Xenophobia never smells very well….

Ffolkes,
Yesterday’s querulous chipmunk would feel right at home here today, though that word, querulous, doesn’t come close to my own feelings…. which, if you must know, are still flying high on the adrenaline-like rush of joy I felt, and feel, knowing my ordeal with Social Security is winding down to a conclusion….. It’s almost like graduation from culinary school, in 1987, in the intensity of the emotional outpouring; that’s the last time I experienced this kind of emotional release all at once…. it’s quite heady, and intoxicating, in a way….

I know now what all those British authors meant…. the British are so bloody good at suppressing emotion, they became quite good at writing about how those repressed feelings act when they come forth all at one time, describing in great detail the storm that takes one away from one’s normal self, and fills one with more feeling than can be easily handled….. I must say, it’s quite exhilarating, don’t y’know?…. Quite makes one feel like a barbarian at the gates, what?

As you can see, I’m practicing my English speech patterns, for when I’m able to begin traveling soon. I should also practice my Irish brogue and lilt, as that is where I intend to go first. I’m not sure whether to book a tour or not; I’m tempted to just step on a plane, fly over, and start exploring on my own….

I used to be good at that sort of exploration, and Ireland has the distinct advantage of not requiring visas, just a passport…. and I carry that with me always…. I’m glad this happened now, as I was afraid I would have to get the passport renewed next year with only the one visa stamp in it, from China… Now, when I turn it in for another, there will be at least one or two other stamps, indicating countries I’ve visited, to go along with the one from Beijing in  2004.

It’s also damn nice to be able to think about something other than austerity measures…. I know now why the Greeks are protesting, along with a number of other European countries, all of whom are experiencing tough economic times. Austerity is no fun, even when self-imposed…. it is an emotionally trying experience to have always be thinking about where the next meal comes from, to admit one’s own poverty, and ask for help, and it is easy to place the blame on government, as they are the ones who are considered responsible to fix such issues….

This is also a point of view which forgets, of course, that it is the public theft and corruption of those self-same officials that are responsible for the problems in the first place; also of course, they have no more clue of how to fix it than do the ones suffering from it….. Pathetic…

Ah well, the whole world is going through tough times, economically; it’s all part and parcel of the overall breakdown in society that naturally accompanies the breakdown in the environment, and the impending doom that awaits us all. At times, my plans for travel and sightseeing seem a bit optimistic, as there may not be much time in which to enjoy a peaceful enough world to even be able to move around without difficulty.

At this point, there is no way to tell how much longer things will remain fairly normal; once the breakdown actually gets going, it will proceed rapidly, but, the build-up to that point is slow. and deceptively, seemingly far away….. However, one must remember, objects in the mirror are closer than they appear…..

Now, how did I get from my own sheer joy to the depressive notion of apocalypse? And, in just a few paragraphs, too!…. Amazing…. I have to say, that was a particularly strange intro, ranging through several states, none of which are compatible, but, seemingly, worked together today toward a common cause, though, I have to admit, I have no clue what that might be….. I just work here….

Oh, wait, no I don’t…. I forgot, I’m retired…..  😆  I’m going to quit this torture, and go on to find a pearl worth discussing…. or at the least, a group of them that will make me use my brain, instead of just sitting on it, as it currently seems to be utilized….. Ah, the hell with it, I’m diving in…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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So, there I was, cruising through my database, when these five pearls stuck to my bag…. When I stopped to look at them, I found a pearl of great subtlety and depth, shining out at me in elegant apparent simplicity…. Now, you may look at these pearls, and have no clue as to what I saw in them…. or, conversely, the same gloss will strike your eye, and you will know instantly just why this is here…. Either way, it is sufficiently strange to fit in with the typical modus operandi that holds sway in this locus….. meaning, take it, or leave it…. but, do try to enjoy it in the process…. Otherwise, what’s the point, eh?….

“The hands that help are better far than the lips that pray.” — Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899)

“Love may not make the world go round, but I must admit that it makes the ride worthwhile.” — Sean Connery

“Pok pok pok, P’kok!” — Superchicken

In the midst of life we are in death. — Book of Common Prayer — The Burial Service

“Courage is the greatest of all the virtues. You cannot consistently practice any other virtues without being courageous.” — Maya Angelou

There you go…. classic wisdom in a strangely colored wrapper, served up with gusto and panache for your cogitative pleasure…. and, if not, well, we do sell Tums in the machine in the lobby…..
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In lieu of a rant today, I’m including this classic poem from one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, Ogden Nash. This light-hearted indictment of the corporate class is brilliant in its cultural accuracy and subtle irony, and goes as far toward chastising the 1% as any of my rants…. Enjoy!

