Kindly inform the sublime Pasha his hot dog is done….

Ffolkes,

“How could the drops of water know themselves to be a river?

Yet the river flows on.”

~~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery ~~

pluto-from-charon_thetimes3

Europa’s Ice Wolf watching Pluto from Charon

https://europasicewolf.wordpress.com/2015/07/26/smashing-the-final-planetary-frontier/


Good morning…. The odds on that have improved a bit, thankfully…. Mind and body yearn for more sleep; five hours, though welcome, doesn’t quite make up for the weeks of 2-3/day I’ve just gone through. I have to admit, though, more, in this case, is better. Not that I’m a bundle of energy, by any means, but, it is nice to not have to summon my courage just to stand up….

Today’s Pearl promises to be something of an anomaly, though why that should be is still unclear…. It’s a sort of background hum with which we are familiar, from the identical phenomenon in my nervous system; when it’s there, tension reigns, though the underlying reason seems hidden…. It is only when it stops we note we’ve been so tense; the relief is immense. Sadly, there isn’t much that relieves it for my nervous system; for Pearls, I have yet to even identify the root cause, much less figure out how to get it to stop…. So, we end up with weird, which may not seem all that odd, but, trust me, it will be…

Since I can’t seem to find much of anything to say here, and don’t want to completely bore anyone in the intro section, we’ll take this slow on the road…. Luigi! Fire that sucker up, & let’s hit it! Time’s a wastin’…..

Shall we Pearl?….

“Learning isn’t a means to an end; it is an end in itself.”

~~ Robert A. Heinlein ~~


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stolen child

    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a You Tube video, which I enjoyed so much I’m including it here today. It’s a verbal performance of a W.B. Yeats poem, The Stolen Child, one of the most famous poems in all of English literature. The accompanying original video and music are the perfect enhancement to the poem’s beauty, and though short, one of the most intense doses of beauty I’ve ever been fortunate to experience…. I hope you enjoy it….

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The Stolen Child – W.B. Yeats

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We the People...

“Justice is incidental to law and order.” — J. Edgar Hoover

For someone of my ilk, such a statement, with its inherent arrogance and sense of entitlement, is an obvious invitation to rant; one might say, metaphorically, it’s a red flag to my bullish intellect…. But, that would leave me open to too many bad puns on referring to myself as a bull, or with bovine qualities to my thought processes… I certainly hope NOT…. Nonetheless, whichever metaphor we end up with, if any, I’m going to rant…. J. Edgar is just too much of an asshole to pass up the chance to chew on him. He was SUCH an asshole, I am prompted to pearl….

“He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends.” — Oscar Wilde

I’m sure Oscar must have been thinking of J. Ed; I think he met him as a child…. I mean, J. Edgar was a child…. Oscar was already nearly dead at the time…. In fact, it’s a little known historical fact the sight of J. Edgar’s face at the age of three, was the event which actually kicked Oscar over the edge…. (Little known = I made it up…. But, imagine it. Remember J. Edgar’s face when he was at the FBI? At three he must have been a truly scary sight; probably never had to buy a Halloween mask in his life….)

Okay, I’ll stop picking on the dead FBI guy. We’ll get back to what he said above, which, as far as I can tell, is just about as far removed, philosophically, ethically, and morally, from the ideas and concepts involved in the US Constitution, as it can possibly get. I don’t believe the framers of the Constitution had that sort of brutal single-mindedness in mind when they drafted the document; it’s completely foreign to the same view of, well, everything…. The intent of Mason, Franklin, Jefferson, Paine, and the rest was to secure Justice for the people, not place it in the hands of the faceless myrmidons who have taken over the police forces, not to mention the courts, of this country.

“All I kin say is when you finds yo’self wanderin’ in a peach orchard, ya don’t go lookin’ for rutabagas.” — Kingfish

Yesterday, when I began this rant, I had the firm intention of dissecting Hoover, and the ridiculous, self-centered attitudes he espoused, which have, sadly, become the modus operandi of almost every police force in this country…. The more I think on it, however, the greater is my feeling of futility, as I so often feel as if I’m preaching to the choir when I rant; the people who NEED to see, and think about this material, almost never do see it, as they’re not interested in changing their minds. Hell, most of them aren’t even aware they HAVE a mind….

So, I’m gonna sublimate, to please myself. We’ll find some statements, about politicians, dogma dogs, snakeheads, myrmidons, pimps, and all the other assholes who are dragging us all down to Hell with them…. Let’s see what SB can come up with today to poke a few holes in their misguided sense of adequacy…. Ah, what the hell; we’ll poke a LOT of holes today…. How about, say, oh, 13 holes?…. Hope they bleed a lot…

Was there a time when dancers with their fiddles
In children’s circuses could stay their troubles?
There was a time they could cry over books,
But time has set its maggot on their track.
Under the arc of the sky they are unsafe.
What’s never known is safest in this life.
Under the skysigns they who have no arms
Have cleanest hands, and, as the heartless ghost
Alone’s unhurt, so the blind man sees best.

~~ Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), “Was There A Time” ~~


“I like the way ONLY their mouths move…. They look like DYING OYSTERS” — Zippy the Pinhead

“The public demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no certainties.” — H. L. Mencken (1880-1956), “Prejudice”

“Our “neoconservatives” are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” — Edward Abbey

“If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they shall be governed by the ten thousand commandments.” — G.K. Chesterton

“Be entirely tolerant or not at all; follow the good path or the evil one. To stand at the crossroads requires more strength than you possess.” — Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

“With rank goeth privileges- so it ever shall be. But also with it go responsibility and obligations, always more onerous than the privileges are pleasant.” — Robert A. Heinlein

“I am as firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue” — Bertrand Russell

“Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue.” — Confucius

“I’m going to have you wrapped in a U.S. flag and burned personally by the President, in high octane American gasoline!” — The Firesign Theatre movie, J-Men Forever

“Ignorance is Strength.” — George Orwell’s 1984

“Remember: there’s a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.” — Frank Zappa, “He’s got 20 million dollars in his heavenly bank account.”

Ye shall know the” truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”

~~ Aldous Huxley ~~


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Comedy_Tragedy

    Here is a poem I haven’t re-posted since first written… Don’t know why, as it may be one of my best, such as they are…. I hope you enjoy it…

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 ~~


Written 9/18/2013.

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buddah-out-to-lunch_s

    Our final pearl is, apparently, a small, if significant part of what makes today’s effort such an anomaly…. Created in only two sessions at the computer, it came together quite easily, which is the first sign of possible oddity. After a bit of rearrangement, I realized it’s actually a pretty good pearl, for a certain type of mind…. The others who read it may find it a bit hard to penetrate, but, s’okay, not everyone likes peanut butter, even the chunky kind…. Enjoy, ffolkes; I think you can figure it out from here….

“It is not necessary that whilst I live I live happily; but it is necessary that so long as I live I should live honourably.” — Immanuel Kant

“Remember what the dormouse said…  FEED YOUR HEAD…” — Grace Slick

“A good reputation is more valuable than money.’ — Publius Syrus — Maxim 108

“A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad.” — Bob Edwards

“The worst deluded are the self-deluded.” — Christian Nevell Bovee

“Without courage, wisdom bears no fruit.” — Baltasar Gracian

“The happiness and unhappiness of the rational, social animal depends not on what he feels but on what he does; just as his virtue and vice consist not in feeling but in doing.” — Marcus Aurelius Antoninus — Meditations, ix, 16

“Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing.” — Walt Kelly, Putluck Pogo

At this point in the process, you may ask, what the hell was that all about? I have only one response….

[dignified silence]


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Y’know? Maybe I’ll make that last line my standard response to ALL queries…. Yeah! That’s the ticket!….

Then, again, that might tend to stifle any potential dialogue…. Okay, we’ll continue to use it only when appropriate…. Now we have that settled, I’m outta here, with energy, a bit of the ready in me pocket, and time on me hands. It’s a big world out there in the Big Blue Room outside the place where my computer lives…. I think I’m going to go see what kind of trouble I can create today…. Not get INTO, mind you, just create…. I’ll try not to involve any innocents, but, they would probably be better off staying off the streets, anyway…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes, if I don’t run into anyone faster than me….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest Carole, Mark,Theresa, & Richy
and everyone else, too…

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

Which is Why….

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

gigoid, the dubious

The *only* duly authorized Computer Curmudgeon.

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			
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Weeding dead paradigms is honest labor….

Ffolkes,

Gripped in the tight fist of fear is a terrible way to wake up….. Good thing I didn’t wake up like that…. but, it IS a pretty gripping way to grab your attention, eh? Sorry if I startled y’all; at the moment, it seemed like the only way to wake up completely, and fictional openings, while not frequent, ARE a fairly regular occurrence here, so, I thought it might work out to get things going in a slightly different direction today…. I could be wrong; that’s been known to happen, too….

Let’s just put all that aside, shall we? I often make false starts, but, have always figured it’s just part of writing on a daily basis…. Speaking of which, I’ve noted that WordPress has added another feature to the blog sites we all have here…. At the bottom of the page, three links to previous blogs are shown, all of which, in some way, have a common theme with whatever is in the current post….. It might be the subject of pain, or fear of the blank page, or some other subject, but, they’re all suggested as further reading for whomever is taking in today’s post, should they be interested…. For me, it’s been a real treat, as it brings out a lot of stuff I hadn’t seen in a long while, some of which I find to be pretty good Pearls….

A bonus of this is that each of the new suggestions shown by the links ALSO has three more suggested posts to read, seemingly random, but with that same connection…. As a result, I’m getting to see a LOT of my older stuff, without having to go look for them myself…. It’s grand fun to cruise through some of the older ones, and see what was working then, as compared to the latest material…. It’s also given me the material I need to decide on when I can take a day or two off from writing, now that I have a bunch of archived blogs that are suitable to be re-blogged….. Yay for me….

