“We fear things in proportion to our ignorance of them.”
~~ Titus Livius ~~
Hubble Space Telescope 25th Anniversary Image
Long shadows fell across the courtyard, as the setting sun fell down behind the roofs of the city, spread out below the house on the hill. As she watched the shadows lend mystery to the peaceful scene, a small shape appeared at her side. “Are you crying, again, Mummy?” “No, dear, just enjoying the sunset.” “Is there news of my father? Did you hear from….?” Worry tinged the small voice, so she put some confidence into her reply, “No, we’ve heard nothing, but, it’s still early. There is still time.” I’m worried, mummy.” “All will be well, my child; you father is wise, and will come home soon….” As darkness, fell, they stood, watching the sun disappear behind the far off hills….
We’ll leave the two waiting there, while we take this opportunity to say, “Good morrow to you”, and let you know that’s all you get today. I’m not in the correct place for ANY type of creativity, so, we’ll have to make to with nonsense and fictional wisdom. Not that any of that is new, but, hey, it’s now legal, at least. I didn’t have time to secure all the proper permits, so, the intro has to be short today. So short, the above fictional opening, and this explanatory paragraph (or, is that exculpatory?…. you tell me…) is the last you will see today in this section…. I’ve been ordered to end it here, by the duly constituted authorities, no less, so, I guess I will….
Shall we Pearl?
“Why explore the Universe? It is almost ironic that we should have to ask this question because it is almost as though we have to apologize for our highest attributes… we went to Mars, not because of our technology, but because of our imagination.” — Norman Cousins
Okay, I’m busted. Taz is my favorite cartoon character, simply because he is who he is, and he is nobody else…. Enjoy!….
Everyone’s favorite Tazmanian Devil
As might be surmised, no fresh rant today. Instead, I’ll sublimate, with this somewhat lengthy diatribe fro 2013….
“Though I have said above that all men by nature are equal, I cannot be supposed to understand all sorts of equality. Age or virtue may give man a just precedence. Excellency of parts and merit may place others above the common level … And yet all this consists with the equality which all men are in, in respect of jurisdiction or dominion, one over another.” — John Locke
Whew! As an explanation of the opening of the Declaration of Independence, this hits the top of the pomposity scale, but, all in all, is quite clear, and correct in its conclusions. It’s merely a long-winded way of saying that all men are not created with equal abilities or resources, but, they all are created with equal rights under the law…. hopefully. (That last qualifier is my contribution to the idea, prompted by my opinion of most of those involved in the justice system as, shall we say, less than completely honest, and less than completely impartial?) (I mean, really, ffolkes…. we choose our judges from the ranks of LAWYERS!…. How many honest, impartial candidates are we liable to find?…. Not many, I assure you…. it just doesn’t go with the territory….)
“Once I belonged to a group that really had THE WORD. I fought like hell for them. But another group came along and exposed the word of my group as shallow and degenerate. They had a better word. So I quit the first group and lost all the friends I had made and I joined up with this new group. I fought like hell for them. But another group came around. They exposed the word of my group as false and materialistic. Their word was very much better. So I quit the second group and lost all the friends I had made. And I joined up with this new group. I fought like hell for them. Till this one guy came along and proved that there wasn’t any word at all. That I should go off as an individual and grow! So I quit the last group and lost all the friends I had made. And now I sit home alone all day and all I do is grow. It would be nice to join up with some others who feel the way I do.” — J. Feiffer
One of the reasons we humans have such a hard time with the concept of equality lies in our own level of ignorance regarding ourselves. There is a delicate balance between what a person thinks of themselves, and what the world knows about them to be true…. If the two are not at least within shouting distance of each other, that person’s life will be filled with pain and controversy, as his own self-image is repeatedly destroyed by reality…. And, our self-image can be a very difficult thing to maintain because, as humans, we need the company and approval of other humans. The paragraph above by Mssr. Feiffer describes very well the philosophical journey that many take while learning to assess their own place in the world…. it’s kind of pathetic, in a way, but typical for all that….
“In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem, we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.” — Jane Haddam
This lack of understanding of self is what allows most humans to be controlled by others. The others, by whom I mean the BRC, the priestly hierarchies, and all those with no compunctions about how they go about achieving their own ends, find those who have no self-knowledge quite easy to fool, to convince, and to control. They merely tell them what they wish to hear, no matter how outrageously false it may be, and the blindness of the ignorant will supply all the belief required, because it is what they WANT to hear…..
A man, or a woman, who knows themselves cannot be fooled into that kind of acceptance of anything without compelling evidence; their self-image allows them the confidence to make their own decisions, rather than relying on someone else to do it for them. Because they are honest themselves, they are able to differentiate truth from fiction, and thus cannot be fooled into accepting what they know to be false.
Their own self-honesty acts as a protection of sorts against that sort of manipulation, while at the same time giving them the freedom to exercise the right to make their own choices. Those who do not believe they are strong, are not….. This is why people are not equal, not in abilities; it is also why it is important that the law ensures that they at least are granted equal rights with everyone else… This at least makes an attempt at leveling the playing field, while acknowledging that a great many of the players are going to cheat…..
“For every beauty there is an eye somewhere to see it. For every truth there is an ear somewhere to hear it. For every love there is a heart somewhere to receive it.” — Ivan Panin
Whenever I look at humanity as a whole, I am often filled with a sadness that comes from my own knowledge of science, sociology, psychology, and extensive experience in Reality. The sadness is because I know how much promise humanity holds, such promise as to make the gods weep in envy of the beauty we are able to create with our imagination…. and I know that our own foolishness is very close to shutting off that promise forever, or at least, for this period of the history of the universe…. I suspect we will have another opportunity to interact with reality, though it may not be this particular version of it….
