Mordred’s dream of chaos draws nigh…..

Ffolkes,
Yow…. Coffee without cream is enough to make one cranky. It is marginally better than no coffee at all, though, so folks will have to take their chances with me until I can get some half & half. The odds of getting bitten for speaking to me too early rise dramatically when the consumption of my morning coffee is disturbed in just about any fashion, and not having an ingredient is a sure ticket to the cranky express for me. Makes it difficult, as I need to speak to people this morning at some point, and don’t want to scare anyone….. or, at least, not deliberately.

Today’s Pearl was mostly composed yesterday, as I need to take much of today to get the form done for Social Security; it’s not difficult, or even particularly complicated, but needs to be detailed. Then, when done, I need to scan it and send it to my lawyer so they can get it right in to SS, well before the ridiculous deadline they gave me. When the process is complete, and I’ve secured my SS benefits, I can definitely feel an exposé on SS percolating in the back of my mind.

From all I can ascertain, the myrmidons over at SS think that it is perfectly okay to throw up every obstacle they can in front of the people applying for their own benefits, and make it as hard as they possibly can for anyone to obtain the very things they have paid for throughout the years. In the process of making it so hard, they are adding to the difficulties of people who do NOT need the aggravation…… So, I’ll be writing a bit of stuff, later, after I’ve secured my own benefits, and cannot be punished for what I write, by their attempting to make it even harder for me to get them…..

Any who, I came across the following again yesterday; it is an old DOS file command line, and is the secret wish of all geeks that it would actually work in reality…. if you know what it means, you’ll know what I mean…. if not, well, it would take two or three pages to explain well enough to be accurate and worth the effort, so you’ll just have to ask a geek to explain it to you…. Any nerdy type who likes to read Science Fiction, and knows what a command line in DOS is, will be able to fill you in….. meantime, Shall we Pearl?….

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:
__________________________________

This is a somewhat old-school pearl, but with a slight difference…. normally (well, you know what I mean…) I would list several quotes, all of which led one’s thoughts in a specific direction, to a foregone conclusion, or at least a conclusion, of sorts….. This pearl however, is simply a grouping of ideas that I thought went together, as sort of a tribute to the relevance of illogic at certain times, and how liberating it is to think not only outside the box, but to kick the box into a shapeless lump of cardboard….. enjoy! BTW, these are all related in one respect, which I’m not going to mention, as it is totally irrelevant…. at least, to the lack of purpose herein implied…..

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

“Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” — Confucius — Analects, XV.24

“When the music business changed so drastically in the late sixties and rock began happening in such a big way, I went to Count Basie and said, “It’s a complete takeover. What should I do?” Basie waited a beat, looked up at me with those big eyes of his, and said, “Why change an apple?” — Tony Bennett

“I am your density.” — George McFly, in Back to the Future

Tsze-kung asked, saying, “Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?”  The Master said, “Is not Reciprocity such a word?  What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” — Confucius (551-479 B.C.)

“I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.” — Alan Watts

“As God is my witness – I am that fool!” — Gomez Addams

Okay, so I’m not sure where it came from, or why the last one showed up when it did…. but, it’s a perfect ending, for it fits in with my own self-image this morning…..  Onward, into the fray…..
__________________________________

Accentuated Lessons

Bold statements of calculated intent
Become common rule of the malcontent.
Avarice assumes such attractive wear
Beguiling deception, illusory and fair.

Grasping and pulling with ghostly hands
Legally proper in all the signatory lands.
Seeking and finding each vulnerable soul
Anguish as payment for exacting the toll.

Wraiths of commerce’s invisible dead guards
Still haunt the dreams left in sad empty yards.
While absentee nobles sit in stiff, elegant splendor
Served by sad-faced detainees in abject surrender.

Escape from reality is illusory at best
Often we falter and fail its daily test.
Only when focused on inner strength
Does peace stay with us for any length.

Peace lies within, always…..

~~ gigoid

The following just seemed like an appropriate addition to this section…..

Fate steals along with silent tread,
Found oftenest in what least we dread;
Frowns in the storm with angry brow,
But in the sunshine strikes the blow.