There, are you thoroughly bored now? Or, at the least, losing interest? It wouldn’t surprise me in the least…. I can get pretty pedantic, and pompous, too, often without even realizing that I’m going there….. Let’s do something new, and cut me off…. I’m not in the habit of shortening this intro; in fact, my usual mode involves running off at the mouth, so to speak, for as long as I can, randomly, and with little purpose, other than mild entertainment…. not what I’d call compelling…. more like surprisingly sticky…. It’s kind of like reaching to pick up what we believe to be is a coin, then finding it to be covered in some slimy invisible substance that makes our skin crawl….

Now that I’ve probably alienated my entire audience, of three, let’s see if there is some further damage I can bring about in my own fumbling way… not that I wish any harm to anyone, but, there HAS to be SOME way to see if what I write is having any effect on the real world, and piles of rubble, if nothing else, indicate a certain type of progress, even if it is destructive, rather than constructive…. Those two always tend to get mixed up in my head, anyway…. Oh hell…. This isn’t working, so, I’m stopping now….

Shall we Pearl?….

“Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.” — Leonardo da Vinci

Doh! I KNEW there was something I was supposed to be doing….
_____________________________

It has been some time since I sat down to really do a number on what I consider to be one of the world’s greatest handicaps to human progress, to wit: organized religion…. In fact, it may have been over a month since my last formal religirant…. I’ve taken some passing shots, of course, during my discussions of the political scene, as the dear ministers and preachers fall all over themselves in trying to please the corporate masters and political pundits who protect them, working in tandem, in common cause, to keep the common people in their place….

But, there has been no formal ranting, as such, strictly about them…. the popes, cardinals, bishops, priests, imams, sahdis, or any other iconic religious title given to the leaders of the world’s major, and minor religions…. They’re all deluded, to me, and I wish they’d just shut their damn faces….. For thousands of years, they’ve bent their efforts to molding society into a pious, obedient mass of slaves, content with their lot, keeping their tiny little minds focused on the delusional rewards they will receive in the next life…. Of course, they ignore the fact that all of what they promise in heaven could happen right here on Earth, if they would only stop the nonsense, and work on BEING compassionate, rather than just talking about it….

To be honest, though, I’ve been unwilling to rant about them much of late, because it seems they are killing themselves off, having pretty much alienated most everyone with any sort of basic intelligence…. The people who now fall for their nonsense are those who never have a chance to know anything else…. The poor children of the world are indoctrinated in these silly philosophies of pain and suffering from the time they are born, and are brainwashed into belief before their reasoning minds have any defense against it….

But, even the numbers of the faithful who fall for the delusional message they promote are falling, as more and more education is spread around, thanks to technology…. Ignorance will ALWAYS be defeated by education, given any chance at all….. and technology is becoming more and more ubiquitous in the world, so much so that even the churches are attempting to come to terms with it, never realizing it will destroy them, once and for all…. Well, we can hope, anyway…..

Any who…. I’m not really in the mood for a religirant, even though just thinking about them will usually provide me with enough outrage to create one…. (I also note that I’ve leaked out four paragraphs of “not enough for a rant” material….) Smart Bee, however, has provided me with some great shots at them, so, we’ll go old-school for a few minutes, then follow up with another great article/essay from one of my favorite columnists, Mark Morford…

The link below the group of pearls will take you to yet another of his brilliant forays into the depth and scope of reality, to remind us again how we are all just a part of something strange and beautiful, if we just allow ourselves to realize it…. It’s a great read, ffolkes, so please do so, and spread it around to anyone who needs to see it….. which, these days, is just about everyone….. In between here, and there, enjoy these little pointed sticks thrown at the eye of organized religion….

“In the beginning was nonsense, and the nonsense was with God, and the nonsense was God.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“Let’s do lunch, have your god call my god…” — Smart Bee
(See Peruaosophy, axiom #3….)

“How should one deal with a man who is convinced that he is acting according to God’s will, and who therefore believes that he is doing you a favour by stabbing you in the back?” — Voltaire

“Mystical explanations are considered deep. The truth is that they are not even superficial.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

“God has always been hard on the poor.” — Smart Bee

RELIGION, n.  A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to Ignorance the nature of the Unknowable.

“What is your religion my son?” inquired the Archbishop of Rheims.
“Pardon, monseigneur,” replied Rochebriant; “I am ashamed of it.”
“Then why do you not become an atheist?”
“Impossible!  I should be ashamed of atheism.”
“In that case, monsieur, you should join the Protestants.” — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“So, if there’s no God, who changes the water?” — [two goldfish in a bowl, New Yorker Cartoon]

Enough! Or, as our friends in Milan say, “Basta!”…. I have only one more thing to say here…. Read this:

http://blog.sfgate.com/morford/2013/11/12/40-billion-ways-to-dance/

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I’ve used this poem before, but, it’s been quite a while, and it’s one of my favorites, so, I’m using it again, not caring at all if I am being repetitious…. I think I put out enough to make it seem fresh…. Besides…. It’s Yeats….

A Drunken Man’s Praise Of Sobriety

COME swish around, my pretty punk,
And keep me dancing still
That I may stay a sober man
Although I drink my fill.

Sobriety is a jewel
That I do much adore;
And therefore keep me dancing
Though drunkards lie and snore.
O mind your feet, O mind your feet,
Keep dancing like a wave,
And under every dancer
A dead man in his grave.
No ups and downs, my pretty,
A mermaid, not a punk;
A drunkard is a dead man,
And all dead men are drunk.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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As may be guessed by now, my ranting urge, at least for today, is somewhat blunted… Oh, not for lack of outrage, for the news is still printed each day, and it provides more than enough of that for anyone…. No, I’m just still tired from fighting the cold I’ve had for the last week and a bit…. Better, I am, but not well, if you know what I mean…. Any who, no matter which excuse I choose, the end result will be the same…. an old-school pearl, with the usual suspects as the target of the day…. I’m sure you can figure out of whom I speak….

“The triumph of libertarian anarchy is nearly (in historical terms) at  hand… *if* we can keep the Left from selling us into slavery and the Right from blowing us up for, say, the next twenty years.” — Eric Rayman, usenet guy, about nanotechnology

“Our “neoconservatives” are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” — Edward Abbey

POLITICS, n.  A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles.  The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.  — Ambrose Bierce, “The Devil’s Dictionary”

“Franklin D. Roosevelt: If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he surely needs, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House backyard come Wednesday.” — H. L. Mencken

(As the single most successful ‘politician’ our country has ever produced, Frankie D., with his sheer genius at shape-shifting, thus molded every other politician who ever lived…. )

“Every horse thinks his pack is heaviest.” — Smart Bee

(For those who may not quite ‘get’ why this is appropriate for inclusion in a pearl about this subject…. This is the very reason that politics exists in the first place…. think about it…. Go ahead, I dare you….)

“As war and government prove, insanity is the most contagious of diseases.” — Edward Abbey

“As one gets older, one discovers everything is going to be exactly the same with different hats on.” — Noel Coward

Well, there you have it…. This one really took a long time, but, I think it came out perfect…. Goddess knows I worked on it long and hard enough….
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“late-60’s variant: Why did the running-dog lackey of the bourgeoisie throw the clock out the window?  Because it was a continual reminder of the imminent doom of capitalism!  Oh, well, you had to be there…” — Smart Bee

I suppose it had to happen someday…. My roots are showing…. At least I haven’t spent the intervening years, since the late 60’s, covering my roots with different shades and colors…. I’ve always been a radical, so far Left I’m Right…. Deal with it, ffolkes, because you know in your heart that everything I’m saying, about the government, and the churches (along with their shadowy, hidden masters, the corporate elite of the world….) is true… I haven’t bothered to alter, or stretch any truths I’ve encountered… I just lay them out for your perusal, mostly using the brilliance of others to demonstrate the points I’m making…. Now, if only my message could spread out to encompass the whole world, there MIGHT be a chance to do something to make things better….

SIGH…. I don’t think I’ll hold my breath until that happens, though… In the meantime, let’s see how this turned out…. Well, it may not be some folk’s cup of tea, but, I think, with a blueberry scone, or a croissant, it would do quite well for an afternoon’s replenishing social gathering, anywhere the culture enjoys the custom of high tea…. Of course, it would, hopefully, have more of the effect of a triple espresso, straight up, rather than a mere cup of soothing tea, but, that’s just me, and my possibly neurotic need to know I’m helping reality by encouraging it to fulfill its nature, to CHANGE….

I guess we all have our dreams….

Y’all take care out there,
and May the Metaphorse be with you;
Blessed Be, dearest  Carole, Mark, and Theresa…
and everyone else, too…

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

Which is Why….


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

gigoid

dozer3

Milly, I found the Senator! He’s stinking drunk!….

Ffolkes,

I’m up, I’m up…. Even if I don’t want to be, I’m up, sitting here, blinking vacuously at the screen and wondering just what the hell I do now…. I’m SUPPOSED to be writing, but, hey, it’s only 0500, and I just got here; I’ve barely had time to sip twice at my salvation-in-a-cup. In my weak moments, I resort to old habits, and thank God for small favors, before realizing the He didn’t have anything to do with it: I’m the one who ground the beans, measured the water, and set the timer…. Besides, I think my coffee maker is so new, He would find it too hard to program, and would give up…..

I know, I know, it’s cheap, going right into blasphemy, first thing in the morning, but, let no one ever say I lack courage, or common sense…. Well, perhaps the latter could be a bit more of use to me…. However, I’m pretty sure none of the major religious leaders is up right now…. Most of them are old, like me, but, not all of us don’t sleep at night, as I don’t….. Well, I do go to bed, and I stay there for quite a while, but, mostly, that is to give my back a break from fighting with gravity….

