looking pale and wan in the harsh, oppressive light of the sun. Nobody else appeared to be out in the midday heat except yours truly, acting the part of either mad dog, or Englishman, for the entertainment of whatever gods happened to be watching.

I knew of at least one goddess who would be doing so with rapt attention, for she is the one who sent me to this godforsaken hole in the wall of the universe, and she will want to know what I’m doing at all times…. The gods aren’t the most trusting of employers, but they pay well for success…. Of course, what I’ll do with all these old drachmae, I don’t know, but I’ll worry about it later…. Being the private eye on call to Olympus isn’t the easiest gig, but I like it, even if some of the major goddesses can be a bit testy about their entitlements…. As long as the money is good, I can put up with a lot of foolishness….

I might take this a bit further, but I just realized that this idea has been done already…. almost. “The Long, Dark Tea-Time of the Soul” by Douglas Adams, tells the story of a PI involved in a case with a number of the old Norse gods…. Odin, Loki, and the like. I didn’t realize it until I typed “drachmae”, which is not Norse, but still reminded me of the adventures of Dirk Gently in a hostile universe that Adams put out. Not wishing to plagiarize his idea any further, we will leave that story right where it is, to die a long, painful, and horrible death, alone….. good thing I have no emotional attachment to it, or I’d feel some guilt….

Here’s a good piece of advice for all you youngsters out there…. Never….. wait, that’s too long…. okay, try this….. Always…. No, that’s the same thing, just backwards…. hmmm…. Sometimes…. there you go, that works….

Sometimes, you win, and sometimes, you lose. Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes you’re the windshield. And sometimes, it all makes sense, until it doesn’t, and reality resumes its inevitable march toward our own personal doom…. so don’t sweat it. The end of the road will get here when it gets here, and not a moment before. We may as well enjoy the time while we’re waiting, eh?…. So be it…

I don’t know about y’all but I thinks that’s about enough of that nonsense for one morning…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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“Friendship is the only thing in the world concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” — Cicero

Okay, let’s see…. I can agree with the part that says “Friendship is”…leave out some words leading up to “concerning the usefulness of which all mankind are agreed.” Obviously, I am contesting the “only thing” part, yes? Okay… so, let’s see if there are any other useful things “concerning which all mankind agrees”….

Honesty?…. Well, I think this one would probably be acknowledged as being useful by everyone asked, but I’m also pretty certain that many of them would be lying, which kind of negates that whole idea, doesn’t it? Yes, it does…. nod your head up and down, and let’s go on….

Loyalty?…. Hmm… I think this one would most likely run about the same as honesty. Everybody is going to say that they believe in loyalty, but some of them aren’t going to be telling the truth about it, not if 25,000 years of history are considered as evidence.

Love?…. I don’t think there would be any sort of consensus here; too many folks have had bad experiences with love, or more accurately, bad experiences from NOT having being loved, or given an opportunity to love. This would definitely NOT be a subject on which all would agree…. not even close….

Compassion? Fair Play? Opera?  Nope, I don’t think any of these would come close to being a consensus choice, much as some of us would like them to be, or not be, in the case of Opera….

Crispy bacon?  This, I believe, comes as close as anything else to being universally agreed upon. Of course, a lot of vegans and other cholesterol fanatics would SAY they disagree, but you know that deep in their hearts, they really, really WANT that bacon….  🙂

Okay, so maybe Cicero had a valid point. There doesn’t seem to be much of anything that all of mankind can agree upon, which is hardly a surprise, given the stubborn individuality most people cling to like a life-saver in a storm at sea. In fact, this innate insistence on being unique is part of the problem, as it makes it hard for people to accept that other people may feel the higher emotions, such as compassion, or honesty, when they are seldom present in themselves. They do not trust themselves, so they cannot trust others…. only when they are in the presence of a real friend can these virtues be shown….
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My Fancy

I painted her a gushing thing,
With years about a score;
I little thought to find they were
A least a dozen more;
My fancy gave her eyes of blue,
A curly auburn head:
I came to find the blue a green,
The auburn turned to red.