~~ Thomas Cowper
__________________________________

“About the use of language: it is impossible to sharpen a pencil with a blunt ax.  It is equally vain to try to do it with ten blunt axes instead.” — Edsger W. Dijkstra

I do try…. I try really hard to write well. All of my effort in the last year plus that I’ve been writing so much has been with the intent of improving what I do write, and I can see a certain degree of that (improvement….). It isn’t enough, to my mind, and hopefully, never will be enough. Only by making the effort will what we do ever change, and writing well is a skill that requires constant honing, and constant endeavor.

The following paragraph is an example of the kind of impact that a well-written piece should have on the reader…. it’s a beautiful little piece, and even though you could remove the word “God’s” from it, and it would suffer not at all, I left it in, since I didn’t write it…. I only wish I had…..

“As a little silvery circular ripple, set in motion by the falling pebble, expands from its inch of radius to the whole compass of a pool, so there is not a child–not an infant Moses–placed, however softly, in his bulrush ark upon the sea of time, whose existence does not stir a ripple, gyrating outward and on, until it shall have moved across and spanned the whole ocean of God’s eternity, stirring even the river of life, and the fountains at which the angels drink.” — Elihu Burritt

See? A truly lovely thought, and written in a way that it touches a chord of response within the mind and heart of whomever reads it. This is the kind of thing that I am shooting for when I write…. I hit close now and then, but, not often enough to suit me, so I’m going to keep trying until I can write at this level whenever I should so choose…. and if, along the way, someone wishes to pay me for what I write, well, I’m not going to complain…..

Of course, my usual choice of subject matter may have a lot to do with the absent beauty of my writing; it’s a bit of a trick to turn a political or religious rant into a thing of beauty, other than from a logical or tactical standpoint. There can be, of course, well-done passages, even powerfully passionate parts that can inspire, or anger, or merely amuse. But one is not going to impress anyone with the sheer beauty of a treatise wherein one has to discuss the latest lies and deliberate misrepresentations as spouted by political pundits, of any party. Not without a lot more skill than I have, or anyone else I’ve read over time. It’s just not a subject that lends itself to pretty pictures in words….. In addition, one must always remember to actually use one’s mind in a constructive manner when writing about politics or religion, because anyone who actually engages in either one is not going to do so……

One also must remember to always keep the following principle in mind, for anything written, about either politics or religion, must be governed by this thought, or what is produced will not stand up to the test of logic or time….. so stay alert, ffolkes, and use the mind you have for something other than sitting on……

“Freedom of speech and freedom of action are meaningless without freedom to think. And there is no freedom of thought without doubt.” — Bergen Evans, The Natural History of Nonsense (1946)
__________________________________

All in all, not a bad Pearl, I’d say. And, if there is an expert on Pearls, that would be me….. or, at least, of literary Pearls…. and I am certainly the world’s ONLY expert on Pearls of Virtual Wisdom…..To be honest, I never thought the gems themselves were all that compelling…. they look nice, but don’t seem to me to be as big a deal as everyone makes of them…. Ah well, I’m just a country boy at heart, and good honest sweat is my favorite perfume, so I guess I’m not the best judge of such delicate matters, eh?…… 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!

Until Bob returns, no cha-cha, & no rhumba….

Ffolkes,
As I sit here, laughing at myself, I have to admit, my Bozoid tendencies are in full swing this morning…. I’ve been steadily plugging along, filling in the blanks as I go through the morning routine, for about 35 minutes now. Got a lot done too, on starting a Pearl. I even had the intro section completely done, and was dutifully searching for pearls, when I was confronted by my own silliness and failure to be a Lert….. or, if you insist, alert…..

I started to paste a poem below, and realized I was posting it into tomorrow’s Pearl template. This is also where I had already composed and written an intro section leading into the Pearl….. see my problem?  Complete time distortion ensues…. Now I’m dazed again, much like the first 5 minutes of being up, before the first sip of coffee kicks in enough to raise the eyelids a fraction, and will need to take a minute here to regroup…… I’ll be back in a few, when I have caught up to reality again….. mumble, grumble, phtt….