Sleep itself is not necessarily on the menu, as a general rule, other than as a sort of tossing and turning, let’s try this position sort of way, with the occasional moment or two of actual deep sleep, when I accidentally fall into a more comfortable configuration…. This is usually about when I need to turn over, to relieve one sort of pain or another, which is enough to wake me from any real restful sleep…. It’s not pretty, but, ’tis my own way, and I’m getting used to it, such as it is….

Besides, it’s been a long time since I took any real shots at the religious morons out there…. They generally are less of a worthy target than the politicos, as some of them actually are trying to be good people…. They’re just deluded, and that often isn’t their fault, as most of them were indoctrinated into the church’s dogma before they had any defense against it. Take the Pope…. please….. (Thank you, Henny….)

No, really, take the Pope… Here is a very nice man, by all accounts…. a simple man of Christ, who actually believes the doctrine of Peace that Jesus of Nazareth preached way back when, and tries to apply the principles therein to his own life, with dedication and humility…. At least, he LOOKS that way, and, by all reports, he IS that way, so, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt….

But, he also has to be smart enough to know what a crock his entire church is based on, and how much of mankind’s misery the church has been responsible for over the centuries…. Any historian that will read history with their eyes fully open will agree with that assessment…. The churches, in conjunction with corrupt aristocrats and bankers, throughout the last four millennia, have worked diligently, and to great effect, to oppress and manipulate the common man into an obedient, malleable mass of humanity, controlled by the very delusions that cause their misery….

“L’homme est bien insense. Il ne saurait forger un ciron, et forge des Dieux a douzaines.” (Man is quite insane. He wouldn’t know how to create a maggot, and he creates gods by the dozen.) — Montaigne

If you doubt the accuracy of that claim, allow me remind you of one Pope Leo X, one of the papacy’s finest examples of corruption and perversion…. Leo X, who indulged in a number of heinous activities during his reign in the Vatican, including nepotism and the selling of ‘indulgences’, was also infamous for saying, to his cronies, way back in the mid-1500’s, “How well we know what a profitable superstition this fable of Christ has been for us and our predecessors.” Oops! Did he really say that? According to the reports, yep, he did….
Pope Leo X    These days, most of them are more careful in their language; they confine their corruption to their sexual proclivities, which are obviously bent all out of shape by their life-long celibacy, enforced at first by their own inability to relate to their peer group, thus becoming isolated and twisted from jealousy…. Then, when older, they “answer the call”, which apparently means taking up the standards of pedophilia, rather than the more common abuse of, and/or promiscuity with, women of their own age group, as practiced by the men of that belief group who are NOT in the clergy….

How else to explain the numbers of them that fall into that particular hole, than to assume there is something about celibacy that isn’t good for the human psyche?…. Besides, we ALL know that if we don’t get our pipes cleaned now and again, they clog up…. That’s just common knowledge, something anyone over the age of 15 knows, a fact of life which most of us come to terms with, one way or another, without becoming sexual predators against children…. In the Catholic Church, something seems to push them over the line on a more-than-regular basis…. It could be the sacramental wine, I suppose, a great many indiscretions over the years have been ascribed to its use…

Or, it could just be that they’re all seeing with a blind eye, ignoring any potential negatives altogether, as much as possible, because the entire profession is too profitable a scam to give up…. Since this is the sort of behavior that is most common to all men, I’m betting that it is also the case here…. People choose to believe whatever makes them feel the best; it is really that simple…. Anyone who can tell people, in a convincing manner, that if they believe what they are told, they will feel better all the time, then they will fall right in line, usually without ever looking at whether or not what they hear is at all the truth…. If someone in the pulpit, or on the TV, wearing a suit, tells the general public something, no matter how outrageous or unbelievable, most folks these days will just nod their heads, say “yep”, and fall right in line with whatever they’ve been told…..

Hmm, I seem to have fallen back into my ranting mode, without realizing it for oh, about six or seven paragraphs there…. Felt rather good, actually, and my head feels much lighter now…. I love it when a plan comes together, even if it wasn’t my plan…. Not only have I taken some rather good shots at the religious icons of the day, I’ve also fulfilled the daily intro requirements, in one swell foop…. Can’t ask for more than that, can we?….. Nope….

Shall we Pearl?…..

“It ain’t over until it’s over.” — Casey Stengel
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Having sufficiently cleared out most of the dross I found in my head this morning, I’ll not take up the gauntlet to take a run at my other favorite targets of choice, to wit: the Beloved Ruling Class…. Well, at least, not a rant run, anyway, but I will condescend to throw some old-school style pearls at them…. Here is one with the parameters firmly set to pick out some critical comments, that point out how our own leaders tend to be our worst enemies…. Life is tough when you can’t trust those who are ostensibly looking out for your interests, but, for the most part, that’s what we’re stuck with here in the twenty-first century on Earth…… Pay heed, ffolkes, and stay alert…. Knowing the truth is our last best defense…..

“This just in from a Nicholas Notifier up north.  Everyone’s favorite farmer and political commentator off the interstate near Chehalis has just come up with the prize line of his career. “Limit congressmen to two terms.  One in office.  One in jail.” — Jonathan Nicholas’ column in The Oregonian, Friday, March 29, 1991

“From this arises the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared or feared rather than loved.  One might perhaps answer that we should wish to be both, but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.” — Machiavelli

“I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race.” — Bertrand Russell, Education and the Social Order

“I like the way ONLY their mouths move..  They look like DYING OYSTERS” — Zippy the Pinhead

(Do I really NEED to tell you of whom he speaks?…..)

“What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?” — Smart Bee

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence: from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.” — Alexander Frazer Tyler (1748-1813), — The Decline and Fall of the Athenian Republic

“There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetrated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.” — Montesquieu, 1742
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Several moons ago, I used the following poem in a post, to reintroduce the poetess to my Gentle Readers, along with myself, as I’d forgotten her work, and her brilliance, for many years before stumbling across this poem. It remains one of my favorites, even though it also remains a mysterious panorama of images and meanings in my mind…. I always find something new in it…. Any who, please enjoy….

Witch Burning

In the marketplace they are piling the dry sticks.
A thicket of shadows is a poor coat. I inhabit
The wax image of myself, a doll’s body.
Sickness begins here: I am the dartboard for witches.
Only the devil can eat the devil out.
In the month of red leaves I climb to a bed of fire.

It is easy to blame the dark: the mouth of a door,
The cellar’s belly. They’ve blown my sparkler out.
A black-sharded lady keeps me in parrot cage.
What large eyes the dead have!
I am intimate with a hairy spirit.
Smoke wheels from the beak of this empty jar.

If I am a little one, I can do no harm.
If I don’t move about, I’ll knock nothing over. So I said,
Sitting under a potlid, tiny and inert as a rice grain.
They are turning the burners up, ring after ring.
We are full of starch, my small white fellows. We grow.
It hurts at first. The red tongues will teach the truth.

Mother of beetles, only unclench your hand:
I’ll fly through the candle’s mouth like a singeless moth.
Give me back my shape. I am ready to construe the days
I coupled with dust in the shadow of a stone.
My ankles brighten. Brightness ascends my thighs.
I am lost, I am lost, in the robes of all this light.

~~ Sylvia Plath ~~

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

Whenever I stumble across this passage from the book, I am astounded, each and every time, at the vision it has the power to create….. It fills the mind with deeper and deeper meaning, revealing more with each passing moment of reflection, vibrating with power, resoundingly shouting out with the certainty of truth. To use it as the beginning of a discussion would only detract from its shine, as well as being a bit selfish, as if I were trying to share some of the glory of its creation….

To make the proper obeisance to dignity, I won’t do that…. What I WILL do is say, with sincerity and conviction, I think this is one of the most powerful, and most beautiful, passages in English literature, ever, and leave it at that…. Oh, and we’ll see what kind of grouping that SB can find to complement the ideas herein, sort of as a frame for its luster, so to speak… Best of luck to us (me and SB….), she’s a tough act to follow….

“The more people I meet, the more I like my cat.” — Smart Bee

He took his vorpal sword in hand
Long time the manxom foe he sought
Till rested he by the tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought

— _Jabberwocky_, by Lewis Carroll (Charles Dodgson)

“Though leaves are many, the root is one ; Through all the lying days of my youth, I swayed my leaves and flowers in the sun. Now I may wither into the truth.” — W B Yeats

“Before I sink into the big sleep, I want hear the scream of the butterfly.” — (The Doors) When The Music’s Over

“A gentleman reads and reflects.” — Rules of a Gentleman

Hmm…. Smart Bee seems to be unable to come up with a final quote, one that will finish this off with a flourish… I’m going to cheat, big time, and go with what I consider the most basic wisdom of everything I’ve learned in my life…. which is why it is part and parcel of my own philosophy…

7) “Do your Duty.  Honor the Truth.  Respect Life.  Share your Love.”

8) “Go back. Everything you need to know is in the first seven axioms.”– Axioms 7 & 8 of Peruaosophy, the Philosophy of Pearls,  circa 1980, by gigoid
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I have a feeling about this one…. I only wish I knew precisely what feeling it is…. Let’s see what happened here to cause that….. Nope, still not a clue… but, oh, well…. such is life, as the French are wont to say, though, they say it in French, of course…. Any who, it’s done, enough, so, I’m outta here, to go see what’s up in the BBR today…. See ya…..

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

Dozer

Democracy has become a joke in poor taste…..

Ffolkes,

Bah, humbug! None of it makes any sense, and it certainly isn’t designed for comfort; hence, crankiness rules now apply…. No insults are too cheap, no bad names too vile for us to use, with gusto. Today, come what may, a spade will be called a spade, and outright roguery will be called to task. I don’t care a whit who the target is, or how dignified the office they hold, or how sacred they are considered by worshipful millions, if they piss me off, they’re gonna hear about it, in plain talk, without a single moment’s hesitation, and every effort will be expended to fry them unmercifully on the hot seat of my scrutiny, until their skin crackles,they start to resemble a mutilated raisin, and their screams for mercy are ringing in my ears, making beautiful music….

