“Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Lazarus Long
Deipnosophist: a person adept at conversation at table. From Greek, deipnosophistai, title of a Greek work by Athenaeus (3rd century), describing learned discussions at a banquet, from deipnon meal + sophistai wise men (from Dictionary.com)
Yesterday’s post began with a quote from Athenaeus, the author of the book described in the above definition; at the time, I didn’t know what the word deipnosophist meant, which is why I looked it up…. Being one who considers himself a deipnosophist, it was the only thing to do…. Besides, I always enjoy learning new words, ideas, or just about any old thing at all, so, it was a no-brainer for me to seek out the meaning…. I can’t help it, it’s the way I am; if I don’t know, I want to find out….
This morning, I find myself very, very late, having indulged myself in an extra hour and a half of sleep…. In order to soothe my guilt, and the slight emotional edginess I get when my reality refuses to respect my plans, I’m going to have to go old school a lot, and will dip into the archives heavily to fill out the three sections below…. The first section should be okay; it’s a short mini-rant, or two, I started on yesterday, so I can just finish them with an old school target practice session…. I’ll pick from the archives for two and three, so, be prepared, if you please, and don’t forget to update your log sheets….
That’s it, that’s all I’ve got today…. Just some minor housekeeping, a short bit of self-aggrandizement, disguised as self-deprecation, and a touch of honesty; it’s not Ibsen, but it’s Art…. or, at least, it’s imitating Art…. Oh, that’s right, I’m trying to work on Art’s fraternal twin, Rufus, so, maybe today’s material will resemble him, in the eyes, or maybe the chin…. Ah, the hell with it, I’m jumping in, ffolkes; y’all can come along if you like….
Oh, almost forgot…. the picture again came from a feature on the London Daily Telegraph, but, I forget when…. just google the picture itself, if you really want to know who took it….
Shall we Pearl?…..
“Again, our observations of the stars make it evident, not only that the earth is circular, but also that it is a circle of no great size. For quite a small change of position to south or north causes a manifest alteration of the horizon. There is much change, I mean, in the stars which are overhead, and the stars seen are different, as one moves northward or southward. …All of which goes to show not only that the earth is circular in shape, but that it is a sphere of no great size: for otherwise the effect of so slight a change of place would not be so quickly apparent. Hence, one should not be too sure of the incredibility of the view of those who conceive that there is a continuity between the parts about the pillars of Hercules [the strait of Gibraltar] and the parts about India, and that in this way the ocean is one.” — Aristotle, De Caelo, Fourth Century B.C.
In case there are any among you who do not understand why this quote is here, I refer you to the opening quote from Bob Heinlein. Together, the two make the statement I’m hoping to share with you…. Remember what they did to Galileo, when he told the exact same argument that Aristotle gives here, to the prelates of the church, a thousand years later, and was found to be a heretic….
Okay, so, here are two short mini-rants, whose point lies in the articles to which the link will take you. Please read, and then call your congressional delegates to tell them to stop giving in to the corporate interests, and give people the right to their own property….
“CTIA-The Wireless Association, which represents major wireless providers including AT&T, Sprint Corporation, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless, said in a statement: “Even though the vast majority of Americans enjoy upgrading to new devices once their contract terms are fulfilled, we recognize that some consumers may want to unlock their devices to move to another carrier.” It noted, however, that even though the phone is unlocked it might not work on other carriers because platforms and spectrum holdings vary,”
“….which is quite deliberate,to ensure we make a massive profit on those millions of useless pieces of toxic waste, as well as to ensure nobody else can make anything from them, once they are no longer on our network.” …. as the statement didn’t continue, even though it is true….
Point made, I think, so, onward, to a discussion of the Plague of Evil that continues to shame our culture…. Read the article, and think about all the other ways our culture brainwashes its citizens into keeping women in the unenviable position of subjugation…. It’s not just prejudice ffolkes, it’s oppression in its worst incarnation….
This issue, by the way, is one I’ve been harping on for years; to begin this segment of the rant, here is a short diatribe on the same subject from the archives…..
“When you slithered out of your hole that day, and you spewed your venom all over this defenseless 12-year-old girl, you made this court’s top 10 hit list. In a way, the best sentence this court could give would be no sentence at all, because if you left this courtroom I don’t think you would be alive 10 minutes. You are nothing but a weed, a weed among wheat…. And when we have a weed, it’s my job to eradicate the weed, because if you don’t you will choke the wheat. Therefore, I’m going to take you off the streets for just as long as I possibly can. It means you aren’t even eligible for parole until you’re 92. That leaves only one more count, aggravated robbery…. You stole this little girl’s bra as a souvenir, probably to brag about it to your friends later on. Well, I’m going to give you a souvenir of Trumbull County justice. And that is, you will receive a maximum sentence of 10 to 25 on the aggravated robbery for the stealing of that bra. And I hope that if you last 25 years in prison that you remember that souvenir. Get this scum out of here!” — A sentence passed by Judge W. Wyatt McKay of Trumbull County, Ohio
One down, several million to go…. I wonder if this judge is still sitting on the bench; we could refer all the cases of human traffickers, rapists, abusers of women or children, and others of that ilk to his courtroom, and trust they will receive the maximum legal punishment of which the law is capable…. then, once they are inside, we just leak to the other prisoners what they are in for; I imagine they’ll take care of the rest….