I have re-established contact with reality, and we can now move on to bigger and better things…. if that particular phrase can be considered to apply to this process…. as the old Dead song says, “head’s all empty, and I don’t care….”   No worries, we’ll just go now and find something with which we can fill it up…. shall we Pearl?……
___________________________________

C:\> erase c:\reality.sys; copy a:\pern\*.* c:

This pearl is a bit of a test…. What I’ve written here is, of course, a DOS command line. (I wrote ‘of course’ before I fully realized that it is ‘of course’ only to those who are familiar with DOS, which may not include the more modern users among us. For those ffolkes, just think of it as double clicking on a program you want to use…..) The test is to tell me, in the comment section, if you know what the command tells the computer to do….

It’s quite a simple command, though the .exe installation file it points to is VERY complex…. and that is your only clue….  Let’s see who’s paying attention, as well as who is well grounded in both computers and literature….. luck won’t be needed, and wouldn’t help in any case, but, good luck!  If no one figures it out before tomorrow morning’s Pearl gets written, I’ll reveal the answer then….
___________________________________

The only point in the following entry is to preserve my sanity. In looking over the last few Pearls, I found a disturbing lack of poetry. Oh, there was some there, but not enough to suit my needs…. if I don’t get enough of the grace and beauty that good poetry provides, I get testy, to say the least. That probably accounts for the 800-1000 word rants in the last couple of posts. That has actually worked out well; I was able to publish two of those rants to another site as solitary articles. But, in the process, I’ve built up a need for the serenity that a good poem gives me…. so, here are three of them, all capable of filling my need, and, hopefully, yours….. enjoy!

Weep no more, nor sigh, nor groan,
Sorrow calls no time that ‘s gone;
Violets plucked, the sweetest rain
Makes not fresh nor grow again.
— John Fletcher (1576-1625)  — The Queen of Corinth, Act iii, Sc. 2

How fading are the joys we dote upon!
Like apparitions seen and gone.
But those which soonest take their flight
Are the most exquisite and strong,–
Like angels’ visits, short and bright;
Mortality ‘s too weak to bear them long.
— John Norris (1657-1711) — The Parting

But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Don Juan, Canto iii, Stanza 88

I don’t know about you, but I feel better…..

Oft in the stilly night,
Ere slumber’s chain has bound me,
Fond memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood’s years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone
Now dimmed and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken.
— Thomas Moore (1779-1852) — Oft in the Stilly Night

I know, I know, I said three… but this one popped up in front of me, glommed onto my leg before I could dodge, and insisted that I include it with the others. Then I looked at it, and was sunk…. It’s not like I jabbed you in the eye with a stick, now, is it?…… Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you to have another; they’re calorie free……
___________________________________

“The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower.  To think otherwise is to demean the Buddha — which is to demean oneself.” — Robert Pirsig, “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

I like this. I liked it when I first read the book, more years ago than I care to think about, and it still clicks with my way of looking at things, as if Buddha himself was talking directly to me…. I admire it so much, that’s all I’m going to say on the subject. This can speak for itself……
___________________________________

“If fifty million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.” — Bertrand Russell

We are now experiencing first hand the beginning effects of the proof of this proposition. Our world-wide society has succumbed to the truth in this statement, and are actively, and obliviously, pursuing foolishness en masse. One need only look through the daily news to see this demonstrated; article after article explores concepts and events that illustrate the full and complete absence of critical thought that is rampant in our culture. No matter how outrageous the statement, no matter how silly the proposal, no matter how egregious the lie, if a talking head on TV says it, fifty million people will jump right up and cheer its arguable (to any minds but theirs…) merit, and give it their unquestioning belief.

Do I really need to point out examples? Oh, right, evidence is good…. Okay. Easy money. How about….. Mitt Romney?  Here is a man who has spent the last 10 months or so running around the US to various political electoral farces, er, functions, and has repeatedly lied, or pandered to special interests in the face of another, or alienated entire segments of the voting public (such as women, and the poor), or changed a position one day after claiming it as his own, so many times there are a number of web sites that are devoted just to keeping track of his contradictory and/or fictional statements, of what he has the temerity to call facts.  I’m not picking on him; it’s all out there in black and white for anyone to see.