In order to rant effectively, the above attitude is necessary; without it, one cannot achieve the proper state of curmudgeonry, nor can one possibly reach the depth of vindictiveness that is required to poke at public figures and make it worthwhile…. In other words, one must get in direct touch with their sense of outrage, and allow it to direct, if not control, the feelings of anger, frustration, and betrayal that are so common when the BRC carries out some new, or old, method of screwing us, an event that they tend to consider as their privilege, if not their vocation….

Seriously, those who hold office in the USA, whether it is in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of the government, think that stealing from us, lying to us, and generally bending us over and fucking us in the ass on a regular basis, are their rights as elected officials of this country, and, to be frank, I’m more than just a little tired of it…. They don’t even bother to use any K-Y Jelly, or even Vaseline…

Of course, it would help if we didn’t invite them to do so, every election…. I mean, we keep on voting the assholes into office, so we really don’t have a lot of stable ground to stand on in that respect…. Of course, we also don’t have any way to tell which ones are lying the most, but, hey, that’s on us, not on them…. We KNOW they’re going to lie, so, it becomes OUR problem when we keep letting them do it….

SIGH…. There I go again, ranting before I’ve even had any coffee, to speak of…. I drank enough to swallow my morning meds, but, then, started typing; once begun, it just ran away with me…. I guess I was dreaming about this, or something, so it was right there on the top for me to use this morning when I booted up. I hope it doesn’t mean I’ll be in crank mode all day… I’ve got stuff to do out in the BBR that will require me to speak to other people without chewing on them, which is hard to do, when all I feel like doing is slapping them silly….. I’ll have to be careful not to let it out on anyone who doesn’t deserve it (though, in general, they do….).

BIG, CHEST-HEAVING, PATHETICALLY DRAMATIC SIGH…. 😳  People are so gullible. It’s a big part of our nature, to believe what we hear, if it is presented in a certain way, from someone who, previously, has garnered our trust, generally by prior statements. Unfortunately, we never seem to learn, at least, not well enough to be consistent about it, to verify those original statements before giving the trust, or attempt to ascertain in some other way whether or not the person’s words are worthy of our trust. This goes for elected officials especially, but, as I just demonstrated, it is true for blogs, as well….

Most of the above rant is Pure Grade A 100% BS, government certified, and if anybody knows their shit, it’s the government. Oh, all the stuff about them, and their unfortunate tendency to lie, cheat, and steal, as an avocation, is true as the day is long. But the stuff about waking up cranky, being a curmudgeon, etc., that’s all BS again today…. Please note that I spoke one piece of truth, to wit: I did drink my coffee before actually typing, and therein lies the critical difference, that should have clued you in to my use of untruth as a literary device, to hook you in, and lead you logically into the ranting portion of the piece.

In short, this has been an experiment, in human psychology, and YOU are part of it! Doesn’t that just make you all tingly with excitement and joy?

Oh…. No?

Well, heck, I thought y’all would like something new and different, but, I guess it should be something that actually engages your interest, rather than tricking you into the same sort of manipulative situation that the BRC is wont to do to you (us), such as lying, and tricking you into believing things that aren’t actually real, or as dangerous and frightening as they are made out to be…… I would suppose, had I not gone so far off-script, we might have called what just happened a morality play, but…. I guess this means we should just call it a minor clusterfuck, and get on with the rest of the day….

Shall we Pearl?….

“I couldn’t remember when I had been so disappointed.   Except perhaps the time I found out that M&Ms really *do* melt in your hand …” — Peter Oakley
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“Abstain from beans; that is, keep out of public offices, for anciently the choice of the officers of state was made by beans.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of the Training of Children

It always amazes me when I read stuff like this…. Statements like this show me that in the past one thousand, eight hundred, and ninety-three years since Plutarch reportedly died, the human race has made virtually no progress at all in learning how to govern ourselves well. By “well” I mean we have not learned, any better than they did back then, how to govern so that the people are fed, clothed, protected from their less scrupulous peers, made well when sick or injured, and generally operated with the best interests of ALL the people as primary motivation, using all resources equally and fairly, in such a way that the Earth, our only home, is also nurtured and protected, so that we will always have it….

Of course, I have to admit, to be fair, that we had not made any real progress in that when Plutarch lived, either, so, it isn’t as if we had the best examples by which we could practice our lessons to be learned in new ways. But, one would think, after all this time of watching things go wrong, we would have learned at least one or two things we could use to save our asses, now that we’re getting close to losing them…. But, it is obvious, to me, and to many, that we haven’t learned much in all these centuries, because we are still facing the same issues that were plaguing society in the days of Christ, and have continued in all the years thereafter.

I’m ranting again, and I didn’t really want to do that; this is supposed to be an old-school pearl, the first of which is the above quote from Mr. Oakley, which was intended to set the tone…. But, as is common, I couldn’t shut myself up, and had to sing another refrain in my ongoing song of lamentation regarding the state of the BRC, and the world we live in, for now…. Now, however, I’ve caught myself before getting too far into it, and will go search out the proper quotes to bring home the concept that is in my head…. Hopefully, it will be less ponderous, and less pompous, than another rant….. I’m also hoping for it to be a bit more entertaining….    😉

“Do you think sheep know when you’re pulling the wool over their eyes?” — Smart Bee

“Turning and turning the widening gyre,
the falcon cannot hear the falconer,
things fall apart, the center cannot hold,
mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

— W.B. Yeats

“The right of the citizens to bear arms is just one more guarantee against arbitrary government, one more safeguard against a tyranny which now appears remote in America, but which historically has proved to be always possible.” — Senator Hubert Humphrey

“Those who fear death most are those who enjoy life least.” — Edward Abbey

“Reason is not measured by size or height, but by principle.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Discourses, Book i, Chap. xii

“Antiphanes said merrily, that in a certain city the cold was so intense that words were congealed as soon as spoken, but that after some time they thawed and became audible; so that the words spoken in winter were articulated next summer.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Of Man’s Progress in Virtue

“Uh-oh —  WHY am I suddenly thinking of a VENERABLE religious leader frolicking on a FORT LAUDERDALE weekend?” — Zippy the Pinhead

Okay, so it came out a bit obfuscated…. it’s what happens when I give SB its head…. But, it’s still marginally better than a rant, and does get where it needs to go, so, it will do…. Did I mention you should have your seat belts fastened?….
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Yesterday, I spent the day dealing with an age-related physical issue, to wit: agonizing pain, due to a spasming muscle in my neck. The pain, which lasted most of the day, and into the night, was, at times, excruciating, and forced me into bed for most of the day, starting at about 10 AM. It finally eased up, thanks to extreme rest, and extra medication, and is, thus far, not the same issue today…. I hate those days, as they force me to accept the passage of time in terms of what I can no longer do, or count on my body being able to do. But, it does give me a lot of time to spend in my head, a place where I refuse to be uncomfortable, or bored, or anything but happy to spend time, doing what I like doing best, just letting my mind wander through the vast spaces of the Universe as I perceive it….

Hence, Yeats….. with no apologies, and no regrets…..

A Prayer For Old Age

GOD guard me from those thoughts men think
In the mind alone;
He that sings a lasting song
Thinks in a marrow-bone;
From all that makes a wise old man
That can be praised of all;
O what am I that I should not seem
For the song’s sake a fool?
I pray — for word is out
And prayer comes round again —
That I may seem, though I die old,
A foolish, passionate man.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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So, here we are, knee deep in this muddy expanse I like to call my mind’s playground, to wit: consensual reality, and I was thinking to myself, “now what?” Having no good answer, I will once again fall back to my default position, and put together a pearl of the old-school variety, strictly for fun…. What I mean by that is, I intend to have fun putting it together, and I intend it to be fun for y’all to read….

However, we all know about good intentions, and where we can end up by having them, or, more critically, by using them, so, I’ll be careful not to let that get us into trouble…. Not in section three, it’s not allowed that late in this venue…. Bad things can happen to the space-time continuum, so, there are safeguards built in that should keep us relatively safe…. as long as we remember to wear the helmets provided…. Remember, anything that splashes on you should be immediately cleansed away, or…. well, just clean it up quickly, so we never need to see what it does….

“Death never takes the wise man by surprise, he is always ready to go.” — La Fontaine

“Holy Hand Grenades, Batman!” — Robin

“Go on, EMOTE!  I was RAISED on thought balloons!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“If it isn’t Scottish…it’s CRRRRRAP!” — Smart MacBee

(Side joke: An American tourist was in a shop in Scotland, with one of those new wallets that uses Velcro to stay closed. When he opened it to pay for his selection, the shopkeeper exclaimed, “Och, now that’s a proper Scottish wallet! It scrreams when you open it!”) (I read that joke in Reader’s Digest, over 25 years ago….)

“No harm can come to a good man in life or death.” — Socrates

“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone.” — William Wordsworth

“I … reject the argument put forth by many fundamentalists that science has nothing to do with religion because God is not among the things making up the  universe in which we live.   Surely if a necessity for a god-concept in the universe ever turns up, that necessity will become evident to the scientist.” — physicist Ralph Alpher, Theology of the Big Bang, Religious Humanism,       Vol. XVII, No. 1 (Winter 1983), pg. 12

You may have noted that there is no point to this pearl; it’s all about fun, for me, anyway….. and, I’m not done having fun yet, so here, to follow up this wonderful seven-star pearl, is another, a five-star pearl gathered using the same operational motivation…. i.e., none to speak of….

“What’s another word for Thesaurus?” — Steven Wright

“Beware of the young doctor and the old barber.” — Benjamin Franklin

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.” — Nietzsche, Friedrich Wilhelm (1844-1900)
(I use this one a lot…. It’s a big part of what I consider my basic attitude toward life at large….)