A fella has to have his dreams…. and in my dreams, I can hear them, sisters, daughters, children, all crying out for help, waiting in anguish for someone to care…. who else, then, will stand up with me?….. During the 1960’s, in times of social changes gone ‘viral’, there was a poster I saw all over Berkeley…. It pictured men and women marching together, united in purpose…. the only caption said, “Free our sisters, free ourselves!” This is a sentiment we all need to embrace, as valid now as it was over 40 years ago; if not now, when?…
Now, here is proof the problem not only still exists, but has worsened, if possible….
“But wait: Here’s what the NFL did. It suspended Rice for two games. Two games! Most first-time drug users get suspended for four games; as we have seen, the penalty for the third time is one year. The NFL sent a clear message: Domestic violence is not that big a deal. It’s just, you know, women. They were probably asking for it….”
This one disgusts me, for it is all-too-typical in this society for women to be placed in this kind of situation, then, having nothing happen to the asshole who punched her out…. For me, the worst part is how the whole issue was played down by every level of reporting….. None of the men involved took any real responsibility, and that lack of integrity was echoed by the police, the hotel, the team he plays for, the press who covered it, and every other male individual who had any connection to the incident…. They all made it seem like the man had done nothing particularly bad, and, if he did, he was probably provoked into it by the woman
What a crock of shit!…. It’s probably a good thing I’m not going to rant on this any further, as my blood pressure is already spiking, from writing the above paragraph…. I swear, I am going to buy a gun, and I’m going to start using it on people in society who prey on the weak, the innocent, and the oppressed…. because society itself refuses to even acknowledge there is any problem. Fuck that, I’m sick of these assholes getting away with it, and never having to pay for their insanity and ignorance….
Fuck it, I’m gonna pearl now….
“Rumor has it that former Senator John Tower cheats at solitaire. Lengthy congressional investigation to discover source of dishonesty to follow.” — Smart Bee
“Although war is cruel and brutal, it is also dangerous and stupid.” — Yakko Warner
“Bury me on my face,” said Diogenes; and when he was asked why, he replied, “Because in a little while everything will be turned upside down.” — Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) — Diogenes, vi
“I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.” — G. K. Chesterton, The Victorian Age in Literature
(Note: It is little prejudices like this that perpetuate the lies and misconceptions that so litter the battle fields of the war between the sexes…. Plus, did you ever notice that it is only MEN who think of the issue as a war?…. The whole problem lies in the FACT that men are afraid of women; this fear causes them to react by making sure that women fear them, by using their physical attributes to oppress them…. thus, unknowingly, forsaking all honor….)
“I disagree with what you say but will defend to the death your right to tell such LIES, LIES! ALL LIES!” — Voltaire’s Evil Twin
“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinions of himself than on the opinions of others.” — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
” — How many NBC news producers does it take to change a light bulb? Three, one to drill a hole in the light bulb so it blows up when he turns it on, one to film it, and one to insist on the truth of the report despite the manipulation.” — Smart Bee
There…. I think I managed to find one shot for just about every one of the Asininnies in that pearl; not bad for someone not working very hard at it…. But, I think you can count on it to be effective; Smart Bee is bracketing the other quotes, which legitimizes and enhances each one…. I hope you enjoyed it, at least as much as the mini-rants….
This needs no introduction; it does, however, demand your attention, as is its due, as a classical piece of our history…. and, an example of one of the few saving graces displayed by our species….
Ode on a Grecian Urn
Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of Silence and slow Time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? what maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal–yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair!
Ah, happy, happy boughs! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the Spring adieu;
And, happy melodist, unwearied,
For ever piping songs for ever new;
More happy love! more happy, happy love!
For ever warm and still to be enjoy’d,
For ever panting, and for ever young;
All breathing human passion far above,
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloy’d,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.
Who are these coming to the sacrifice?
To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Lead’st thou that heifer lowing at the skies,
And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea shore,
Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel,
Is emptied of this folk, this pious morn?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore
Will silent be; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e’er return.
O Attic shape! Fair attitude! with brede
Of marble men and maidens overwrought,
With forest branches and the trodden weed;
Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity: Cold pastoral!
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
~~ John Keats ~~
Okay, so here’s the deal…. Below is another diatribe/discussion, but, not really a rant; it’s a bit more eclectic than the usual choice of subject matter…. I enjoyed it, both writing it, and re-reading it; I hope you enjoy it as well… It does make today’s Pearl a bit hefty, but, hey, I’m a hefty guy….