But, there are just too many of the selfish, unfeeling, manipulative, power-hungry assholes mixed in with all of us relatively nice ffolkes, intent on grabbing all the power and money, which they equate with happiness, that they can during their short stay here. They are, unknowingly, rushing us all to an early death, seemingly, without caring, as they do not believe they are vulnerable to the same dangers as the rest of us…. Ignorance is firmly tied to belief, and even strong evidence does not convince those who will not see it…. All I can say is, it’s a damn shame…..
“The improver of knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties, blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” — Thomas Huxley (1825-1895)
Luckily, there are still a few of us out there who don’t buy into the BS that most of society goes along with…. and a great many of us are blogging…. It gives me a bit of hope, though not much; there is a LOT of historical momentum to overcome for anything to change, and I am not aware of it happening, try as I might to see it. But, every time I read more blogs, I see more ffolkes who have a clue, so, I guess I’ll go so far as to cling to that one little hopeful sign, and keep on preaching to the choir…. It’s about all I can do these days to try to help the situation, and little as it may be, I’ll keep on truckin’ down that lonesome road…..
“The disappointment of manhood succeeds to the delusion of youth: let us hope that the heritage of old age is not despair.” — Benjamin Disraeli (Earl Beaconsfield) (1805-1881) — Vivian Grey, Book viii, Chap. iv
On a nonsense day, who else?….
I’ll Get One Tomorrow
Barber, barber, come and get me;
Hairy torrents irk and fret me.
Hair and hair again appears;
And climbs like ivy round my ears.
Hair across my collar gambols;
Down my neck it wayward ambles.
Ever down it trip it tickles;
Yes, where it trips it tickles.
Barber dear I wish I knew;
Why i do not visit you.
Why I grudge the minutes ten;
In your smiling den.
Why I choose to choke on hair;
Rather than to mount your chair.
Men no busier than I;
Weekly to your office hie.
Men no busier than myself;
Confront the armory on your shelf;
Men no wealthier than me;
Gladly meet your modest fee.
And for a fraction of a dollar;
Keep the jungle off their collar.
I alone am shy and flustered;
Solitary, cowardly custard.
Shaggy as a prize angore;
Overrun with the creeping flora.
Barber, barber, you’re in luck;
The bell has rung, the hour has struck.
Sloth strong, the hair is strong;
I cannot stand it any long.
Barber, barber here I come;
Shake up the odorous bay rum.
Bring on your shears your scythes, your snippers;
Bring on your crisp electric driers.
Employ a dozen extra sweepers;
Bring giant harvesters and reapers.
I warn you a bumper crop;
Waits to overwhelm your shop.
Barber, barber, be verbose;
Be anything but clip me close.
Leave me razored, leave me scissored
Leave me hairless, as a lizard;
Barber, barber, single and scald;
Barber can’t you make me bald?
I will be the happiest of men;
And never think of you again
~~ Ogden Nash ~~
“Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.”
~~ Homer ~~
Smart Bee is, apparently, on strike; the above from Homer was found two days ago, and that’s all I’ve been able to persuade out of it…. Rather than fuss with it, here is a pearl from the archives….
Today has turned into a traditional Pearl… though the intro is shorter than usual, the rest of it follows format perfectly, with a rant in section one, a classic poet, and poem, in section two, and a third section, which obviously is supposed to be an old-school grouping of pearls…. I confess that I keep a stash of quotes from Smart be, to the tune of about eighty-seven pages of a document, so I’m not as short of quotes as I’d thought to be. I’m going to use it for a couple days, & let the real Smart Bee have a vacation, to see if that will fix the corruption in the file….
I know, wishful thinking, but, it’s worth a shot… If it works, it will piss Murphy off, so I’d do it that way anyway, for just that reason…. Any who, today’s group will be VERY random, so bear with me…. Buckle up, please, we can’t proceed until all seat-belts are fastened securely…. insurance rules…
“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” — Robert Heinlein
“Life is a long lesson in humility.” — James M. Barrie
“Ridicule is the best test of truth. — Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773)
“If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself. What isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.” — Hermann Hesse, _Damian_, 1919
But the sunshine aye shall light the sky,
As round and round we run;
And the truth shall ever come uppermost,
And justice shall be done.
— Charles Mackay (1814-1889) — Eternal Justice, Stanza 4
“There are two sentences inscribed upon the Delphic oracle, hugely accommodated to the usages of man’s life: “Know thyself”, and “Nothing too much”; and upon these all other precepts depend.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Consolation to Apollonius
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” — Smart Bee
Now, that’s not bad at all…. a very cogent grouping, I think…. Let yourself flow with it, and you’ll end up in a place you will like, I guarantee… If not, well, that’s okay too…. some of us need to let things stir around a while before consuming it… or something…. Ah hell, just listen to the last one, and all will be well….
I wasn’t sure, given my state of mind, whether I’d get done; stubbornness has SOME value, I guess. Since it’s done, I’ll shove the guilt into a dark hole, and post it anyway. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, as long as I can’t find a reason not to do so….
Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…
When I works, I works hard.
When I sits, I sits loose.
When I thinks, I falls asleep.
Which is Why….
Sometimes I sits and thinks,
I just sits.
gigoid, the dubious
PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.
“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch
À bientôt, mon cherí….