Yet this man is the apparent next candidate for the Presidency of this country as the Republican choice. If we are to believe it, he has the support not only of numerous officials and “important public figures” in his party, but of millions upon millions of folks who seem unable or unwilling to examine any of his public statements for truth or accuracy. It’s almost as if he were a talking fundamentalist Bible…. He said it, they believe it, and that’s that…… possessing, as they apparently do, steel traps instead of minds. Anything that gets in, isn’t getting out alive, that’s for sure and for certain… As a bonus prize in the foolishness category, the folks who generally fall for this kind of chicanery have the following attitude as well…

“When you are sure you’re right, you have a moral duty to impose your will upon anyone who disagrees with you.” — Robert W. Mayer

And people wonder why I’m cynical…… here is a short verse that laments the absence of the kind of men I wish were running this country…. and I am saddened by the fact that I can think of no man, or woman, in office or out, who fits this mold…..

Statesman, yet friend to truth! of soul sincere,
In action faithful, and in honour clear;
Who broke no promise, serv’d no private end,
Who gain’d no title, and who lost no friend.
— Alexander Pope (1688-1744) — Moral Essays, Epistle to Mr. Addison
___________________________________

But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell!
Did ye not hear it?–No! ‘t was but the wind,
Or the car rattling o’er the stony street.
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined;
No sleep till morn, when Youth and Pleasure meet
To chase the glowing hours with flying feet.
— Lord Byron (1788-1824) — Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, Canto iii, Stanza 22

So, I needed another hit of exquisite….. so sue me… I’ll add an extra pearl, okay?….
___________________________________

Wedding March:  19th Century, England

“The traditional church wedding features two bridal marches, by two different classical composers. The bride walks down the aisle to the majestic, moderately paced music of the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s 1848 opera “Lohengrin”.  The newlyweds exit to the more jubilant, upbeat strains of the “Wedding March” from Felix Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The custom dates back to the royal marriage, in 1858, of Victoria, princess of Great Britain, and Empress of Germany, to Prince Frederick William of Prussia.  Victoria, eldest daughter of Britain’s Queen Victoria, selected the music herself.  A patron of the arts, she valued the works of Mendelssohn and practically venerated those of Wagner. Given the British penchant for copying the monarchy, soon brides throughout the Isles, nobility and commoners alike, were marching to Victoria’s drummer, establishing a Western wedding tradition.”

It seems at first glance that this entry has little significance in relation to what usually passes here for subject matter. Admittedly, it is less of an issue than my usual pick of stuff upon which to rant. Calm yourselves, I’m not going to rant about this…. I have included it for one reason only, and that is to demonstrate that the power of celebrity has its roots further back in our cultural history than might at first be apparent. This short historical note on weddings clearly shows how the famous in society influence the culture as a whole, and have done so since well before the advent of radio, news delivery over international distances, TV, and the internet.

The actions of one woman, the most visible public figure of her time, were sufficiently of interest to the rest of society as to institute a new custom, which persists to this day, and not just in the British Isles. Public opinion can thus be seen to be manipulable by the simplest of means, to wit: if the public likes it, they’ll buy it…. simple, yet effective, and obviously well-known to those who manipulate others as a rule of policy….. funny, sometimes where one can find evidence of humanity’s vulnerabilities, isn’t it?…..

“It is easier to perceive error than to find truth, for the former lies on the surface and is easily seen, while the latter lies in the depth, where few are willing to search for it.” — Goethe
___________________________________

As another morning’s musings draw to a close, I find myself a trifle melancholy. I’m sure it is temporary, and merely the result of finishing what has been fun to create. Since I’m happy with it as it is, we’ll get on with the rest of the procedure, and speed this on its way to cyberspace, and your perusal….. enjoy!  Y’all take care out there…..


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

gigoid

Kowabunga!