“We can do noble acts without ruling earth and sea.” — Aristotle

“If called by a panther…don’t anther.” — Ogden Nash (1902-1971), “Parents Keep Out!”

I rest my case…. and a good thing, too! This may be a new record, for the number of pearls, in the most pearls, in any one Pearl, ever…. If you followed that, you’ve been reading this blog for a long time, and good for you…. For the rest of y’all, just note, please, I’ve once again completely lost my mind prior to the end of this missive….
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Well, that was fun! For me, anyway…. Let’s take a peek at what others will see…. Wow! Now, THAT is an epic Pearl, and just chock full of virtual wisdom and humor, or an irrational facsimile thereof….. I can feel myself getting more and more out of control in my head; if I don’t stop typing soon, two things will happen….

First, my back will turn into a mass of muscles in spasm, intent on achieving the same relative hardness as a two-by-four piece of ironwood, and I’ll turn into a whiny, pathetic mess; and, second, I will probably end up saying, or writing something that will get me arrested, or, flamed in vile, misspelled language by some fundie, or other silly shit-for-brains, instead of hearing applause, or intelligently critical, but polite, comments from my esteemed Gentle Readers…. and I’m blathering now, so I’ll stop….

It will do, and it’s certainly enough for one day…. Y’all take care out there, and May the Metaphorse be with you…. Blessed Be…

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

This Pearl doesn’t smell fresh, Ollie….

Ffolkes,
And then, I woke up, to find this…..

How It Works….

Retreat, retreat, he cries in vain
we cannot stand such pain!
Another battle, another day’s fight
Eternally at war, both day and night.

Storms within, crashing and thrashing about,
filling each moment with fear and doubt.
Cries of anguish, hopes for a swift end
Denied with wounds that will not mend.

The crisis approaches, time will not wait.
It marches on, driven madly by fate.
We have no recourse, no other road to walk,
No great power to whom we may talk.

Morning arrives, seemingly mild and free
Until one considers all that must be
An intro, some pearls, a photo or two
Today’s magnificent Pearl, created just for you…..

 ~~gigoid ~~


I was looking for a particular date of an event from last year at around this time, and in the process, came across this poem, that I wrote, apparently, in June of 2012, before I had begun to collect and save my poems in one folder. It was part of the intro section then, and certainly is appropriate today, as well. Without further fuss…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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My brain is broken…. well, maybe not broken, but tired, for sure. This is the second or third day I’ve felt fairly normal since getting back from Europe (boy, I LOVE saying that….), and I’m finding it tiring to try to slip back into any routine…. As a result, I am going to fall back into the far reaches of the recent past, all the way to late July in 2011, when the following comprised the Pearl of Virtual Wisdom for that day…. I like it, so the hell with it, you’ll like it, too… or not, but, I’m guessing yes…

Ffolkes,
But then, penguins don’t generally display male pattern baldness as they age. Of course, it’s difficult to say, really. I mean how many aged penguins have YOU known intimately?……If you couldn’t tell already, it’s a Friday. Now, I have to admit, that doesn’t hold much value for me anymore; one day is pretty much like any other when one enters retirement mode. The trick is to look at each day individually, and fill it up with things which, in my working days, I didn’t have the time or wherewithal to do.

Of course, these days my wherewithal is looking a bit worn and shabby, but one must deal, because, hey, only game in town, right? It’s a good thing I’ve always been a bit of a fatalist; it comes in handy these days when I wonder “why?”…….these are my favorite type of pearls. Short, pithy one-liners that appear simple, but echo and reverberate throughout one’s psyche, revealing their depth only upon contemplation……enjoy!…..

“It doesn’t really matter what you can do if you don’t do it.”  — Bram Moolenaar

“The more you love, the more you can love—and the more intensely you love. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love.” — Robert Heinlein

“Courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount.” — Clare Booth Luce

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” — New Testament — John xv, 13

Live for those private moments of wild abandon! –Opus

The world out there really doesn’t give much of a damn what we do, so I would guess it becomes our personal responsibility to make sure our actions are honorable. It’s really too bad that particular idea never comes up in school; personally I don’t recall any classes on ethics or morality. I believe that is a mistake, because leaving that up to parents hasn’t been particularly effective in that respect. So…..teach your children well, feed them on your dreams, (thanks, CSN&Y) because chances are no one else will…… y’all take care out there….
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Since I included one of my own poems above, here is one by an acknowledged master…..

A Bronze Head

HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird’s round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die;)
And finds there nothing to make its terror less
{Hysterica passio} of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
As though with magnanimity of light,
Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
Which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
A vision of terror that it must live through
Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
Imagination to that pitch where it casts out
All that is not itself: I had grown wild
And wandered murmuring everywhere, ‘My child, my child! ‘

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
And wondered what was left for massacre to save.

~~ William Butler Yeats ~~

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As noted in section one, above, I’ve turned off my brain for the day, (well, perhaps not noted, but implied…. no worries, it’s off….), and have been enjoying taking a cruise through some very old Pearls, from a couple of years ago…. It is interesting to see where my mind was then, and how it was looking at stuff in general… Fun, and a complete waste of time, for sure, so it fits right in with this morning’s agenda for me. I found the following Pearl, and thought it would go well to finish out today’s effort, or lack thereof…. It’s interesting, anyway….

Ffolkes,
The human condition. We all know what that is, from the inside. But explaining it to another is probably the single most difficult task communication has ever known. Every one of us, when tasked to explain ourselves, runs into a road block of dense resistance, and we end up stuttering or silent, or we lie. The essence of the difficulty lies in the fact that our perceptions are different; none of us has precisely the same reference points of experience, so attempting to define “self”  becomes a matter of trying to find points of reference upon which we may agree.

From these points we may come to some small understanding, if there is sufficient desire on both to do so. But mostly, we just hide ourselves, or lie, because the effort to be understood is greater than the effort it takes to manipulate what we show to others. Most folks just don’t want to work very hard, and are content to “get by”  by just showing those parts of themselves that they believe will be acceptable. Or, after achieving a certain age, they stop worrying about it altogether, and just say what they feel, or think, without regard to how it may be accepted. This is what most people call “freedom of speech”. But it’s all just another way we fool ourselves into thinking we understand the world around us, and “know” the human condition. After all, we’re humans ourselves, right?  Think about it…….

One of these is not like the others…..it will be easy to spot, and has no real meaning beyond its presence. I just thought it looked good where it ended up, so it got left in……the rest of these are statements on the human condition. Which ones can you apply to yourself?……

“You know what it’s like to be dead.  It’s just like it was before you were born.  Remember what it was like before you were born?” — Evan

“I am the shadow my words cast.” — Octavio Paz

“I have come to the conclusion that my subjective account of my motivation is largely mythical on almost all occasions. I don’t know why I do things.” — J. B. S. Haldane

In ancient Egypt, cats were worshiped as gods.  Cats have never forgotten this.

“If you don’t care where you are, you ain’t lost.” — Rune’s Rule.

“I used to be a FUNDAMENTALIST, but then I heard about the  HIGH RADIATION LEVELS and bought an ENCYCLOPEDIA!!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“Know thyself”? If I knew myself, I’d run away. — Goethe

You already have your homework assignments, so I’ll leave you to it……enjoy the day…..y’all take care out there….
__________________________________

“The important thing is this: To be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.” — Charles DuBois

As is often the case, I don’t really know what prompted the last minute addition of the above quote, but, that’s okay, I’m pretty easy-going about that sort of stuff. It’s a survival technique, a defense against sheer insanity, which hovers ever near….. And, that is quite enough for one day, I should think, so, I’m outta here, with no regrets, but lots of second thoughts, as usual….  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

Trapped in porcine orbs of vision….

Ffolkes,
Herein is set forth the last will and testament of Ned Russell Moore…. Not really, but it is, perhaps, fitting to begin today’s Pearl with that opening line. I am now, as of some hours ago this morning, sixty-two (62) years old, or young, take your pick. The opening line is actually there as a reminder, that I have yet to take care of that little chore, i.e., making a will. Being a non-materialist for virtually all my life (I decided at age 12 I had no interest in getting rich…. seriously, that’s when it happened, because I remember making a conscious decision about it, as it kind of determined the path I would take, academically….), I won’t have a lot to leave, but, there are personal items to bequeath to my children, such as my father’s bronze star, and my books, and hopefully, before I check out, I’ll have saved some of the money I’ll make between now and the fateful day….. which, I hope, is still another 30 or 40 years away. With today’s medical knowledge, that is a distinct possibility, provided my own physical condition doesn’t get any worse than it already is….

It’s funny, in a way…. all my life I’ve never made enough to save a lot of money…. and have been successful at that, having thus far saved none, in fact,  other than the money that went into my retirement and SS accounts, and that was taken out before I saw it, so I’m not sure it really counts as savings. I have always believed that “if you wish a life full of trouble, fill your house with treasures,” so the accumulation of gelt never attracted me very much. I do like to make enough to be comfortable, with an occasional foray into luxury, but the acquisition of a lot of property just never appealed to me. I guess that makes me a bit different than most Americans, who seem to enjoy the piling up of stuff they’ll never be able to use in the next life, or often, even in this one….. makes no sense to me….

“The supreme irony of life is hardly anyone ever gets out of it alive.” — Robert Heinlein

Aha! Eureka! He said, happily…. sorry, silliness seems so appropriate today, somehow…. Any who, while searching for pearls, I found one that explains my whole problem, and gives me a solution, all at once. Gotta love that real wisdom when it rears its ugly if welcome head, right? It’s like this….