Bankers Are Just Like Anybody Else, Except Richer

This is a song to celebrate banks,
Because they are full of money and you go into them and all
you hear is clinks and clanks,
Or maybe a sound like the wind in the trees on the hills,
Which is the rustling of the thousand dollar bills.
Most bankers dwell in marble halls,
Which they get to dwell in because they encourage deposits
and discourage withdrawals,
And particularly because they all observe one rule which woe
betides the banker who fails to heed it,
Which is you must never lend any money to anybody unless
they don’t need it.
I know you, you cautious conservative banks!
If people are worried about their rent it is your duty to deny
them the loan of one nickel, yes, even one copper engraving
of the martyred son of the late Nancy Hanks;
Yes, if they request fifty dollars to pay for a baby you must
look at them like Tarzan looking at an uppity ape in the
jungle,
And tell them what do they think a bank is, anyhow, they had
better go get the money from their wife’s aunt or ungle.
But suppose people come in and they have a million and they
want another million to pile on top of it,
Why, you brim with the milk of human kindness and you
urge them to accept every drop of it,
And you lend them the million so then they have two million
and this gives them the idea that they would be better off
with four,
So they already have two million as security so you have no
hesitation in lending them two more,
And all the vice-presidents nod their heads in rhythm,
And the only question asked is do the borrowers want the
money sent or do they want to take it withm.
Because I think they deserve our appreciation and thanks,
the jackasses who go around saying that health and
happiness are everything and money isn’t essential,
Because as soon as they have to borrow some unimportant
money to maintain their health and happiness they starve
to death so they can’t go around any more sneering at good
old money, which is nothing short of providential.

Ogden Nash
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“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained.” — John Powell

I have been sitting here now for about 15 minutes, staring at this pearl…. I’ve subjected it to the most rigorous logical and deductive tests I can devise, and run it past several cultural editing and evaluation experts…. It’s perfect. It is my new vision statement, it’s that good….

It occurs to me that you might be sitting there thinking, “Well, he’s finally done it… slipped off his leash for good, and is lost wandering in the big, bad world.” In that assessment, attractive as it might appear on the surface, you would be erroneous, because, you see, I CAN, and DO laugh at myself, at the slightest provocation, so, I am guaranteed a lifetime of free entertainment, and you aren’t, so there….

Well, I suppose, if you were to continue to observe me, and join in the laughter and fun, it could be entertaining for you…. for a while, at least. Of course, like any good dealer, the first couple of times are free…. after that, you will pay, believe me, you will pay…. heh, heh, heh….. (Did that come across as evil enough? I could throw in a bit more twisted humor to seal the deal….  😈  )

Sorry, didn’t mean to wander… somebody on Facebook recently asked if anyone remembered the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and I was, as far as I could see, the only one who not only knew who they were, but knew the first names of all three of the brothers…. Franklin, Phineas, and Fat Freddy…. and the Freak Brothers have been stuck in my head ever since….. along with all their tons of good advice for young freaks…. as we were fondly called by the mainstream folks back in the sixties…. and I’m done now with this atrocious run-on sentence/paragraph/unrecognizable literary device of dubious value….

Although the aphorisms that the brothers made popular had mostly to do with freak culture, to wit: pot smoking as a way of life, they were so structured and wise they are easily applied to other situations in reality, with equally favorable results in consequence of their use. For example, one of the most valuable statements commonly made in the stories was this: “It is far better to have pot, and no money, than to have money, and no pot.” This, as is obvious, can be stretched to include almost anything one may consider to be a staple item in Life, such as peanut butter, or toilet paper, or, flash drives…. Just substitute those words for “pot”, and the advice becomes incredibly relevant, and of great value in living successfully….

The FFFB comix, written, I believe, by R. Crumb, contained many other examples of advice and cultural acumen, such as the SDDMU, an economic principle that applies to any form of barter, or other economic transaction. The Standard Dope Dealer’s Mark Up is the price one demands to sell an ounce of pot, as determined by experience over time, in relation to what one paid for that ounce. The standard mark up is 330%, typically, which ensures that the original vendor is paid and happy, the dealer is compensated for his risk, and most importantly, the dealer smokes for free…. The customer is also happy, as he gets the desired comestible at the going price on the street, which is the best one can expect at that level of society….

Everybody involved gets what they want, except, naturally, the Man, who loses out on the taxes they could be making if they would legalize the substance, as well as the continuing loss of respect by the users of the pot, who become more disillusioned with established society as time goes on…. It is a double, or even triple loss for the police, as they also can’t seem to play a part in the issue that has any purpose other than wasting their time chasing something that has no place being illegal in the first place….

Hmm… it seems I was able to find a small rant in there… all it took was a short trip back to my radical political days at UC Berkeley, in 1968 & 69…. ah, memories! Those halcyon days of youth are sweet on recollection, though more compelling at the time, and not as sweet, but rather more bitter in flavor, as we carried on the fight against ignorance in society…. I suppose it kind of pulls my covers, and it becomes clear why I do rant about political and religious philosophy…. with my early intellectual training, it could hardly be otherwise.

