Serendipity is characterized by its unpredictability; it wouldn’t be what it is if we knew when it was going to manifest in our lives. This may be why it is always such a rush, such a joyous feeling when it drops a gift from the universe in our path. This joy makes it particularly hard to accept that even in such cases as we have serendipitous occurrences happening in our lives, we still need to keep sharp eye out for Mr. Murphy and his myrmidons of chaos, just in case he wants to stick his filthy hands into our business, which, you may rest assured, he does….
I have an opportunity, if I can take it, to go to my home town to visit with several of my classmates, one in particular who will be there on visit from Arizona/Alaska, the places she splits the year between, sensibly avoiding the Alaska winter, and the Arizona summer. Since the recent passing of our mutual friend, Carole, of whom I speak every day in the closing, I’ve felt the urge to go down to the town where we grew up, to visit her grave, and see my other friends still living in the area…. Now, name withheld for privacy, another of our classmates, is going there for a few days this week to do the same, so I’m trying to figure out how I can get there to join in….
Murphy’s presence is noted because, within an hour of receiving the email informing me of all this, I began coming down with a cold, of the kind that kicks your ass right into bed ( possibly, that’s just MY reaction, due to my age…. but, let’s not go there, ‘kay?….)…. The cough I had thought was smoke-quitting related was joined by increased fluid in the head, headache, the general malaise that goes with a cold, and, the kicker, sneezing and watery eyes. I’ve started downing freshly chopped garlic, every four hours, and am living, essentially, on Nyquil and Dayquil clones, in order to keep from just sinking into the morass of illness that threatens to consume me in these cases….
This is going to make it hard to get to the place where we grew up, as it’s about 250 miles south of here…. No matter how I go, there are disadvantages involved that will make it hard for me, in my condition, with the pain, and the cold symptoms, to get there, by any method I choose…. I can ride the bus… It’s fairly inexpensive, and pretty quick, considering, but, uncomfortable as hell for all of the five to six hours it would take… I hesitate to ride the train, for a lot of reasons, one of which being I’m still pretty pissed at them over my trip to Oregon earlier this year. Planes are too expensive to get there, as it is a small place, with no big airports within a hundred miles; the small planes that go there are a lot more money than the regular routes charge.
That leaves renting a car for about four days, then driving down there, being active, then driving back, all without enough time to recover from the exertions I’ll be making, which are far and beyond what is normal for me…. I’m pretty drastically out of shape, physically, and being tired just kicks my butt these days…. If I don’t rest, it can take me several days to get over it when I’m done; I did practically NOTHING for two weeks after getting back from Europe, and this latest cruise, only a seven day affair, was enough, apparently, to lower my resistance to the cold virus….. Bummer, dude….
Ah well, such is life….. At least I’ve got something to think about other than my usual fare…. I don’t know yet how it will play out, but, now that I’ve got my secondary computer, the one I use when on the road, it shouldn’t affect these Pearls, unless I so choose…. I’m sure that my Gentle Readers will appreciate that, though that is probably wishful thinking… I’m not at all sure that I have more than about eight or ten regular readers anymore, if the statistics on my blog are any indication….
I never have known exactly how many readers out of the email group actually reads them, as very few ever send back a comment, so that’s no big; it’s been the same for ten years or more…. But, according to the number of likes, and visits to the site that register in the stats, not very many ffolkes have been stopping by…. which, by the way, is still confusing, as my number of followers continues to grow steadily…. Go figure….
Okay, I think I’ve mined this particular cave for all the ore it contains, so, we can get on with the real business of pearling that we’re here for….. I’ll figure out whether I’m going or not later…. For now, it’s time for a dive, before it’s too late…..
Shall we Pearl?….. Let’s start with a two-fer…..
“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.” — Francois Marie Voltaire
It may be a bit smug on my part, but, ever since the revelations about the spying being done by the US government hit the news, I’ve felt a sense of justification, a result of having all of my suspicions verified by unshakable proof, furnished by the very hands that committed the crimes…. In other words, and, of course, metaphorically speaking, they found fingerprints, and there is no longer any doubt that the lies that are being told have been put to the test, and failed. It’s a fact, and it cannot be denied, ffolkes… the government is lying to us, regularly, and frequently. If you have any further questions, see the news of the day….