“The time to begin writing an article is when you have finished it to your satisfaction. By that time you begin to clearly and logically perceive what it is that you really want to say.” — Mark Twain

See? Perfect…. This is why it has all gone the way it has, and shows clearly the way to fix whatever may be wrong with it. Of course, that’s assuming there is something wrong with it, “it” being all the stuff I write. Of late, I’ve been less than totally thrilled with the quality, of the material,  of the discussion…. it all seems redundant, or repetitive, which, is, obviously, proof of that part of the assumption, if nothing else. Maybe I need some new subjects to discuss…. I’ll have to think about that…. I had thought that discussing Life, Society, Philosophy, and so forth would pretty much cover the bases, but I’m thinking I need something more down to earth, or lighter in nature, perhaps…. Ah me, the choices are endless, thank goodness…

As you can see, the introspection part of the birthday program has already begun, even though I spent some time at it already. I should probably save some of it for the pearls, rather than using up a bunch of good thoughts in this intro, but, hey, this only happens once a year, thankfully, so I don’t mind splurging a bit. It’ll all come out in the wash, so to speak….. I have yet to find any good material about which to expound, but, since I’ve been very productive already today (you didn’t even notice that I slipped out to go to the grocery store, did you?…. Hah!….), I can afford a bit of slack…. better up my meds though, I can feel the stiffness building…. no worries…. Shall we Pearl?…..
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T’is now almost 1030, and it has already been a very busy little day for me…. For reasons which I’ll not go into now, I got up early to go to the grocery store, and was back here by 0845, sweaty but unbowed, and still with time to work on a Pearl…. I’ve been dutifully doing that since then, and fell pretty accomplished, all in all, having written some decent prose, percolated a bit of poetry, and researched, formatted, and put together a very nice Art Deco pearl…. so, we are going for an old school pearl here…. they are less time consuming all in all, and require less pure cogitation on my part, since there is distinctly less original material to include…. Any who, all excuses and rationalizations aside, here is a pearl to think about, as it directs your mind hither and thither through the realms of madness and reality…. all at once, hopefully, because Life tastes better in Big Bites!….

“One of the most frightening things in the Western world, and in this country in particular, is the number of people who believe in things that are scientifically false.  If someone tells me that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, in my opinion he should see a psychiatrist.” — Francis H.C. Crick

“Too many people have decided that perfection is boring, preferring a mess that supports their habits instead of a quest that challenges them, but what they forget is that while perfection may be boring the quest for it never is for it reveals the human and the divine inside of us.” — Callan Williams

“I live in my own place have never copied nobody even half, and at any master who lacks the grace to laugh at himself — I laugh.”
— inscribed over the door to Friedrich Nietzsche’s house

This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — H.H. the Dalai Lama

“All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster’s autobiography.” — Federico Fellini
(So THAT’S what I’m doing here!….. Writing the autobiography of an oyster…. hmmm….)

“{I believe in looking reality straight in the eye and denying it.” — Garrison Keillor
(Now I know why this show was so popular with middle America….)

Eat with gusto and enthusiasm. — Things We Can Learn From Dogs

Well, there’s an eclectic group of pearls, eh, what? I’m not sure just what my subconscious mind was shooting for, but, I have to assume it knows and we’ll let it slide this time…. maybe next time, it will make it a bit more obvious, eh?…… I think it all works, anyway, even if I’m unsure of its precise purpose and meaning…. I guess that makes it a good metaphor for life…..
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The poem I’m gestating is stalled today…. couldn’t get it even a line further on toward completion. Oh well, you, and I, will just have to settle for whatever I come up with via Google when I get to the internet this morning…. let’s see, whom shall we persecute, er, sorry, peruse, today?….. Ah, here is one that appeals to that introspection of which I have spoken…. Enjoy!

A Dialogue Of Self And Soul

i{My Soul} I summon to the winding ancient stair;
Set all your mind upon the steep ascent,
Upon the broken, crumbling battlement,
Upon the breathless starlit air,
‘Upon the star that marks the hidden pole;
Fix every wandering thought upon
That quarter where all thought is done:
Who can distinguish darkness from the soul
i{My Self}. The consecrates blade upon my knees
Is Sato’s ancient blade, still as it was,
Still razor-keen, still like a looking-glass
Unspotted by the centuries;
That flowering, silken, old embroidery, torn
From some court-lady’s dress and round
The wooden scabbard bound and wound
Can, tattered, still protect, faded adorn
i{My Soul.} Why should the imagination of a man
Long past his prime remember things that are
Emblematical of love and war?
Think of ancestral night that can,
If but imagination scorn the earth
And intellect is wandering
To this and that and t’other thing,
Deliver from the crime of death and birth.
i{My self.} Montashigi, third of his family, fashioned it
Five hundred years ago, about it lie
Flowers from I know not what embroidery —
Heart’s purple — and all these I set
For emblems of the day against the tower
Emblematical of the night,
And claim as by a soldier’s right
A charter to commit the crime once more.
i{My Soul.} Such fullness in that quarter overflows
And falls into the basin of the mind
That man is stricken deaf and dumb and blind,
For intellect no longer knows
i{Is} from the i{Ought,} or i{knower} from the i{Known — }
That is to say, ascends to Heaven;
Only the dead can be forgiven;
But when I think of that my tongue’s a stone.
i{My Self.} A living man is blind and drinks his drop.
What matter if the ditches are impure?
What matter if I live it all once more?
Endure that toil of growing up;
The ignominy of boyhood; the distress
Of boyhood changing into man;
The unfinished man and his pain
Brought face to face with his own clumsiness;
The finished man among his enemies? —
How in the name of Heaven can he escape
That defiling and disfigured shape
The mirror of malicious eyes
Casts upon his eyes until at last
He thinks that shape must be his shape?
And what’s the good of an escape
If honour find him in the wintry blast?
I am content to live it all again
And yet again, if it be life to pitch
Into the frog-spawn of a blind man’s ditch,
A blind man battering blind men;
Or into that most fecund ditch of all,
The folly that man does
Or must suffer, if he woos
A proud woman not kindred of his soul.
I am content to follow to its source
Every event in action or in thought;
Measure the lot; forgive myself the lot!
When such as I cast out remorse
So great a sweetness flows into the breast
We must laugh and we must sing,
We are blest by everything,
Everything we look upon is blest.

William Butler Yeats
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_____oOOo_=^..^=_oOOo_____ — The cats ARE watching… — Smart Bee

No deep concept here…. I just thought this was cute, as well as creative. I miss my cat, Tony, who lived with Noah and I for several years…. He thought Noah was his big brother, and followed him around everywhere. When Noah got old, and it got hard for him to get up the stairs where we lived, Tony would walk behind Noah, batting at his butt with his paws to encourage and help him get him up the steps. His favorite place to sleep was cuddled up to Noah, too. Once, when Noah was feeling a bit stiff, and feeling his age, Tony walked up to him, sniffed gently at his ear, then gave him a couple of head bumps, then a couple licks on the muzzle, before settling in next to him, where he lay next to him and purred for hours…. He really loved ol’ Noah, Tony did….

I’m going to go for what I call an Art Deco pearl here…. below are some quotes about cats, and some very fine pictures that show the many sides of Cat…..

“The only mystery about the cat is why it ever decided to become a domestic animal.” — Compton MacKenzie, “Cats’ Company”

“A man who carries a cat by the tail is learning a valuable lesson. He’ll never be dim, or doubtful. Chances are he won’t carry the cat that way again, but, I say, if he wants to, let him!” — Mark Twain
In ancient Egypt, cats were worshiped as gods; they have not forgotten this. — Smart Bee
    And, how can we not love an animal who starts out life like this?…..
    I believe these pictures were all found on Facebook…. including this perfect picture to bid thee adieu!….
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“Hi there!  This is just a note from me, to you, to tell you, the person reading this note, that I can’t think up any more famous quotes, jokes,  nor bizarre stories, so you may as well go home.” — Smart Bee

Ack! Nooooooo! It can’t be true…. Smart Bee is just messing with me, I know it…. and I am so confident of that, I will trust that it will be there just chock full of new, funny stuff the next time I open it up…. And, if not, well, I’ll tear out my hair then, what little is left…. It has been a very interesting path this morning, getting to this point. Now that I’ve completed this Pearl, I must go out and deal with the real world, so as to get it posted today…. and take care of online business while I’m at it…. I’m having a very productive birthday, so here is wishing you all the same kind of positive energy today, and every day….. 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!

These brass monkeys were stolen!….

Ffolkes,
A shooting star flashed across the night sky, carving its bright path, until fading out near the horizon. Heartened by this hopeful sign, four silent figures moved quietly down the hillside, mere shadows moving through the night. With hours yet to first light, the forest through which they padded slept, unaware of the passage of the silent, nearly invisible group. No night birds sang their warning, only deep silence accompanied the group as they moved between the trees. As they reached the edge of the vast savanna which lay east of the forest, the group split, two finding cover on the ground, and two climbing swiftly up two trees overlooking the path leading back into the forest from the plain. They settled down to wait…..

Hmm… I kind of wonder what they are waiting for, or who they intend to ambush. But my curiosity is not so strong as to get me any further into the story, so we’ll just leave the group there, waiting, and go on to more dignified, if not more lucrative, pastimes…. whatever those may be…..

All things considered, it was a close call, but I’ve made it to the end of the month, alive, and that is definitely worth celebrating, given the effort it took to do so without committing mayhem, or biting someone, hard….. I think I’ll treat myself to breakfast, once I’ve tortured the language enough to put together a Pearl… It may or may not turn out well, only time will tell, and yes I rhymed on purpose…. I can’t help it, I’m a sick man….

