Portrait of the artist as a young fool….

Ffolkes,

“Murphy was an optimist.”

~~ O’Toole’s Commentary on Murphy’s Laws ~~

Ibiza by Denise Anderson
Ibiza, by Denise Anderson


Fat sausages sizzled on the grill, while loud rock played from a boom box in the corner. Pots clanged, dishes rattled, and voices raised above the din, crying out needs and curses above the frightful din, “Pick up #12!”, “Where’s my fish?” “Fool! I said sauté in HAZELNUT butter!” Nobody paid the slightest attention to the small boy, furtively sneaking around the edges of the babbling crowd, keeping to the wall as he made his way to the back door, leading into the alleyway. The boy kept his head down, silently wending his way between the fast-moving bodies like a small elephant calf among the forest of the adults’ massive legs…..

Okay, that’s plenty…. We’ll leave the boy to his business, and get on with this nonsense now…. Not that I have a single idea of how to get started…. The fictional opening wasn’t bad, but, it doesn’t seem to have landed me anywhere useful, in terms of where to go next. I suppose I COULD stop a moment, and actually THINK about it, but, what fun would that be? I need to type as fast as I can, anyway, before my fingers turn to painful lumps on the end of my arms, good for bludgeoning flies and beating myself on the forehead, and, that’s about it…. But, then, nobody cares, do they? Results are all that counts in this society, dag nab it…

Don’t worry, I’m not going to bust out into a rant this morning; I’m far to awake for that. I may, however, slip over into sheer nonsense at times, as I’m not sure just how to deal with this energy. It’s been a long while since I woke up after this many days of relatively good sleep; I’m not sure what to do with it, having gone so long without. Of course, the sleep was broken, as usual, by numerous nighttime trips up to the head, or to sit & tremble while my body adjusts to the lowering of the Norco for a while…. That’s all fairly normal, and part of getting old, I suppose; sleeping in full comfort is a thing of the past…. But, it’ll do, as it must….

Wow…. lookie there! It’s an exit! It’s been month since I saw one of the actual street signs; we generally come at them too fast to pick up on that. But, it’s a real one, with the serial number right there in plain sight (what does the number 666 mean?….). Any who, we’re going to use it, since we’re here, and have the chance. It isn’t often we make a fully legal entrance; it’s a good thing officer Willie doesn’t come by more often, or we’d be in court more than we’d like. For now, I’d suggest you put down your beverages, and hold on; we’re going in, and going in hard….

Shall we Pearl?

“Evil habits soil a fine dress more than mud; good manners, by their deeds, easily set off a lowly garb.” — Plautus

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Popeye_title_card

    I yam what I yam, an’ that’s all what I yam…. I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!….


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Popeye The Sailor

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le penseur-rodin
“Ignorance plays the chief part among men, and the multitude of words;”

~~ Diogenes Laertius (c. 200 AD) ~~

~~ Cleobulus, iv ~~


From 4/13/2013:

“Custom does often reason overrule and only serves for reason to the fool.” — John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

This aphorism is one I think most people would accept as true, at least part of the time. It also points up what I see as a basic flaw in human nature, a characteristic that everyone possesses, and few overmaster. It has to do with our core beliefs, and the attitude we assume as our method of perception, the orientation of our world-view, as it were. We all perceive what is out there in the universe, but we are not capable, at this time, of understanding, or even noting, all that is there to be perceived, as we are limited to what we can see, hear, feel, touch, taste, or deduce, in our immediate vicinity…. We don’t yet know how to include the input of anything not in our physical presence, other than vicariously (via TV, radio, books, etc…..).

We do, however perceive what we are near, and what we do with those perceptions is what determines how the events of our lives will proceed. What is more, each one of us perceives all of this IN A DIFFERENT WAY…..  Two people can look at the same article, or event, and see two entirely different things; just ask them….. We use the same senses, the same KIND of brains to process the data, at the same time to observe the same event, yet the interpretation of those events will vary, by as many degrees as there are people perceiving them. This unique ability, to process data in a completely new and different way from anyone else’s method, is, as might be guessed, both a blessing, and a curse….. It is the latter which concerns me today…..