Though I am less radical now, in some ways, I am still pretty far out of the mainstream, politically, religiously, and, I have no doubt, artistically (however small the amount of that quality I can claim….)…. I still favor rather radical treatment of the 1%, if and when we can bring them to heel; I don’t think they will give us any choice but to completely excise them from the gene pool, as they will not be willing to give up their stolen booty easily. Since they have shown absolutely zero compassion for anyone else in their insane grab for power and resources, I don’t feel any compunction at all about killing them, quickly and quietly, and then getting on with the business of healing the planet, and bringing reason to humanity…. One can always hope, can one not?…..

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to  do so.” — Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

Well, maybe hope is a trifle optimistic…..  😆
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Well, let’s see how it shapes up….. I am forced to admit, it ain’t bad, all in all. Not the usual, to be sure, but, then, what is? Suffice it to say, it’s done; so be it…..  I’m going to go have some fun….  😀   Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…..


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

gigoid

dozer3

Prudish pianos sit, forlorn in the mist….

Ffolkes,
The beast has fallen from the mizzen mast, and the jib is down. I was awakened by the laughing of clowns, injecting the first cup of coffee intravenously, to save time. It struck me as I stretched prior to beginning that I had not brushed the cactus, but it looked as if I had. Such thoughts being extraneous to our purpose here, they shall be deleted. Such is the fate of unwanted, unloved cogitations, cast adrift at their most vulnerable moment, salient only to themselves. Thus it began, strangely tart, but uncommonly picturesque. The band refused to play Mozart, so Copeland had to do….

If the above is any indication, it might be a good idea to buckle up…. the ride today promises to be a bit unsteady. Should be fun though… I haven’t felt this much strong whimsy in a while…. I can see the priests, pundits, and bankers running off screaming already, deathly afraid of my savage wit…. Sure, that’s the ticket…. Before I slip entirely under the waves of insanity here, let’s get on with the Pearl, shall we?…. It would be best, I think….
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All things considered, insanity may be the only reasonable alternative. — Smart Bee

This explains this morning’s attitude… I must have been percolating this idea in the back of my mind all night, and woke up with it still buzzing around in there… It makes sense, in a perverted sort of fashion. Especially after looking at what I wrote yesterday. Oh, not that it wasn’t good….in fact, it was one of my better efforts in a while, over 2500 words, all fairly potent. No, what I refer to is the subject matter of which I wrote. A lot of it consisted of indictments of mankind or society for crimes against citizens, serving to show just how bad things are when viewed pessimistically, and how insanity in the face of that seems almost necessary, to maintain any scrap of self-control. Insane may be crazy, but it IS a choice to stay true to oneself, rather than to give in to the insanity someone else may thrust upon us.

People often wonder why there are so many disturbed folks out there, which amuses me no end…. How could it be otherwise? The pressures on every person alive in today’s madcap world is intense and unrelenting; what surprises me is how FEW truly insane people there are to be found outside institutions. Most of the really, truly mad ones are in those institutions, where they have discovered they are safe from the depredations that society forces upon everyone outside the fences. They receive three hots and a cot, and all they have to do is keep from making any sense when the doctor is around, or when anybody with a nursing license is watching, and they have no worries. Free food, free TV, medical care, and all on somebody else’s dime. What a deal!

So, don’t look down your nose at those among us who have chosen the path of insanity in order to cope with the world at large. They may be on to something…. they certainly have a lot less to worry about than most of us do. All they have to do is be creative in their delusions, let out the inner demons now and again, dance a jig in the common room each night,  and they can be just as happy as a clam at high tide….

“Once you accept his assumptions even a madman seems reasonable.” — Smart Bee
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~ A wonderful poem by Audrey Hepburn ~ Written when asked to share her “beauty tips.” It was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.


I trot this out now and again, just because it is as beautiful as she was…..

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Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. — Robert Heinlein

This is a truism in my world. I read it many years ago, and after examining it extensively, have found it to be a perfect reflection of reality as I perceive it. It is a very useful statement for the understanding of all sorts of concepts regarding what happens in the political arena, serving as it does as sort of a program, allowing one to identify the players quickly and accurately, according to the role they assume and display for viewing by the public.

What is unfortunate about its veracity is how it seems to work in the modern world. It seems to me that of the two identified types of people, only the first type, those who wish everyone to be controlled, are the ones in office, or running for office. By nature and inclination, the second type does not involve themselves any more than necessary in the political process; it offends their sensibilities to even have to watch it played out in the public arena.

They do whatever is required to maintain their own independence from excessive control by others; that also is natural to them. This, sadly, leaves a great portion of humanity to its own devices, allowing the beloved ruling class, comprised solely of those who wish to control others, to abuse and oppress them to their heart’s content.