“As a draft-animal is yoked in a wagon, even so the spirit is yoked in this body.” — Upanishads (c. B.C. 800)
Each of us is faced at times with the consciousness of our own approaching encounter with Death, the moment in time when our yoke is removed, and our spirit is freed, to once more join the rest of the conscious minds in the universe in roaming through realms of Reality we cannot see in this form. This Reality we cannot see is much larger, in one sense, than the one we can now perceive; it has to be, to be able to accommodate all the souls that have gone before, and all that are now present on Earth, that will someday join the rest of them, when they die…..
Every human being alive must face their own Death (I am capitalizing the word to give it the proper respect as one of the most important concepts we have as humans….); this is a truism no one can deny, or refute. Many people have banded together, to assume the belief that our universe was created this way by a supernatural being, who, for some unknown, and unknowable (self-explanatory, I think….) reason, decided that we are “special”, and gave us, and only us, the knowledge we have, and our very lives. This, of course, is rather hard to believe, as it doesn’t really account for much of what is observable truth in Reality, being, as it is, complete speculation, devoid of any concrete evidence to support it…..
“There is no conclusive evidence that there is life after death. There is also no real evidence to the contrary. Soon enough, you will know. So, why fret about it?” — Lazarus Long, aka Robert A. Heinlein
I first read this aphorism when I was in my early teens; it codified, and made succinct, what I had already concluded about the major religions of the world, i.e., they’re a collection of unwarranted, and unproven, assumptions. What’s more, they are all highly unlikely, given the observable parameters of the real world. It became obvious to me, as it is to many, that what the religious folks were trying to get me to believe was intended merely to soften my mind, making it more amenable to suggestion, of which they have an endless supply. Preachers, priests, imams, nuns, all are quite willing to give other people advice and suggestions on how they should live, in exhaustive detail, for as long as they are allowed to do so….
Since I had very little desire to have other people decide for me how I should think, or live my life, I rejected the dogma they tried to force into my head, turning instead to other sources of thought about Life, Death, and Reality. I found an endless supply of folks who had thought long and deeply about all of these ideas, and gladly did I read all I could of everything I could find on the subject. In addition, I read science fiction, during the years when its popularity had just begun to climb to the heights it now occupies; sci-fi has always been literature that explored, and continues to explore, the very limits of thought, both in the real world, and the world of the mind.
As is seen by the first pearl above, these thoughts and ideas are not new with me; mankind has been thinking about these concepts since we first sat around the campfires, wondering at the beauty of the heavens we saw above our heads, and all around us. In all that time, no conclusions have been reached that seem to cover ALL of the questions we have about the universe. We still don’t have a clue as to “what is the mind”, or “what is thought”…. and if we cannot understand ourselves, what chance do we have of unraveling the secrets of the universe around us? Not much, would be my guess…
That, fortunately, does not mean it is impossible to know the truth, nor does it mean we are condemned to die in ignorance and fear…. I know this because I have learned in my time that our fear is a direct outgrowth of our ignorance; we fear what we do not understand. Now, if I were a God, why would I make people that way, unless for some ulterior motive, having to do with motivations that are human, not divine? No, it just doesn’t make sense to me to assume that we were put here with a deliberate handicap, just to see how we dealt with it; that seems more like an evil scientist at work than a compassionate deity.
“One must marry one’s feelings to one’s beliefs and ideas. That is probably the only way to achieve a measure of harmony in one’s life.” — Etty Hilsum
Since I believe firmly in the Law of Conservation of Energy (proven true in this universe, to all our knowledge), and, I believe that our minds/souls are a form of energy we currently don’t fully understand, and cannot perceive directly, then the concept of Death is nothing to fear, as it merely means that my current state of energy will be replaced with another state, one I don’t currently have the ability to perceive. What that state may be like may be unknown, but that doesn’t mean it is something of which I should be afraid…. I prefer to look at it as the next great adventure….
So, when my father died, I asked him to leave me some trail-sign, to let me know how to find him in the next reality; he smiled at me, and said he would do that… and I was much comforted by that, knowing that our connection as family can never be severed, and that, someday, I would once more have the pleasure, and comfort, of his presence…. Now that’s something to look forward to, don’t you think?…. Much better than worrying that what I do now is going to determine what happens to me after I die, a silly proposition, at best……
“Do not think that man is but flesh, skin, bones and veins; far from it! What really makes man is his soul; and the things we call skin, flesh, bones and veins are but a garment, a cloak; they do not constitute man. When man departs this earth, he divests himself of all the veils that conceal him.” — Zohar
I’d feel a bit of guilt, but, I gave it up years and years ago, and really wouldn’t know where to start looking for it… Besides, I told you up front there would be a lot from the archives…. I just wasn’t aware as to HOW MUCH there would ultimately be…. Oh well, it’s not like I’m charging extra, right? I’m outta here, ffolkes, and not all that late, either…. See y’all tomorrow….
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,
I just sits.
gigoid the dubious