In order to coexist in the same place and time, people have learned to accept certain perceptions as being identical, for the purposes of communication, e.g., everyone knows what “fire” is, and knows not to touch it barehanded…. (Note: in a way, this blog is all about the process of such communications…. We explore the reality that is consensual, the one we all agree to deal with as being the same for all of us…..) This is the blessing it gives, the opportunity to increase understanding, to allow people to work in tandem, making both much more capable, making two more than just one plus one….. This is a very useful tool in the real world, and has helped our species achieve the degree of civilization we now enjoy….

The other side of this characteristic has an equal part in our destiny, and, may be, in point of fact, the more important of the two, in the ultimate sense….. You see, we are all herd animals, and desire the approval and company of our peers; without it, we suffer, much more than we even know. It is not “human” to remain alone too long…. Oh, there is nothing wrong with solitude, and much great thought is achieved when one is not distracted by others….. On the other hand, a human who is alone for too long becomes a pale imitation of his/her true self, without the presence of other minds to test his/her theories, to discuss and share their feelings and accomplishments, to vent their frustrations, to experience love….. Without these things, our spirits become small, and lose their moral compass, leaving us adrift in a reality that seems dark, and dangerous….

This dependence on custom (which I define as the total construct of human society, the set of rules and regulations, all unwritten, by which all of us shape our behavior in respect to each other…..) is so strong that, as the aphorism states, one becomes willing to set reason aside, in order to keep and maintain our feeling of having a place in society. We will assume whatever mask that society demands, at times, in order to not have to wear a mask of our own devising, one that we do not find comfortable…. This is the curse of which I spoke….

‘Tis an unfortunate fact there are a number of people who have no compunctions whatsoever in using this human characteristic to their own ends….. They don’t believe in any of the crap they spew, but will say or do anything to make sure that others do, because this is how they control the general populace… They spread their lies, fast and often, until they are believed…. these lies promulgate fear amongst the uneducated and timid, who then demand that “something be done!” by those in charge…. which is exactly what those people wanted, for they can now proceed to further fan the flames of fear, while surreptitiously looting the public treasury to make it seem as if they are doing something constructive…. “Hey, they’re stealing our oil! Let’s spend a few billion to bomb the crap out of them so we can keep driving SUV’s, with great cup holders!”

Oh well, I guess that’s all the rant I’ve got in me today…. It’s kind of mild I know, but I was trying to be scholarly, rather than controversial and accusatory…. I think I’ve succeeded in that, but, it doesn’t quite give the same thrill and/or release as a good, nasty rant, with some great name-calling… Well, I can always call them assholes, because, hey, it fits, and it’s easy to type…. Any who, I’ll stop now, right on the edge of illumination, and allow the Gentle Reader to follow the train of my thought to its obvious conclusion…. For those too busy, or too lazy to do so, I’ll summarize….

Don’t listen to what anyone else says, not about YOUR perceptions. And, for sure, kick the asses of anyone who tries to convince you of their integrity in an elected capacity, or any position of authority…. A lot of people, on every level of society, are just trying to control you for their own purposes, and deserve any ass-kicking that comes their way…. Be like a cat…. cats don’t give a SHIT what anybody thinks, they just are….. No apologies, no fuss, just leave me alone, because I’m busy being a cat….. This is good advice, so, listen up, I’m trying to do you a favor…..       😆

“We need very strong ears to hear ourselves judged frankly, and because there are few who can endure frank criticism without being stung by it, those who venture to criticize us perform a remarkable act of friendship, for to undertake to wound or offend a man for his own good is to have a healthy love for him.” — Michel Eyquem de Montaigne _Essays_, bk. III, ch. 11 [1595]

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Comedy_Tragedy

    A little change of pace from our usual reliance on my meager skills at poetry…. Enjoy, ffolkes, nonsense doesn’t get any better than this….