She boxed my ears this morning,
They tingled very much;
I own that I could wish her
A somewhat lighter touch;
And if you ask me how
Her charms might be improved,
I would not have them added to,
But just a few removed!

She has the bear’s ethereal grace,
The bland hyaena’s laugh,
The footstep of the elephant,
The neck of a giraffe;
I love her still, believe me,
Though my heart its passion hides;
“She’s all my fancy painted her,”
But oh! how much besides!

Lewis Carroll

Here is something a bit different from Lewis Carroll, whom we all know and love from “Through the Looking Glass: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I think this poem tells a lot about the British culture of the time in which he lived, as I find a lot of pieces from that time that echo the sentiments described herein. At any rate, it’s a fun read, and brought me a little smile at the end, so I hope you enjoy it, too…..
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“We may not be able to persuade Hindus that Jesus and not Vishnu should govern their spiritual horizon, nor Moslems that Lord Buddha is at the center of their spiritual universe, nor Hebrews that Mohammed is a major prophet, nor Christians that Shinto best expresses their spiritual concerns, to say nothing of the fact that we may not be able to get Christians to agree among themselves about their relationship to God. But all will agree on a proposition that they possess profound spiritual resources.  If, in addition, we can get them to accept the further proposition that whatever form the Deity may have in their own theology, the Deity is not only external, but internal and acts through them, and they themselves give proof or disproof of the Deity in what they do and think; if this further proposition can be     accepted, then we come that much closer to a truly religious situation on earth.” — Norman Cousins, from his book “Human Options”

Mr. Cousins speaks in a very even-handed manner, with respect for all of the philosophies, religions, and churches he mentions in his statement. Though it is possibly too complex for the average follower of any religion to take in at one sitting, it does make a reasonable allegation, and leads the reader on a quite logical train of thought.

What fails to stimulate complete agreement in me is the question, “why do we make the assumption that what we need on earth is “a truly religious situation.” (whatever THAT means… I mean, really…. a religious ‘situation’? And who defines ‘truly’?…)  It is always a puzzle to me how people can use so much mental energy to chase themselves into a maze with no exit……

First, define a ‘religious situation’, and tell me who gets to decide when it is ‘truly religious’…. second explain why we need it on earth…. third, well, never mind, we’ll get to the abuse later….  Anyway, it puzzles me, how someone who can make the above argument, which shows a knowledge of religions which is at least wide, if not particularly deep, can also make such an unwarranted assumption.

I understand one purpose of such a statement, which would be to at least TRY to infuse some unifying connections between the various modes of thought, to get them to see other views, at least hypothetically. That purpose is a good one…. but trying to make the intuitive leap to a melding of religious thought is asking too much of people who, by the very nature of their beliefs, are unaccustomed to that kind of acceptance.  Indeed, one of the primary identifying characteristics of almost any “worshiper” is an extreme resistance to thinking….at all…. much less thinking about acceptance of another religion’s validity.

I believe Mr. Cousins is right to wish that everyone, of whatever religion they are, would open themselves to the idea that other religions have the same right to exist as do they, even though those beliefs are different from their own. A little bit of tolerance for the other fellow’s ideas can go a long way toward keeping the peace between nations, or people….

It’s a small thing, but with very large effect on how people treat each other…. It is also the most needed change to human nature that I see, the one that could lead the way to other changes to morality and ethics, thereby providing mankind with the tools needed to survive…..

You cannot face it steadily, but this thing’s for sure,
That time is no healer: the patient is no longer here.
— T.S. Eliot
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Homer: “Marge, is this a happy ending or a sad ending?”
Marge: “It’s an ending. That’s enough.”
— The Simpsons

I know exactly how Marge feels…. and it’s enough…. 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!

Zipping in fields of pizazz….