Shall we Pearl?…..
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“It’s wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.” — Elrond

For those who don’t know, Elrond is the leader of the Elves of Rivendell, friend to Gandalf and hobbits, father of the elven beauty who becomes wife and queen of Aragon, King of Middle Earth. His age is unknown, but he remembers clearly the last time the Evil One, Sauron, made his bid for supremacy, thousands of years ago. How then, even if he is so wise, did he know how to best describe the state of American politics today?….. What he says above is what goes through my mind whenever I consider the possibility of Mitt the Twitt somehow being elected to the Presidency, as I make sure my rifle is clean and loaded, and my preparations complete for the upcoming target practice….

It’s kind of amusing actually. I have this image in my head, of how some true Americans might react if he is actually elected….. For example, when the Chief Justice tells the Twitt to put his hand on the Bible on Inauguration Day, 50 gunshots ring out, as the Marine color guards all open fire on the podium, with the first 50 rounds exploding Mitt’s head…. Then, when the confusion really starts, I’ll provide cover fire so the Marines can take off and get to their hiding spots, picked days before…..

I like either that scenario, or the other one, where, after the Marines put him down, the gathered crowd all surround the Marines, and pat them on the back, telling them , “good job.”  Whereupon the Sergeant in charge of the squad salutes and says, “No problem, ma’am, we are sworn to protect the country from all enemies, foreign or domestic”….. The crown applauds, they break up, and the country gets back to the business of reform…. Hey, we all have our fantasies, yes?….

It is unfortunate that these kinds of fantasies are necessary these days, to keep my blood pressure under control. It tends to spike whenever I think about the disastrous results should the Twitt get into the White House…. Of course, he’d probably live in one of his own houses…. the White House would be a a bit of a come-down for him, rich as he is…. No car elevator, or room for a dancing horse…. I suppose the Conservatory could be converted to a stable, and the rose garden could be taken out and turned into pasture….

You know, of course, how they teach those horses to do that dancing they do, right? They smack the horse on their forelegs to teach them to lift them up, then progress to both legs in sequence, producing the dancing motion…. which is actually a reaction to the pain of having a metal bat strike the shin, causing a short shot of agony…. I might pick my foot up, too, right before I planted it forcefully on the trainer’s nose… Nice folks, these Romneys….

Now, in most election years, I might not worry so much about an idiot in the White House. But, two factors have prompted me to keep plugging away at this subject…. One, Mitt Romney has clearly shown that should he be President, the United States would be in serious trouble. Every one of his stated goals is contrary to what I believe is needed, not just for stability in our country, but contrary to what is needed to keep us in the 21st century. Second, there are more racist, ignorant, frightened people in this country, who have been hoodwinked by this man’s lies and manipulations into giving him their support, and on election day, their votes, than I would have thought possible. Millions of them. It’s hard to swallow, I know, but it is true, nonetheless.

This is all a pretty long winded way to remind y’all to register and vote this November. You can bet that Romney’s supporters will be; they need to be notified, in no uncertain terms, that they are a minority in this country, and the rest of us will not sit by and watch this fool destroy all the progress we’ve made in the last twenty-five years…. Hell, for that matter, the last hundred and fifty years, because if he has his way, we all will be following the rules of his religion, in which the rights of women are completely ignored…. Believe it!
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A Bronze Head

HERE at right of the entrance this bronze head,
Human, superhuman, a bird’s round eye,
Everything else withered and mummy-dead.
What great tomb-haunter sweeps the distant sky
(Something may linger there though all else die;)
And finds there nothing to make its terror less
{Hysterica passio} of its own emptiness?

No dark tomb-haunter once; her form all full
As though with magnanimity of light,
Yet a most gentle woman; who can tell
Which of her forms has shown her substance right?
Or maybe substance can be composite,
profound McTaggart thought so, and in a breath
A mouthful held the extreme of life and death.

But even at the starting-post, all sleek and new,
I saw the wildness in her and I thought
A vision of terror that it must live through
Had shattered her soul. Propinquity had brought
Imagination to that pitch where it casts out
All that is not itself: I had grown wild
And wandered murmuring everywhere, ‘My child, my
child! ‘

Or else I thought her supernatural;
As though a sterner eye looked through her eye
On this foul world in its decline and fall;
On gangling stocks grown great, great stocks run dry,
Ancestral pearls all pitched into a sty,
Heroic reverie mocked by clown and knave,
And wondered what was left for massacre to save.

William Butler Yeats

After writing the mini-rant above, I was in need of some poetry to smooth my ruffled feathers. What I got was this, which is not soothing, particularly, but is nonetheless perfectly and surprisingly apt…. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did just now….
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“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people…”  To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition.” — Thomas Jefferson to George Washington, 1791

I had intended to write here a sober, reasoned discussion of the above from my second favorite Founding Father (okay, George Mason is my fave….), but decided first to search a bit more to see if I could find something to accompany this, to lighten it up a bit…. this is what I found…..

“History records no more gallant struggle than that of humanity against the truth.” — Smart Bee

Now, while I might suggest that the word “epic” is more apt, ‘gallant” still gives it an adequate emotional index rating. With either word, it rather goes beyond the statement by T. J., into the deeper issue of basic truth. Personally, I don’t understand the issue that most of humanity seems to have regarding the truth…. I’m not afraid of it, even though it is painful more often than not. Unfortunately, much of the rest of mankind seems to not have that sort of reaction to the pain it often brings, and will go to incredible lengths to avoid having to experience that pain, even if it means putting up with another, lesser pain in the process….

You can see, of course, the immediate similarity between those folks who avoid pain, and those folks who vote conservative, or are supporting the accomplished liar, Mitt the Twitt….. Sometimes, many times, in fact, the stuff that is coming out of the mouths of Romney and his supporters is a dead giveaway, one that shows their stark, malignant fear, fear that is rooted in their racism and bigotry. Their worst nightmare came true in 2008, and a BLACK MAN (gasp!) was elected President….

Without ever considering, or even looking at, his record while in office, these ignorant throwbacks will go to ANY lengths to elect ANYONE else, even if that person is actively trying to harm them, as is the case with Romney…. They don’t care, he’s white, so they’ll be more comfortable with him in office…. or so they think…. Should it happen, it will be a rude awakening when he starts his campaign to get the rest of any money they have left, and cheerfully squashes any hope of a better life that they might have retained…..

In reality, this discussion does relate back to Tom’s statement re: the rights of the people vs. the rights of the government. We, the people, have not tried hard enough to maintain the rights we were given, and those rights continue to be eroded. More and more, government is seizing control of various aspects of our lives that formerly were our own issues to deal with. The rights in the Bill of Rights are now amended, and every amendment is another nail in the coffin of freedom….

So, here is the truth, and painful or not, it would be wise to pay attention…. like Jerry Garcia said, “Choosing between two evils is still choosing evil.”  There are no heroes on the ballot. No matter which party is in office, they will continue their assault on the freedoms that Tom says are ours, not theirs. Go with what your reason tells you to do, and don’t be distracted by the lies. Put aside the fear, and the bigotry, and the cowardice. Only one of the two choices is making any effort toward transparency, and you don’t need me to point out which one. Nor would I be so rude as to suggest which you might choose; I just lay out the truth, and you pick….

The truth is Obama lies at times, for expediency, just like any politician. But, he also is genuinely invested in making reforms that will actually help the middle class, and as far as I can tell, has not overly abused his powers (there are anomalous blips on that radar screen, but another time for that….).

Romney lies all the time; time after time after time, it has been documented that he lies just about every time he opens his mouth in the public arena. In addition, he is unapologetic about the lies, and indifferent to any claims of his doing so; he lies again by denying his lies, even when they are laid out in front of him. He has made it abundantly clear that has no interest in making things better for anyone but his own core group of friends, the rich and powerful who occupy Wall Street offices, seats in Congress, and the religious right. The fact is, he is so out there, his own party is starting to get nervous….

These statements are truth. They can all be proven, if necessary, using documentation that is available to anyone in public archives. What you decide to do with that truth is up to you, as it always is…. What will you do with it?…..
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Hmm…. I guess I had some political angst built up in there, & needed to get it out. “Better out than in”, for sure…. Remember, ffolkes, the above is my stuff, and is not intended to mess with anybody else’s stuff…. Remember also what Albert said….

“I never thought that others would take them so much more seriously than I did.” — Albert Einstein, about his theories

I guess that will serve as an adequate disclaimer….. good enough for government work, anyway…. 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!

Murky morals create messes….

Ffolkes,
Balderdash! Poppycock! And other such fine expressions!  Aren’t those great words? I love English, which is more than I can say for SOME people. Some folks submit our language to daily torture, some merely mangle it out of any recognizable shape. A lot of people use it, but never figure out how to make it shine. These are the folks who need to use words such as the two at the head of the paragraph, to muscle up their vocabulary, and make it more like Mr. Universe than the skinny nerd we used to see on the back of comics…..

Even I forget to use the vocabulary I have at times; the Thesaurus sits right next to me while I type, but I seldom break it out, a habit I need to break. I do pretty well at not using the same words over and over in the same piece of work, but I think that the more variety one uses, the larger the pool of available alternatives grows. All of us here at WordPress are trying, in our own ways, to become better writers (I hope that’s the case….), and using a larger vocabulary is a sure way to do that……

After such an auspicious opening, one would think that today’s Pearl is a doozie (another fine word…), but only time will tell us whether or not that is the case. Let us now leave this pompousness behind, and wash ourselves clean in the ocean of knowledge….. Shall we Pearl?……
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Happiness follows sorrow, sorrow follows happiness, but when one no longer discriminates between happiness and sorrow, a good deed and a bad deed, one is able to realize freedom.” — Buddha

I was married for 23 years. If I had my druthers, I’d still be married; I took vows, which I kept.  Still do, for that matter….. I promised to love her more every day than I did the day before, and in spite of her absence, that hasn’t changed a whit…. and that hurts.  It is only the lessons I’ve learned over the years from Buddhism and Taoism that have helped me to move beyond that pain. The lesson above is one of the most powerful of those lessons…..