In fact, let me assist you…. Here are three articles from yesterday’s news, all from SFGATE…. I am using them because they show up BOTH the culprits in this whole mess, to wit: the BRC themselves, who create the lies for their own purposes, and the news and print media which, albeit unwittingly and unwillingly, nevertheless aid the pundits in spreading their lies to the greatest number of people. I won’t even bother to go through at this point to delineate each and every little untruth, partial truth, made-up crap, or altered data that is used to convey the lie to the public; by now, most of y’all should be able to figure those out for yourselves…. I have excerpted one comment, by Eric Snowden, which sums up perfectly my own feelings on this subject; that summation is in bold italic font, to separate it from the rest of the excerpt….
“Federal prosecutors have charged Snowden with theft and with two violations of the Espionage Act of 1917. But Snowden, who has taken refuge in Russia, has denied any treasonous intent, saying he disclosed secrets to the news media, not to hostile foreign powers, and did so to push for reform. “Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested,” he wrote in Der Spiegel. “Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public. Those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.” ”
It is a sad day for me, and for this country, when one of its citizens, in the pursuit of freedom guaranteed to him by the Constitution, commits an act of pure patriotism, tells the truth, for the good of everyone, yet, in order to even stay alive, much less free, he must run to another country to hide, and make an appeal to the rest of the world for protection. I do not blame him for doing so; the first articles above make it abundantly clear exactly WHY he has to do it this way; if he didn’t, we would never have known all this…..
If he had attempted to go through “channels” to report any of this, he would have disappeared from view, forever, along with all of his information, and we might never have known exactly what our own leaders were doing to us… Count on that, ffolkes, no matter how many times they would deny it…. With an attitude like the one displayed, no other outcome would have been possible… Remember, no matter how many times it is repeated, a lie does NOT become the truth…
The two most powerful figures in Congress, and the President, along with all their police myrmidons and agents, are dead-set against ANY leniency in this, a sure sign to me that they KNOW they are in the wrong. Strong denial is ALWAYS the first reaction by a politician when accused of wrongdoing, and they will deny, deny, deny, even up to, and past, the point of having the proof shoved in their face, to keep from ever having to admit their own immorality, or that they MIGHT have made a mistake… No, that possibility cannot be allowed in their narrow world-view; they are well aware that if one lie is exposed, it will lead to the exposure of more lies, and they don’t want to let the public have any clue as to how many different ways they are screwing them….
Part of the irony in all of this is that many of these pundits and politicians often BELIEVE their own BS; they really do believe they know best what the public should know, or have, or be allowed to do…. They often, always erroneously, but sincerely, believe they are the best judges of what people should have the rights to do, believing they are making decisions for them “for their own good”….. which, as you, and just about any person with an IQ over 75 knows, is a complete crock of shit…. And not just ANY shit…. sticky, smelly, unhealthy shit at that…. What else could it be, coming from the very source of our worst qualities as human beings….. ambition, pride, and egotistic avarice for power?….
Ah me, it’s all so discouraging most of the time…. I’m a smart guy, and I can see all the shit that is going on right in front of me… Unfortunately, I’m also smart enough to understand human nature, to at least some degree, and realize that it isn’t going to change, not overnight, and, perhaps not at all…. If we, in the expression of our nature, don’t make SOME kind of changes, in how we treat the planet, and each other, well, the consequences won’t be pleasant for anyone, and that is just about as discretely understated as I can make it in English…
More simply, we’re on our way to a living hell, ffolkes, if we don’t change the way the world is going today…. It is a foregone conclusion that if we keep on the way we are, things WON’T change, not for the better; at best they’ll stay the same for a while, but, entropy guarantees that, unmodified, reality will start to fall apart, and will continue until chaos is achieved….. That is the nature of the Universe, and there is not anything in our power, or our imagination, that can change that simple fact…. Me, I’m going to do what I can, when I can, to point out what I see, and what I think may be happening, and hope that somebody in a position to actually do something will take note, and perhaps, begin the process that will save our sorry asses….
I doubt that is very likely, though, so I may as well go have a beer…. Make that an Irish Coffee, please, it’s a bit early for beer….
“And what is good, Phaedrus, and what is not good,
Need we ask anyone to tell us these things?”
— R. Pirsig
In keeping with today’s ranting theme, but, with a bit of contrasting humor to mitigate the sobriety, here is a poem I’ve used before, by one of the twentieth century’s finest poets…..
À Bas Ben Adhem
My fellow man I do not care for.
I often ask me, What’s he there for?
The only answer I can find
Is, Reproduction of his kind.
If I’m supposed to swallow that,
Winnetka is my habitat.
Isn’t it time to carve Hic Jacet
Above that Reproduction racket?
To make the matter more succint:
Suppose my fellow man extinct.
Why, who would not approve the plan
Save possibly my fellow man?
Yet with a politician’s voice
He names himself as Nature’s choice.