Ah well, Mr. Heinlein would suggest that those folks are only getting what they deserve for refusing to use what little intelligence they have to protect themselves, and, in at least that sense, he is correct. It just makes me sad to see so much pain and anguish among them when it is so unnecessary; I’m a sucker for hard-luck cases.

In the end,  I suppose it doesn’t matter at all in a cosmic sense; we all will do whatever it is we choose to do, and if that choice is to wear blinders, and bend over when asked, well, we would get exactly what we deserve from life…. Not me, though…. I like my butt just the way it is, thank you very much….

Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril.”
— Sun Tzu (fl. c. B.C. 500)
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“If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.” — Francis Bacon

Francis was a pretty smart man. Smart enough to have folks suspect him of writing a lot of Will Shakespeare’s works, apparently during his copious free time between joshing with the queen and the other courtesans, writing his philosophical treatises, and abusing the peasants. Of course, we see a lot of this quotes lying around, gathering dust, and a short examination of them reveals why…. most of them bore the reader to tears before they get to the point of what he wrote.

Yet this short little piece ascribed to him indicates more, as it is startlingly clear and absolutely accurate. It must have been written in his early years, as it also is in direct opposition to a lot of his later writings, which tend to rely on faith and religious principles he should have avoided altogether. As a matter of fact, now that I mention it, his writing over time seemed to become increasingly heavy and obscure, reflecting the confusion in his mind, no doubt, created by the disparity between the above obviously rational line of thought and the religious doctrine with which he became enamored in later years.

His later writing also demonstrates just how true the above line is, as over time, as he came to believe in more certainties, his writing and mind became more filled with doubts. In his youth, when he allowed himself to entertain doubt, he was clearly more certain of what he knew.

A good example of what to avoid, I would say, if one wishes to maintain any rationality in their thinking. It sure did mess up poor Frankie’s work…. I mean, who would WANT to be known as Willies ghost-writer, anyway?…..
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The path is the way.
The way is the truth.
It is found, but not held;
walked on, but not followed.
— Tao Teh Ching

When I was 16, my father took me on a trip to visit the UC Berkeley campus, to see if I really wanted to attend there after high school. We drove up from our home near the Central Coast of California to the burgeoning megalopolis on the east side of the SF Bay where Berkeley sits, with my eyes and mind on overdrive, taking in a completely new landscape, one completely foreign to my naive mind, which had spent most of the previous years living in a town of 750 souls. In retrospect, I don’t think that I could have made any other decision, as I was in the throes of intellectual ecstasy, taking in vast amounts of new perceptions and experiences as fast as I could swivel my head.

One of the places we visited on campus was the bookstore at the student union. Having been a book addict since the age of 9 or so, it was like falling into heaven. My dad had a hard time getting me to leave to go look at other stuff, as I was entranced by all the books I’d never seen.

On a table near the check-out stands, on a clearance table, was a slim book with a beautiful black and white image of a typical Chinese painting of mountains with bamboo shoots in the foreground, and some ideograms running down the side. The English title of the book, at the top, read merely, “Tao Teh Ching”. Visually, it was the most beautiful book I’d ever seen. Little did I know how much that simple tome would change my whole life, and the way I viewed the world.

It goes without saying at this point that I bought the book. On the drive home, I lost myself in Lao Tzu’s 88 verses that comprise the Tao Teh Ching, and have been lost in the beauty and truth they provide ever since. “The Way that can be known is not the true Way.” That is the first line of the book, as per that translation, and my mind was freed from all its previous restraints.

It was as if I had been awakened from a long sleep, and awoke with eyes so clear that only the truth could be seen. My father, I’m sure, thought I’d lost all sanity as I read, gasped, and made little moans of awakening surprise at the things that the book showed me. It is a day I will never forget, and one that, in my mind, set me on the scholar/warrior’s path that I have walked to this day…..
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I suppose by this time I should be accustomed to my own lack of organization when it comes to these Pearls. When I awoke this morning, an hour later than I thought I would (thank goodness for an hour of sleep that I wasn’t expecting!….), I was, as usual, unsure of where we might end up. As usual, I needn’t have worried, as it all came out okay, and didn’t take all that long. I’m content. Well, as content as I ever am, anyway. So, 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!

Always twinkle before lifting…..

Ffolkes,
As time goes by, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep myself from becoming homicidal. I’m sure it is a problem common to every man; it is, after all, a part of our nature as natural born killers. Denying that part of us is foolish and dangerous. Without the proper understanding, and therefore control, of this part of being a human male, it can jump up and bite one at the most inappropriate times. I know, because it has happened both to me, and in front of me, on numerous occasions…..