In reality, this is pretty hard to accomplish; our western minds tend to take pain and make ourselves almost dependent upon it, using it as fuel for action. This is wrong action, however, and almost always leads to more pain. It is hard for most people, me included, to learn how to put aside pain by changing the way we look at reality. Difficult, but well worth the effort, as it is a sure-fire method of learning self-control.

In a relative sense, it is easy to see what needs to be done, but in reality, reaching this state of equilibrium is not quite so simple. It is also something that each person needs to learn to do all alone; no one can teach you how to change yourself, or your own desires. It can help to hold the duality of reality in mind when considering this; pain is merely one side of the coin that is reality. On the other side is joy.

Neither can be understood, or even felt without the other. This shows that if we can learn to feel both with equal equanimity, to realize that neither one is either permanent or harmful, then they both assume less importance, and can be more easily allowed to pass away, the fate of all transient emotion. Once we have learned to let them go, it is amazing to realize that such pain will no longer control us, and we now have the ability to approach life with the ability to choose our own reaction to events…. This is indeed a powerful tool, and one that can help us to achieve the life we desire….A life free of emotional strife and pain, which is true freedom….

“Perseverance is more prevailing than violence; and many things which cannot be overcome when they are together, yield themselves up when taken little by little.” — Plutarch (46-120 AD) — Life of Sertorius
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The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘T is mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway,
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s,
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.
— William Shakespeare (1564-1616), The Merchant of Venice — Act iv, Sc. 1

I like to consider myself to be a fair-minded person, and try to admit mistakes when I make them. My opinion of Will Shakespeare has been well-documented, so I won’t go into that….

I have to admit, though, that this soliloquy from the Merchant of Venice, is very well done, and stands in stark contrast to great gobs of his other works. It has logic, it has rhyme, and reason. It is consistent, and most importantly, it is relatively clear, not all jumbled up with obscure phrases whose context was lost centuries past.  I like it….

It’s not enough to make me change my overall judgment of his body of work, or make me sit through one of his plays…. but, it’s pretty good…. There, see, I can be nice…..
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A Lover’s Quarrel Among the Fairies

A moonlight moor. Fairies leading a child.

Male Fairies: Do not fear us, earthly maid!
We will lead you hand in hand
By the willows in the glade,
By the gorse on the high land,

By the pasture where the lambs
Shall awake with lonely bleat,
Shivering closer to their dams
From the rustling of our feet.

You will with the banshee chat,
And will find her good at heart,
Sitting on a warm smooth mat
In the green hill’s inmost part.

We will bring a crown of gold
Bending humbly every knee,
Now thy great white doll to hold —
Oh, so happy would we be!

Ah it is so very big,
And we are so very small!
So we dance a fairy jig
To the fiddle’s rise and fall.

Yonder see the fairy girls
All their jealousy display,
Lift their chins and toss their curls,
Lift their chins and turn away.

See you, brother, Cranberry Fruit —
He! ho! ho! the merry blade! —
Hugs and pets and pats yon newt,
Teasing every willful maid.

Girl Fairies: Lead they one with foolish care,
Deafening us with idle sound —
One whose breathing shakes the air,
One whose footfall shakes the ground.

Come you, Coltsfoot, Mousetail, come!
Come I know where, far away,
Owls there be whom age makes numb;
Come and tease them till the day.

Puffed like puff-balls on a tree,
Scoff they at the modern earth —
Ah! how large mice used to be
In their days of youthful mirth!

Come, beside a sandy lake,
Feed a fire with stems of grass;
Roasting berries steam and shake —
Talking hours swiftly pass!

Long before the morning fire
Wake the larks upon the green.
Yonder foolish ones will tire
Of their tall, new-fangled queen.

They will lead her home again
To the orchard-circled farm;
At the house of weary men
Raise the door-pin with alarm,

And come kneeling on one knee,
While we shake our heads and scold
This their wanton treachery,
And our slaves be as of old.

William Butler Yeats

Of late, I have been leaning more and more on poetry to soothe my fevered brow…. and I don’t regret a moment of that. Here is another from W.B. Yeats, that takes us on a short, wondrous journey into Irish myth….
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I’ve relied heavily on the work of others for this Pearl, as a direct result of a massive attack of lazy bones this morning…. Ah well, at least I picked stuff that will be interesting to a wide group of ffolkes…. Lazy can be okay, if properly moderated…. 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!

Dignity is not guaranteed by law nor custom….

Ffolkes,
Serendipity is perhaps my favorite word in English, as it is only applicable when something good happens. If one stops to consider, it is exactly the opposite concept of Murphy’s Law, and balances the work done by that most unwelcome of visitors, showing us the nuggets of gold hidden in the pile of crap that Murphy often leaves us with. As a bonus, the appearance of Serendipity always comes as a surprise, by definition….

So, you may ask, what prompted that? A moment of fright, as it turns out…. When I sat down to begin this morning, the following is the first thing that showed up in my quote database….

“Hi there!  This is just a note from me, to you, to tell you, the person  reading this note, that I can’t think up any more famous quotes, jokes, nor bizarre stories, so you may as well go home.” — Smart Bee

Well! A bit scary, for me, since quotes, jokes, and bizarre stories are the meat and bones of this blog, and not having any more would put a serious curse on my ability to write. It only took me a moment to realize that Smart Bee was kidding, but it was a moment spent in panic, for sure…. I’m convinced that Murphy is the one who placed it there for me to find right away, but Serendipity saved my ass again, by popping up into my awareness just when I was starting to pull out what’s left of my hair….

So, armed with the love of Serendipity, we will now Pearl….. Secure your masks and breathing apparatus, and let’s dive in…..
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In lazy apathy let stoics boast
Their virtue fix’d: ‘t is fix’d as in a frost;
Contracted all, retiring to the breast;
But strength of mind is exercise, not rest.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Essay on Man, Epistle ii, Line 101

Once again, a poem makes a point that, if written in prose, would tend to put the reader to sleep. In modern society, strength of mind is a virtue that has fallen out of favor. Moreover, it is so out of favor that it isn’t even missed; the general population has no idea what true virtue consists of anymore, for the most part. In fact, the major forms of entertainment…. TV, movies, music, sports, religions… all are designed to keep people from using their minds, encouraging sloth, and never, ever challenging the citizen to think beyond how to obtain the next beer….

This tendency is not merely encouraged by the beloved ruling class, it is one of their primary functions to keep the citizenry from ever becoming educated enough to see what they are up to. Cuts to education are a part of every politician’s budget proposals, from both ends of the political scale…. Democrats, Republicans, they all know that an educated populace is much harder to manipulate, and much harder to fool, so they are constantly limiting the ability of the education process to function at a level that would make any difference. The worst nightmare of a man like Mitt Romney is a voter with the facts….

I’m going to limit this rant somewhat today…. This is a subject on which I can spew for a long time, without really trying very hard, but I’m having a lot of pain this morning, so sitting is hard. But, the point is made, I think…. Use your heads, for goodness sake…. don’t let the powers that be have it ALL their way.

Get the facts, and throw them up in their faces… if they are going to manipulate us, at least make them work for it…. Besides, exercising your mind may have other effects you were not aware of, effects that can have a profound influence on your life…. Like being able to make an informed choice, instead of settling for the apparent lesser of two evils…. which, if you will remember, still leaves you with an evil choice, lesser thought it may be…..

“Things true and evident must of necessity be recognized by those who would contradict them.” — Epictetus (c. 60 AD) — Concerning the Epicureans, — Discourses, Book ii, Chap. xx
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BIBLE:  A bible is a book which one or more religions consider to be holy, and to be something that they should follow. It is, of course, generally rather impractical to follow books, not just because they don’t often go anywhere, but also because they are not very good at public speaking, decision making, problem solving, or any of the other qualities recognized as being an advantage for leadership. A religion based around the teachings of any compilation of Toxic Custard would be very strange indeed. To subscribe to this new cult following, send $15 now. — Daniel Bowen’s TOXIC CUSTARPEDIA

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.”  — H.L. Mencken

“So as this only point among the rest remaineth sure and certain, namely, that nothing is certain. . .” — Pliny The Elder

Philosophy, means, first, doubt; and afterwards the consciousness of what knowledge means, the consciousness of uncertainty and of ignorance, the consciousness of limit, shade, degree, possibility. The ordinary man doubts nothing and suspects nothing.” — Henri Frederick Amiel

This is an old school pearl…. or group of pearls, I should say….. Taken alone, each of them states a good point of information, or view of reality, or way of looking at life. Taken together, they make a statement that teaches a lesson…. and in the old school style, the lesson is left as an exercise for the Gentle Reader to find…. It’s not hidden very deep, and shouldn’t afford too difficult a task to uncover…. and it is well worth considering….. Just in case it is too obscure, I give you the following, to drive you right up to the take out window, where you can pick up your pearl….

“Creation science” has not entered the curriculum for a reason so simple and so basic that we often forget to mention it: because it is false, and because good teachers understand exactly why it is false.  What could be more destructive of that most fragile yet most precious commodity in our entire intellectually heritage — good teaching — than a bill forcing honorable teachers to sully their sacred trust by granting equal treatment to a doctrine not only known to be false, but calculated to undermine any general understanding of science as an enterprise?” — Stephen Jay Gould
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TO A CHILD DANCING IN THE WIND

by: W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)

Dance there upon the shore;
What need have you to care
For wind or water’s roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool’s triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind?

A bit of classic to finish the morning with…. I don’t know about you, but it sure makes my day go better if I read something like this before going out to deal with reality…. It probably works to keep the blues away the same way garlic works on vampires….   🙂
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I feel like I just went through the motions this morning; it all went too smoothly to have been real. It’s been such a struggle lately that if it doesn’t fight back, I start to think something is wrong…. ah well, the hell with it. It’s going out the way it is…. 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!