Ffolkes,
Odd dreams, indeed, that persist into the day. Odder still when they ask for coffee. But there he was, a huge, red-skinned demon, complete with horns and a tail, big as life and twice as ugly, sitting in my only chair, and demanding coffee. I’m pretty sure, even without checking, that I’ve never had one of the nasty creatures that inhabit some of my less cheerful dreams sit in my living room, and the new experience wasn’t bringing me the thrill of discovery and wonder that one might expect. In fact, it was just pissing me off….

“What the hell makes you think I’m giving you coffee!” I said, calmly…. well, it would have been calmly, but for the volume set at “scream”…. My visitor merely smiled, looking at me as if I were a tardy student, and shook his head. “Because I asked for it?” he rumbled out of his over-sized mouth. “You’ve never been one to deny basic hospitality.” “I’m making an exception in your case, ” I snapped back, “since you seem to have invited yourself to this party.” “True, true,” he smiled, “but, you’ll feel better with some of it inside you, and we’ll have a better chat.” Fuming, but resigned because he was right, I moved into the small kitchen to pour a couple of cups.

There… that’s out. Better out than in, I always say…. I am starting today’s dive for pearls very late, as my body refused to get up at my usual time. I find myself here at my computer with three and a half extra hours of sleep, which I apparently needed badly.  It’s not really hard to understand why. I just don’t like to admit that it is so exhausting to sit around and fight against pain, but there seems to be little I can do to deny it, as that is all I do, mostly…. Let me tell you, this getting old sucks, big time….

Not only does it suck, but it makes me whine, which I hate in myself. It’s bad enough to have the pain, which no one can see, but to complain about it lacks dignity, and I can use all of that I can muster. So, if y’all don’t mind, I think I’ll just drag this cloak of dignity I found laying here around my shoulders, take a deep breath, and dive into the pool on a search for pearls…. take a breath now, if you’re going with me…One…two… three…. dive!……
___________________________________

Here is a reverse pearl…. instead of a quote, or two, and my discussion of the subject, here are four excellent pearls, all of which I have previously discussed; there is really no need to write more about them, as my opinion is well-documented…. Instead, just read them all, in the order presented, and note how accurate a picture it paints of the current political scene in this country…. they clearly demonstrate, or at least highlight, how our own failure as citizens of a democracy has contributed to the position in which we now find ourselves….

“There is no such thing as security. There never has been.” — Germaine Greer

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
— C. S. Lewis

“It is not the fact of liberty but the way in which liberty is exercised that ultimately determines whether liberty itself survives…  When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force.  When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered.” — Dorothy Thompson, American journalist, author (1894-1961)

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” — H. L. Mencken

I was watching one of my favorite movies last night, “The American President” and one of the lines reminded me of just how far we have come from the dream our founding fathers had for us…. from the speech at the end of the movie, the President says, “I assure you, Bob Rumson (read: Mitt Romney) has no interest in solving your problems. He is interested in only two things, making you afraid of it, and telling you who to blame for it.” (That may be slightly incomplete or inaccurate as to exact wording, but the meaning and sentiment remain clear) If we elect a fool into office, we have no one to blame but ourselves. And me? I insist on only being afraid of what I choose to be afraid of, and what the political pundits would have me be afraid of is just an illusion…. another of the lies, the creation of which they are very facile and experienced….. stay alert folks….

“Liberty don’t work as good in practice as it does in speeches.” — Will Rogers
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Unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. — New Testament — Matthew xxv, 29

This will be one of the shortest pearls ever, even including this superfluous opening. All I have to say here is what came to mind when I read it just now during my dive, which was, “Well, the bankers sure took this one to heart, didn’t they?”  That’s all… just think about it… which is more than any Christian would do….