`Just the place for a Snark!’ the Bellman cried,
As he landed his crew with care;
Supporting each man on the top of the tide
  By a finger entwined in his hair.

‘Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it twice:
That alone should encourage the crew.
Just the place for a Snark!  I have said it thrice:
What I tell you three times is true.’

~~ Lewis Carroll ~~

~~ from THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, an Agony in Eight Fits ~~

page1-395px-The_Hunting_of_the_Snark_(1876).djvu

( full text at:  https://books.google.com/books?id=Ws8CBwAAQBAJ&pg=PP2&dq=%60Just+the+place+for+a+Snark!%27+the+Bellman+cried,&hl=en&sa=X&ei=wssFVeqRLobtoATUpYGwBg&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%60Just%20the%20place%20for%20a%20Snark!%27%20the%20Bellman%20cried%2C&f=false


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About Hopi Indian Symbols

From 7/28/2012:

Caution: Old School Pearl Ahead. Gird Your Grids For A Big One…..

“Two babies were born on the same day at the same hospital. They lay there and looked at each other.  Their families came and took them away.  Eighty years later, by a bizarre coincidence, they lay in the same hospital, on their deathbeds, next to each other.  One of them looked at the other and said, “So. What did you think?” — Steven Wright

A monk said to Joshu, “I have just entered this monastery. Please teach me.”
 “Have you eaten your breakfast?” Joshu asked. 
“Yes, I have,” replied the student. 
“Then you had better wash your bowl.”

~~ Smart Buddhist Bee ~~


“TAPPING?  You POLITICIANS!  Don’t you realize that the END of the “Wash Cycle” is a TREASURED MOMENT for most people?!” — Zippy the Pinhead

“I’ll get you my pretty,  and your little dog too!” — Wicked Witch of the East

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.” — Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne

There, that should do it…. I’ve made this as clear as mud, obviously…. Don’t worry, though, it won’t be on the test…. In fact, it won’t even count toward graduation, not that we care about stuff like that…. But, it does make a good point, yes?  Nod your head…..

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I find little needs to be said at this point; it’s all fairly well covered above. If not, we’ll have to try again tomorrow, because I am NOT starting over. In fact, I’m outta here…. See y’all tomorrow, ffolkes….

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

PLEASE STOP READING THIS MESSAGE NOW.

“SCRAM!!!!!!!!!!”- Oscar the Grouch

dozer3


À bientôt, mon cherí….


			

Mired in the prime of strife…..

Ffolkes,
Ah yes, the delights of awakening to the tender mercies of emotional distress…. Within 10 minutes of getting up today (Thursday, the 19th), at the reasonable hour of 0755, I received a call from Social Security, to ask me, in essence, whether I would like to extend the time it takes to secure my disability benefits, another six months, by adding on a visit to a psychiatrist to determine the status of my PTSD….. As you might expect, this caused my emotions to boil over instantly, whereupon I treated the case analyst who had called to a graphic example of just what state I’m in, PTSD-wise, blubbering in incoherent anger, bemoaning in no uncertain terms the federal government’s apparent desire to put me in a grave before letting go of my money….. It was NOT the way I would have chosen to start my morning, to say the least….

Now I have no idea how much longer this will take; I’ll need to talk with my lawyer now, and that can be stressful as well, so I may as well prepare myself for a period of insensibility, as my mind tends to want to shut down when stuff like this threatens my equilibrium. But, sadly, it looks as if I may as well resign myself to another long period of waiting in the dark, and can pretty much kiss the idea of Christmas goodbye for another year….. Too bad, really…. I had hoped to be able to actually go to a store and buy something for my kids for the occasion, but, I guess I’ll once again be trying to ignore the whole scene, and making do with giving them one of my own pieces of family history as a gift, or perhaps writing a poem for them…. not exactly the most thrilling of gifts, but, it’s the thought that counts, right?