Now, happening in front of me is not particularly a problem for me, unless I am the object, or target, of the other person’s violent outburst. Being the target happened frequently when I worked in mental health, due to the nature of the mental conditions of the individuals with whom I worked. Typically, they had poor impulse control, and when they became angry, for whatever reason, it could often lead them to become violent toward others; it was part of my job to let that other be me most of the time. I learned to deal with these situations well, and do not suffer any particular fear or anxiety over facing them any longer, though it isn’t one of my favorite pastimes. Even when one is not afraid of violence, its presence is not any fun whatsoever, for anyone involved.

But, even worse than being involved in peripheral violence aimed at others, or just random outbreaks, is the violence that I am tempted to carry out myself on others, every time some political or religious pundit opens their mouths to spew out more lies to me and the American public. I am so tired of being lied to…..

I’m tired of that kind of condescension, that assumes that I don’t hear the lie, or that I won’t do anything about it. It pisses me off the most that they are right, at least for most people. Most folks don’t hear the lies, or if they do, they don’t do anything about it. Hell, I’ve seen seemingly intelligent people go out and vote for someone they KNOW just lied to them, mere moments before….. it is disgusting, and infuriating, to say the least……

The worst part is there is nothing to do…. I keep speaking up about it, and folks nod their heads in agreement, then go out and do the same damn thing they’ve always done, just because they don’t know, or don’t have the courage to do anything else….. it’s pathetic, and it makes me want to buy guns and go shoot them at people until they start to wake up…… Maybe it won’t do that, but I will certainly feel better, so, hey, it’s worth a shot, don’t you think?…..

Well, maybe not just now…. we’ll go Pearl instead….. shall we?….
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“Hurting other people unnecessarily is the only “sin”. All the others are made up nonsense. (Hurting one’s self isn’t a sin, it’s just stupid).” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long

Original sin…. who said it was? And why does anyone believe it? (That’s me asking…and not rhetorically, but literally…)

I saw Robert Heinlein’s quote, as related above, about sins the other day, and it got me to thinking about the concept upon which much of Christianity is based, to wit: Original Sin. Supposedly, as a metaphor, God made a snake, which talked Eve (whom God had refused to educate about snakes, merely saying “do as I say”) into talking Adam into taking a bite of the apple, which oddly enough (it’s hard to indicate a raised eyebrow in prose), was the metaphor for the knowledge of Good and Evil….. Then, when they had done so, this merciful god proceeded to punish them, with a most severe sentence for a first offense, for disobeying his decree (thereby blaming them for what he, being omnipotent, already knew would happen…. He set it up that way, in a lose-lose scenario, you can’t claim omnipotence and say he didn’t know it was likely…..). What a cruel, hateful set-up! It all sounds so….. human, doesn’t it?

This, to me, has always seemed like a very vicious thing for God to do…. very childish, in most ways that count.  And don’t give me all that crap about free will and choosing God’s love…. it’s not free if one is punished for using it, and God doesn’t love Man, not if he goes around setting him up to lose like that. You will note, that the knowledge that this merciful, loving God didn’t want us to have was the knowledge of Good and Evil… which, if we did not have it, we could not judge whether what God did to us was good, or evil, now could we?  Int other words, God did not want us to know that He was playing us for fools…. another scenario that, according to the creationists, was completely his idea….

I remember distinctly when I first heard the story of the Garden of Eden, when I was about four or so years old… and I remember thinking, at the end, why did God put the apple tree in Eden, if he didn’t want Adam or Eve to eat from it?  I didn’t know anything about the metaphorical nature of the story then… even I wasn’t that precocious, smart as I am. But I do remember thinking that it didn’t seem quite fair to put it there, and then tell them not to eat it. Even at age four, the question “Why?” was at the forefront of my thoughts when I heard the story, but nobody would ever answer me when I asked, other than to parrot the eternal, “God works in mysterious ways….”

Even a four year old knows a crock of crap when he hears it….. I didn’t fall for it then, and I still can’t seem to find anyone who can give me an answer that doesn’t make God look like a cranky five-year old who needs a nap….

“God is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. It says so right here on the label. If you have the kind of mind that can believe all three of those things at once, then I have a wonderful deal in a bridge for you! Cash only, no checks….” — Robert Heinlein, The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
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Conjure with ’em,–
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Julius Caesar — Act i, Sc. 2

Not much to comment here, other than to say, “Puke!”….. All I can say is, teaching Shakespeare as classical literature seems to me to be practice for convincing voters that a politician is going to be working to help his constituents, not spending his time lining his pockets with gelt…. in other words, not bloody likely!…. ‘Nuff said…. Hell, it doesn’t even rhyme! Doesn’t even try!….