Heaven Holds a Place for Those who Prey — Smart Bee
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“Whenever I’m faced with a difficult situation, I like to ask myself what my idol, Edward R. Murrow, would think; and I think Ed would call this censorship.  But I also ask myself what my other hero, General George Patton, would think; and I think George would believe this country needs to be cleaned up. Why, if George were alive today, he’d take two armored tank divisions into Hollywood and knock those liberal pinheads into the ocean!  So, as you can see, I’m a very confused man.  And when I’m confused, there’s only one thing that makes me feel better: I watch TV.” — Les Nesman, “WKRP in Cincinatti”

I find this to be, while amusing, a very, very scary, and uncannily accurate, description of how most of this country approaches life. When things become too confusing, they go watch TV, so they can find out what they are supposed to be thinking. I personally know a great number of folks who center their entire day around what is on TV; hell, before I got them out of that habit, my own kids were almost suckered into that sort of approach. Fortunately, my daughter inherited my love of reading and books, and my son turned his attention to the real world, immersing himself in kung fu for most of this free time.

But, in general, what is on TV is what most of America will parrot when asked what they believe. Very few of us seem to have perpetuated the habit of thinking about what we’ve been told; sometimes it seems as the bloggers I follow are the only ones who are doing so. I certainly see very little evidence out in real life that tells me that anyone is paying attention to this issue.

Mostly, the folks who question authority try to remain true to the system, pursuing their goals within the constraints of that system. But, it doesn’t work, as the vast majority of folks in this country come home from their slave jobs to flick on the TV and let the nonsense fill their heads up with stuff that keeps them quiet and content, like “The Simpsons” or some such….. SIGH……
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    Not much needs saying here… this fine fellow is here merely to express my opinion of politicians, popes, kings, queens, ayatollahs, bankers, CEO’s, and every other type of human who seeks to assume power over others…. so there!…. and to illustrate the old saw about a picture being worth a thousand words… in my case it is often 1500 words, so this image saved you all from that this morning…. nice of him, eh?
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However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act on upon them?
— Buddha

My religious upbringing was pretty casual, since my parents weren’t particularly devout, at least outwardly. Most of my life we attended Presbyterian churches, but were never heavily involved. The whole story behind Christianity always seemed pretty improbable to me, even at the tender age of four or five when it was first introduced in Sunday School, where the kids in Presbyterian churches were sent during services to keep from either distracting the minister during his sermon, or to distract their parents from their nap during said sermon. (You can’t fool a four-year old about motivation….)

As I grew older, the things about church that first bothered me continued to grow in number, fueled most heavily by the actions of the church-goers. It always seemed to me that what was said in church on Sunday, and what actually happened out in the real world had nothing to do with each other. Nobody I could see was acting in a Christian manner anywhere but in church, and even then, it seemed pretty self-serving, as if the folks who were discussing morality were showing off for the preacher, more than they were invested in the morals themselves. (You can’t fool a teenager about hypocrisy….)

As my reading list expanded, I found that my suspicions and objections to Christian churches intensified, as I became more aware of what actually went on out in the real world, and was exposed to more religions and philosophies. It seemed, at least on the surface, that the proponents of the other big religions in the world were no less hypocritical in their actions than were the Christian, and further evidence of the accuracy of that observation has been in the news daily for a long time.

Nobody in the entire world, as far as I can see, really buys into any of the religions, unless they are so poor that they grasp onto the charitable aspects of their respective creeds in order to survive. I can find no religion, anywhere in the world, that has significantly advanced the cause of morality in humans; it generally has a negative effect instead, providing their constituents with reasons to practice immorality, as long as it is directed against those in other sects.

So, I continue to wage my own personal battle against the ignorance of reality that all churches demand of their followers, and promote rationality and reason as an approach to life, rather than encouraging people to submit to what, to me, is just another lie disguised as something supposedly “good for me”…. and I find the following statement to be extremely accurate, not only in the context of when it was written, but today as well…..

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult, and left untried.” — Gilbert K. Chesterton (1874-1936), “What’s Wrong with the World
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It is unusual for me to find myself with nothing to say; I’ve never been unable or unwilling to form an opinion on almost anything, and being who I am, I’m not shy about sharing those opinions. But, I feel now, at the end of this morning’s effort, to be without anything useful to add. So, being the reasonable, rational person I am, I will stop now…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!