Yesterday, the 18th, I didn’t post again, for the second time since starting this blog. It felt weird to not post, just like it did last month when it happened for the first time. As the poor federal case worker found out this morning, there is a lot of pressurized material stuffed into my head, and it needs to come out on a regular basis…. I did complete a Pearl yesterday, but couldn’t get to the library in time to post it, due to waiting for other folks to get stuff done…. SIGH….. Add a few more hit points to that stress level, ffolkes, and start counting!…..

Being a day behind, even though ahead, this will get posted on the 20th of October, 2012…. which, had he lived, would be my father’s 100th birthday…. and is now my youngest brother’s 57th, 58th, or 59th, I can never keep him and my younger sister’s ages straight…. Any who, happy happy to Kevin, and to my Dad’s memory….

As a result of this morning’s folderol, I am retreating, and will start looking for pearls as a substitute for going out to look for a victim; I always find beating up on somebody to be liberating, but inconvenient, what with all the criminal charges and all…. Instead, I’ll just pour all that angst into a rant, or a poem, or something…. maybe even a piece on Zippy, or Pooh, to bring out a few smiles. They (smiles) are buried pretty deep right now, but, a bit of Zippy can do wonders…. Let’s get to it….. Shall we Pearl?…..
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Raquel Welch:  36-24-36
Bo Derek:  35-24-36
Ann-Margaret:  37-25-36
Bette Middler:  37-25-36
Marilyn Monroe:  37-24-37
Jane Russell:  39-27-38
Jayne Mansfield: 40-23-37
Sophia Loren:  37-25-36

— Smart Bee (?)

So, sue me. It isn’t what you think, unless you are thinking what I’m thinking. I’m not going to say that isn’t possible, or even unlikely…. unless you  are thinking it is about some sexist premise that identifies women as objects. Being male, I’m not an expert on spotting or exposing that, but I’ve been around a long time, and have never held with most of what society holds as true about women, unless spoken by a woman who hasn’t proved to be one of the brainwashed….

No, this list is only here to note that what society seems to project, in magazines and advertising, through fashions and trends sponsored by those who determine such matters (i.e., the moneymen…) as the image of beauty, is not the same as what public opinion obviously feels about what makes a woman beautiful, in terms of weight and shape. All of the women in the above list were, and/or are, considered to be the visual pinnacle of what the public believes is beautiful, as evidenced by the popularity of their work, in film or on stage…. but none of them are at all similar to what the manipulators of fashion would have us believe is the ideal shape…. Whereas models can only be described as slender or willowy, all these women are what we might call zaftig, or rubenesque, in their visual proportions….. Personally, I agree with the public…. I find Ann Margaret to be much more pleasant to look at than any model in a magazine that I have EVER seen….. And, the fact that I feel entitled to make a judgment makes me as guilty of objectifying women as a man who utilizes brothels for sex…

Thus, if we grant the truth of that revelation, the mere existence of the list becomes the most objectionable piece of it….. It illustrates that the process of objectification is subtle; just applying such standards to women at all tends to cause people to think of them as objects, rather than as people. Society has been male-oriented for a very long time, a state of affairs justified as “might makes right.” Sadly; a lot of what is wrong in the world can be traced to that unfortunate fact. Men have, out of their own insecurities and fears, set things up so that women have very little say about what happens to them in life; those decisions are made for them by fathers, brothers, or husbands in most of the world. In order to do this, and not suffer pangs of guilt at every turn, men, and women, are taught that it is okay to objectify women, and to treat them as if they are property…. and property needs to be labeled, hence lists such as the one above….