The finest of the human race
Are bad in figure, worse in face.
Yet just because they have two legs
And come from storks instead of eggs
They count the spacious firmament
As something to be charged and sent.
Though man created cross-town traffic,
The Daily Mirror, News and Graphic,
The pastoral fight and fighting pastor,
And Queen Marie and Lady Astor,
He hails himself with drum and fife
And bullies lower forms of life.
Not that I think much depends
On how we treat our feathered friends,
Or hold the wrinkled elephant
A nobler creature than my aunt.
It’s simply that I’m sure I can
Get on without my fellow man.
~~ Ogden Nash ~~
It’s been a tough morning, as evidenced quite strongly by the complete overpowering dizziness that just stormed through my brain; what a rush! I’m not sure if it is fatigue from denying the cold’s effects, or just my currently strange body chemistry affecting the state of my mind, going through, as it is, the transition from long-term nicotine addiction to a (reportedly….) more healthy life without nicotine…. I’d forgotten that the almost 47 years I abused myself with those fags would demand a heavy price tag to get shut of; goes to show we are ALL adept at NOT looking at things we don’t want to see….
But, now I get to relax, and find some lustrous pearls to fill out this last section appropriately, and that is always a pleasure…. Let’s see what Smart Bee has for us this morning, shall we?….. If I am compelled to comment, those will be in parentheses, just so’s you know….
” Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.” — H. L. Mencken
(Ouch! Boy, I’m feelin’ that one!….)
“The reason the Christians have murdered on such a vast scale and killed anyone and everyone in their way is purely and simply greed… Their insatiable greed and overweening ambition know no bounds; the land is fertile and rich, the inhabitants simple, forbearing and submissive. The Spaniards have shown not the slightest consideration for these people, treating them (and I speak from first-hand experience, having been there from the outset) not as brute animals – indeed, I would to God they had done and had shown them the consideration they afford their animals – so much as piles of dung in the middle of the road. They have had as little concern for their souls as for their bodies, all the millions that perished having gone to their deaths with no knowledge of God and without the benefit of the Sacraments. One fact in all this is widely known and beyond dispute, for even the tyrannical murderers themselves acknowledge the truth of it: the indigenous peoples never did the Europeans any harm whatever; on the contrary, they believed them to have descended from the heavens, at least until they or their fellow citizens had tasted, at the hands of these oppressors, a diet of robbery, murder, violence, and all other manner of trials and tribulations.” — Bartolome de Las Casas, — A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies, 1542
(This could easily be the beginning of another rant, against those I believe to be equally complicit with politicians in the rape and pillaging that occurs in society on a daily basis, but, I’ll leave it as just a pearl, and just note this…. It seems, by looking at the date this was written, that the churches and dogmatists have been known as criminals and rogues for a very long time…. By my count, it was around 485 years ago this first appeared…. I haven’t seen a lot of improvement over that period…. have you? Oh, they have better press agents now, and slightly different techniques of modus operandi, but the basic rapaciousness, and misguided sense of entitlement remains in full force, without any doubt…. Now, though, it seems that children are in the worst danger from the clergy, as they have been their primary target of exploitation in the last century….)
“If the lawmakers make a compromise, the place where it will be felt the most is the taxpayer’s pocket.” — Deadlock’s Law
“A politician,… one that would circumvent God.” — William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Hamlet — Act v, Sc. 1
(Even Will got it right occasionally; I’ve just never been able to figure out if it was because he wrote SO DAMN MUCH STUFF that sometimes, chance worked in his favor, and he hit something on the head, or if he just stole it from Francis Bacon…. or, just as likely, one of his cronies at the pub next door to the Globe…. )
“Freedom begins between the ears.” — Edward Abbey
(It’s really too bad that this means that most of today’s citizens have way too much space between their ears for freedom to keep from leaking out….)
“We must never permit the voice of humanity within us to be silenced. It is man’s sympathy with all creatures that first makes him truly a man.” — Albert Schweitzer
“In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don’t wobble.” — Yun-Men
I love when serendipity is everywhere!…. Two perfect pearls to close with, and the whole thing comes together, mismatches and all…. I hope you enjoyed this little meander through my head as much as I did, but, I doubt that’s possible…. S’okay, it doesn’t make me anything, other than done…..
Given all that has gone before in this Pearl, it’s probably just as well it IS done…. Let me see how it stands up to scrutiny, even from such an indulgent judge….. Well, that’s certainly a Pearl. Not only that, but, from all appearances, it doesn’t wobble. I’m going to count my blessings, and steal off into the day…. 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,
I just sits.