Like to the Pontic sea,
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne’er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont,
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne’er look back, ne’er ebb to humble love,
Till that a capable and wide revenge
Swallow them up.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Othello — Act iii, Sc. 3

In a mathematical proof, one would say at this point, Q.E.D….. I’ll just add, “What? What did he say?”  Long-winded way to say “I’m pissed off…”, don’t you think?….  What is it about people that needs things to be complicated? I just don’t get it…..
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Halfway down the stairs
Is a stair
Where I sit.
There isn’t any
Other stair
Quite like
It.
I’m not at the bottom,
I’m not at the top;
So this is the stair
Where
I always
Stop.
— A.A. Milne

Lovely. That’s all….. just enjoy….
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politics, n:  From the Latin ‘poly’, meaning many, and ‘tic’, meaning little bloodsucking insects. — Smart Bee

Smart Bee was smarter than usual when it came up with this one… A perfect description of a modern talking head. It’s almost enough to send me off on a rant…. but, I’m tired this morning, from fighting pain for the last couple of days, and can’t seem to find enough outrage in me to get started… Oh, I’m sure it’s there; all I’d have to do is go read the news first…. but, not today. I’m going to slap on a Lidocaine patch to try to ease the lower back & hip grinding, take an extra pain pill, and try to get it to ease up a bit. My views on the current state of the circus we call election year are fairly well documented anyway…. just breeze back through just about  any random Pearl over the last few months, and you’ll find more than one rant that can best be summarized by the following statement from Mr. Jefferson, one that I believe implicitly….

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William S. Smith, Paris, Nov.  13, 1787
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“[In the 60’s] there was madness in any direction, at any hour …  You could strike sparks anywhere.  There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was `right’, that we were winning …

And that, I think, was the handle — the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil.  Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that.  Our energy would simply `prevail’.  There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs.  We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave ….

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — the place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” — Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

When the 60’s began, I was a fifth-grader living with my family on an Army base in Washington, near Tacoma. One year later, I was in sixth grade in a small town (population: 686, counting my family), adjusting to being the new kid in school, again. By 1970, I was a student at UC Berkeley, marching with thousands of other hippies against the war in Vietnam…. In between I entered high school (and puberty), graduated as a three-year-and-sport letter athlete/valedictorian (sports and studying were less frightening than dating….), and left my tiny little home town, now with over 800 residents, for the University of California at Berkeley, where there were over 42,000 students, not counting the city of Berkeley, a significantly populous part of the megalopolis that the East Bay had already become.

Hunter Thompson was a more active participant than I in many of the activities in the early part of the decade, but I experienced enough of what was happening in society at the time to say that what he says here is quite accurate. A great deal of the power that kept those demonstrations of outrage against the system going was the exact energy he describes, a feeling of harmonious invincibility, a complete faith in the power of human love united in one purpose. There were no enemies to fight, other than apathy and indifference; those who opposed what we were engaged in manifesting would be enlightened by the very purity of our intent, and the rightness of our actions, and join us in marching on to Utopia.

It was a very heady wine, and the after-effects have not really disappeared altogether. That is some small comfort to me, as I myself get old enough to feel a lessening of my strength in a physical sense, if no other. Such forms of energy can fill up those empty fuel cells that age has emptied over time, with a different, but serviceable form of alternate energy. Maybe it won’t help me run fast any more, but I can think faster than ever, and that is a distinct advantage, to be sure…..
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Such as it is, it is…. I kinna do morrre…. I’d say it will glide fairly well, if not fly strongly, and that will suffice…. It must, because I’m done, finito, serioso, and outta here. Wow… I’m driving my spell checker crazy here…. kind of fun, actually. But, enough whimsy, it’s time to go do some actual productive stuff… even we procrastinators have last minute deadlines we have to observe….

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!

Side effects of eloquence, no charge….

Ffolkes,
SIGH….. I know…. one look at the big sigh, and you’re all, “So, what’s his problem?”  Typical…. just kidding. No, the sigh was for real, actually. It was in reaction to a thought I often have at this moment, a thought that can determine the entire day’s direction. Of course, while I was typing, that thought went completely away, and now I’m stuck in the middle of this paragraph with no subject matter, which is about par for my course this early in the morning. How, you are asking, will he ever pull himself out of this one? Well, I’ll tell you, he has no frigging idea at this point. He’s trying hard not to panic, but I’m afraid his effort isn’t getting very far, because he’s about to FREAK OUT!  Shit! Damn it! Now I’m pissed… hold on, be right back….

As you can see, he did. Freak out, that is. So badly, he was forced to take a break, and asked me to sit in for a moment while he pulls himself together. Who, you are asking, are you? Well, you see, I can’t tell you that, or I’d have to kill you, and we don’t want to leave our readers laying about the premises all dead, now, do we? No, we don’t. So, just take your curiosity and shove it quietly back into your back pocket, and we’ll just forget you asked, okay? Better for everyone that way…… that’s better…..

Oh, look, he’s back! It’s been fun, y’all…… ta then!  

Who the hell was that? What? No, I didn’t ask him to sit in, did he say I did? Why, that asshole! No, I have no idea who that might have been; I just had to go wipe up the mess I made when I freaked, and when I come back, there’s stuff all over the screen. Gad! It’s getting so you can’t even trust your own hallucinations!