Yesterday, rmott62 posted a blog, (http://rmott62.wordpress.com/2012/10/19/your-lies-are-part-of-our-genocide/), which I re-blogged on my site, speaking about this very subject, to wit: how the language we choose can objectify those of whom it speaks.  You can probably get a better idea of how insidiously the issue of victimizing women permeates society by visiting her blog; she speaks powerfully, with no punches pulled, from experience, and with great insight, much more forcefully than I ever can, so I recommend to you very strongly that you go to her site, and read what she has to say…. It will change the way you look at much of what passes in our society for normal, and make you ashamed for not noticing…. if not, it should, for we are all guilty of perpetrating the evil, if only by not acting or speaking up, for as long as the victimization of women, and the entire prostitution industry, continues to objectify, demean, and drag women of all ages into perpetual slavery…..

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I keep hoping, but the poem I feel in my head isn’t ready to come out yet, and time is passing (at the leisurely pace so beloved of the federal bureaucracies…..)….. so, if I want to get this Pearl posted today, I’d best be coming up with another poem for this space. I’ve become somewhat addicted to this morning dose of verse; it seems to make the prose taste better somehow….. Whatever the reason, I like it…. Here, then, is another fine piece from the annals of history, with some whimsy applied as the primary search criterion…. hell, whimsy could easily be construed as an algorithm, almost, in this sense…. Besides, the poem I’ve found is the perfect choice to follow the first pearl’s message. Any who, sensible nonsense aside, enjoy!…..

Men

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,
Men.

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.

Maybe.

Maya Angelou

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As always, when lacking the wherewithal to rant, or to discourse intelligently (if that can be said to ever happen….) I retreat into the wisdom of the ages, developing an idea with pearls that says, well, whatever it says…. I do try to make it enlightening in some fashion, even if only by providing some comic relief to the sober nature of much of the other material here. Here, then, are some pearls that spoke to me about enlightenment, each in its own little whisper….

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” — Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), “Lady Windermere’s Fan”, 1892

With virtue you cannot be entirely poor… Without it you cannot be really rich. — Chinese Proverb

A master programmer passed a novice programmer one day.  The master noted the novice’s preoccupation with a hand-held computer game.  “Excuse me”, he said, “may I examine it?”   The novice bolted to attention and handed the device to the master. “I see that the device claims to have three levels of play: Easy, Medium, and Hard”, said the master.  “Yet every such device has another level of play, where the device seeks not to conquer the human, nor to be conquered by the human.”  “Pray, great master,” implored the novice, “how does one find this mysterious setting?”   The master dropped the device to the ground and crushed it under foot. And suddenly the novice was enlightened. — Geoffrey James, “The Tao of Programming”

“God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent- it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash, and in small bills.” — Lazarus Long

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” — Alvin Toffler

“Avoid fried foods which angry up the blood.” — Satchel Paige, early to mid-20th century sage

“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”

“Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst.” — Thomas Paine

The Journey is the Reward, Not the Destination. — Zen Koan

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: “Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time.” When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, “The one I feed the most.” — George Bernard Shaw

Well, there you go…. If you’re not enlightened by now, well, you’re on your own, because that’s the best I’ve got in stock. Hmm…. gee, you don’t get the impression this is a metaphoric manipulation, do you? …….  Nah! Trust me!  No hidden agendas here, or metaphoric stimuli intended to create moments of zazen illumination….It’s all the real deal, and used properly, has been known to produce wonderful results…. and, well, the price is right, yes? Free advice is always worth what you pay for it….. Ta for now, luvs…..
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Well, the gods of literature can relax now…. I didn’t need to resort to either Zippy, or Pooh to get the Pearl done. I even managed to avoid using Will Shakespeare again…. though I do have a LOT of material of his that is appropriate for target shooting, it wasn’t needed today. Some might be thankful for that, but, they’re just jealous, for not thinking of it first….. Today we are back in waiting mode, with the added hope that the federal game of slow-them-down-as-much-as-possible won’t be able to find the dice, and won’t hold things up any more than they already have been….. Fat chance, I know, but, hey, gotta have our groundless hope, 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!