Fuck this, let’s go Pearl, okay? I gotta get outta here for a while….. C’mon, follow me, I know a shortcut…..
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“[Spirituality is] being able to see anything in a context. If you’re stuck in something that you’re trying to do, you step back and say, “What is this about?” Put it in a larger context. This is what the Gestalt psychiatrists call “insight.” It’s what other psychiatrists call “reframing.” It’s the ability to do this, rather than being stuck in a particular pattern like a computer. This kind of thinking is always in the back of science — theories are provisional. If they don’t work, one steps back and takes another look at them.” — Ian Marshall, Salon 2/18/00

A voice of reason speaks! Of course, there is little hope that anyone is, or will be, listening. First attributed twelve years ago, this statement seems a balanced response to any questions or arguments one might have in the discussions (if such they may be called) that swirl and eddy around the subject of creationism vs. evolution. It accurately points out the mind-set, the attitude, as it were, that one needs to approach any question of science, or philosophy, or religion, or any other subject, that is essential to finding any viable answers to the inquiry. Any picture needs to be beheld in the proper perspective, in order to fully see the characteristics of which it is comprised; when viewed from a different perspective, the picture changes, and may no longer be an accurate representation of what is real, thus altering how we can deal with it.

The seeking of this perspective is a quality of inquiry that is too often overlooked by the proponents of creationism. The view of events and purported evidence that support their position does not yield itself well to such examination; the evidence upon which they are basing their belief shifts about, or disappears entirely if viewed from any viewpoint other than the one from which it is presented. This is due for the most part to the inability of these proponents to verify the evidence by independent means, or by reproducing the evidence anew in another experiment. They can’t do that, because the evidence has no real existence in reality, but is rather based on assumptions that cannot be verified. Generally, pointing this out tends to provoke a certain apoplexy in them, and it’s best at that point to leave them to their own devices, so as not to annoy them further by intruding upon their fantasy with your reality……

“If a little knowledge is dangerous, where is the man who has so much as to be out of danger?” — Thomas Henry Huxley
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ABSENCE
We’ve looked at the whole Solar System:
Mars, Venus, the Moon – you can list ’em.
Wherever we roam,
There’s nobody home.
Perhaps they stepped out, and we missed ’em?

Well, perhaps it isn’t exactly on a par with say, Keats, or Yeats, or Emily D, but I like it…. it speaks to the Bozo in me, as well as to the scientist, and the romantic. Not bad for a simple limerick, eh?

Now you can see why school was never really much of a difficult academic challenge for me, but rather a complex social challenge. Facts, philosophy, language, math, science, I could handle all that just fine, as my grades indicated so well. But, throw me into the mix at a dance, and I was mostly clueless, though not completely, coming from a large family. Having sisters did keep me from the worst social gaffes; but sisters aren’t known for their support and encouragement of younger brothers. In fact, one might say that ridicule and laughter are their preferred methods of emotional interaction with them. But, they didn’t want me embarrassing them in front of their friends, so a minimal amount of helpful information was given (with appropriate physical reinforcement) in that vein….

I also had the educationally neutral, yet socially advantageous status as an athlete, eventually earning varsity letters in three sports, for three years out of four. The before and after game activities were my primary social proving ground, my laboratory, so to speak; needless to say, it took me a long time to really learn anything substantially accurate regarding human interaction on more than a superficial level. In short, I was an engineer, in spirit, if not in actual practice…. pathetically naive about relationships, and women, in both the general, and the specific senses.

Then, I went to Berkeley…. I don’t think I need to say that my education, and even enlightenment in some cases, in social issues of every type, personal, political, relational, general, and specific, assumed a much larger importance, a much larger portion of my time and attention. Simply put, it blew what passed for my mind into tiny pieces of shattered illusions (to use the charming vernacular of the time….).

I’d guesstimate that 95% of what I had believed or thought I knew about most everything to do with society, and how people interact with one another, was either out-of-step, untrue, unreliable, or simply made up nonsense, that seemed to have no real purpose other than to allow some folks to manipulate others with more facility. Let me tell you, that first year away from home was an eye-opener, for sure and for certain….. and I thank my younger self almost daily for deciding on Berkeley the moment I first saw the campus, riding with my Dad in a tiny little Renault compact in 1967…. It was the only college I applied to, or wanted to go to…. and, fortunately for my mind/self, I did….
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“If you wish to make a man your enemy, tell him simply, You are wrong. This method works every time.” — Henry C. Link

This statement is another of those that I almost passed on, thinking it was too obvious a point to make for good discussion. But, as is often the case when I think that at first, a second look at the idea stimulated further thought….

For example, the question occurs to me to ask, “Well, if this is so, what is there in men that makes them so easy to manipulate like this?”  For that is what it is, a simple manipulation. Such a statement as  “you are wrong”, when uttered with confidence and surety,  doesn’t even have to be true; the mere fact that you have said it will activate most men’s towering ego, which, automatically it seems, refuses to believe that it CAN be wrong, much less accept being told so by anyone at all……

Generally, there is no need to even offer any proof of such an assertion. The ego of most who seek argument will blow right past that key step in finding truth, and head right on into outraged anger at the one who would be so rude as to question them. Actually, watching some folks go through the mental steps to this outrage can be pretty entertaining, especially when they turn all those colors in their faces as their anger grows, and they become increasingly apoplectic in response…. fascinating shades the human skin displays when aroused!…..

Of course, once made, you usually have an enemy for life, so it is often wise to withhold such applications of control over others. Allowing oneself to indulge in this sort of manipulation, while satisfying and amusing in the short run, often leads to later regrets, at having to deal with the consequences repeatedly over time (most folks have a long memory for being told they are wrong; they never forget, and they never forgive…. one would think they had nothing better to do…..)

This is another lesson to be learned in these interactions, that compassion for ignorance is not always misplaced, rare as it may be to find an ignoramus deserving of it. For myself, I find it hard to be compassionate when the other person chooses to be ignorant; whether due to fear of the unknown, faith-based denial of reality, or simple laziness, it all tends to piss me off, and I’m not shy about sharing that with them.

But, for those whose lack of understanding comes from an inherent inability to comprehend the necessary information, I am willing to show some tolerance, and make the attempt to educate them….. they can’t help using the deck of cards they have, even if it is missing a jack and half of the queens……

“Anybody who wants religion is welcome to it, as far as I’m concerned — I support your right to enjoy it.  However, I would appreciate it if you exhibited more respect for the rights of those people who do not wish to share your dogma, rapture or necrodestination.” — Frank Zappa, “The Real Frank Zappa Book”

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne
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“[The Equal Rights Amendment] is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” — Pat Robertson

🙂    So, where would you like me to begin with this? ….. Take your time…..  I know, hard to pick, isn’t it?  A few days ago, I found and included here another of Pat’s verbal miscues. That one was amusing mostly because it was so obviously his own natural stupidity that overcame his media chops, turning his attempt at deep philosophy into a soliloquy that Geraldo Rivera would have rejected. It wasn’t even necessary there to even point out what was wrong about it; sheer nonsense needs no explanation.

But this statement is another kettle of old stinky fish altogether. This one reaches for the heights; it seeks to climb the highest peak of human stupidity, and seriously would like to drag all of us along with him, into that clear air, free of any distracting truths. The sheer, complete refusal to even glance in the direction of Reality that this indicates in the speaker is, to me, absolutely astounding. I have watched with resignation and chagrin as the world has, step by step, little by little, “dumbed down”; the percentage of public acts that approach the ludicrous grows larger every day, hastened by the unstoppable march of population growth.

The mathematics of demographics leaves no room for argument with the FACT that average human intelligence decreases as the population increases; it is a proven equation, and not arguable in the slightest. The numbers simply cannot lie. Society is getting dumber. Deal with it…..

And prepare yourselves, as such egregiously insane and ignorant statements as this will no doubt become more frequent, as the number of folks who haven’t a clue, or a care, as to what may or may not be real, grows beyond all expectations, keeping the rest of us busy cleaning up the messes they make. Oh well, it will give us something to do until the inevitable result of such a trend takes effect, at which point the planet will be able to get back to normal, without the infestation of self-destructive mammalians all over the available surface space….
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`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.’

Is there anyone who doesn’t know who wrote this? Or hasn’t heard of he Snark and the Boojum? If so, I pity them, and wish they could have more fantasy in their lives, for they obviously have not had enough thus far, if these names ring no bells for them, and bring no smiles of fond remembrance of childhood days, reading or listening to tales of Wonderland.  Every child needs to experience times of joy in dreams, and flights of unfettered imagination, for without it, they are ill prepared to face reality with any hope of success.

gigoid has spoken….. so be it….
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Any more signs of that asshole that jumped in here at the intro? Good….. I guess I’m going to have to put a password protection on my keyboard for those times I have to leave it unattended suddenly. Of course, since he was most likely a figment out of my own imagination, he could probably find the password in my mind anyway, so that won’t work…. hmm. I’ll have to think about this…. I don’t want to up my meds enough to completely eliminate such hallucinations; sometimes they’re the only company I have for days and days… but, I also can’t have them usurping this blog; it’s counter-productive at minimum, and probably not a completely healthy situation, at least not for me. Can’t say how it affects them…. I never ask, I never tell….

Now that I have thoroughly convinced you of my complete and utter insanity, I can move on to bigger things…… and, as I’m sure you will agree, it’s about damn time….. Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!