Archive for June, 2009

Odd Shots and Idle Pensees #1

June 30, 2009
Magic Mountains - Resurrection Machines

Magic Mountains – Resurrection Machines

The FIRST OCCASIONAL INSTALLMENT of THISSES and THATS collected over the years:

548 Primrose Lane – Robocop’s home address before all the bad stuff went down.

“The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.” – Mechanic, Repo Man.

“We should not be ashamed to acknowledge truth from whatever source it come to us.  Even if it is brought to us by former generations and foreign peoples.  For him who seeks the truth there is nothing of higher value than the truth itself.” – al-Kindi, c.801-66

“Take Memoprove and forget memory problems!” – real T.V. ad. Blanks your mind?

Interesting (real) Historical Horse Manure:

Twenty-six handpicked men were selected from the 16th U.S. Cavalry to find John Wilkes Booth (Abraham Lincoln’s assassin), among whom was Boston Corbett, a religious zealot and military fanatic who had castrated himself for visiting prostitutes!  Edwin Stanton had ordered Booth be taken alive.  Corbett, of course, killed him. What’s wrong with this picture?

“Even I, Lucas, have heard the legend of a man fish!” – Lucas, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

“Ninety percent of things without backbones come alive in the darkness.” – no, not neoconservative republicans, starfish echinoids.  Ocean dwellers.

Ancient Greeks: To sin = “to miss the mark” – can be high or low.  Sin is not living up to, or being who you are.

Dead, uncorrupted saints make good listeners.

In ancient China they didn’t think of history as the past, but now, and in the future too, so it all blurred or blended in one unending flow, beginning, middle, and end.  In the West history is neatly compartmented with dividing lines between epochs and eras.  The Chinese View had us live in the stream as part of the stream; the Western Way allows us to cut off the past from relevance in our present, and as an influence on our future.  We can forget time in a sense and float in a bubble, separate from time and space, in it, but not of it.  The Western view, in this, as in religion and everything else in life, divorces us from connection to the rest of Creation and instead makes us little gods, capable of managing and directing our own fate, of manipulating the universe to our exclusive human ends – even if it kills us.  Conclusion: the Western Way is a confusion of our actual stature in the universe, and hazardous to our health. Modern China is definitely finding that out.

Note: Feeling loss of identity?  Eager to believe in something, anything?  You’re prime fodder for cults.

Edward Gibbon writes that it’s less difficult to invent a fictitious story than to support a practical fraud.  It is the character of falsehood to be loose and inconsistent.  The most incredible parts of the legend are smoothed and softened by minions or apologists.  Religion depends upon credulity and craftiness, which insensibly corrode the vital principles of virtue and veracity.  The useful prejudice, which has obtained the sanction of time and opinion produces the effect of truth.  People in the heat of religious faction are apt to despise the profane virtues of sincerity and moderation.

I oppose all –isms.  Isms polarize people and imperil the world.  I prefer democracy, which cannot be made into an –ism.  How could it be when one universal idea admits all ideas?  I realize that that makes democracy inherently messy, but I prefer its disorder over the violence, persecution, and oppression of any of its alternatives – all of which, are –isms.

“It’s hotter than a Fox News weather skank.” – Ned Flanders (!), Simpsons.

“God, the original Tony Soprano.” – church sign, Simpsons.

Parzival by Wolfram Von Eisenbach, 13th century C.E.  Much ado about fabrics, flags, one’s place at the table, head-busting by foolish men for foolish ladies, and the romantic search for the fabulous grail – the holiest snipe hunt for the silliest prize: the Americas-Stanley-Wimbledon cup of immortality available only for unblemished boobery.

He’d paid his debt to joy, his life was but a dying.” – Wolfram Eisenbach, Parzival.

Dey vas dese two crummy kids – rotten dey vas – runnin’ aboud nekkid, und fornicatin’.  Dey vent und eat all der fruit offen der tree, und dere vas gonna be no pie!  Der girl – hoo-vay – she vas a stinker dat tink she know ever thang, und snippet der papa.  Sonny vas joost a big putz, und it vas too much vor der ault papa.  Hoo-vay, dey godda go, vat’s da big loss?  Nuttin’!   Und der papa Yah-vey said, “Ged da fugg out mine garden!” Und, dat vas just da vay it vas.  Dey is outen de platz.  Phooie!

“Ve ver in der bunker, und der fuehrer vas goin’ nutsy, und ve used to call him der Nutsy Nazi.” – imagined dialog for End the Third Reich Already History Channel Show.

“They have to find a way to institutionalize the existing situation so they don’t have to fix it.” – insight on too many political debates.

People, books, and things come into our lives for a reason.  It’s up to us to figure out why.

And it came to pass that someone passed gas, and all were offended.

“There’s never been anything like it.” – Shaq, speaking for Icy Hot.

Pain is an itch we can’t scratch.  All life is pain in the Buddhistic sense.  Its temporal fleeting nature is a constant bitter sweetness, forever a tear on the edge of beauty, a sigh on the cusp of grief.  We only get it for a moment, and sitting in silence, alone, we can feel its presence somewhere, always within, always informing, if we will it so.

The prissy spellcheck: I typed “bullcrap,” it wanted me to use: “bull rap,” “bullyrag,” or “fulcra.”  I don’t see how “fulcra” can even remotely echo or apply, unless used to fling the bullcrap.

Nietzsche:

“The philosopher can attain to truth by his reason and can live by it, but not all human beings are philosophers and able to grasp the truth directly.  Most can attain to it only through symbols.”

the Galleries:Fine Art: JLegry Gallery

http://www.zazzle.com/jlegry

Humor, Sci-Fi, Fantasy: FatLemon Gallery

http://www.zazzle.com/FatLemon

VINTAGE and COLLECTIBLES, including POLITICAL MEMORABILIA: TheAttic Gallery

http://www.zazzle.com/TheAttic

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FREETHINKERS

June 29, 2009
Freedom from Religion Foundation

Freedom from Religion Foundation

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, with more than 13,000 members, is the largest association of freethinkers (atheists and agnostics) in the United States. FFRF has been working since 1978 to promote freethought and to keep state and church separate.

The Foundation promotes freedom from religion with a weekly national radio show, a newspaper, a freethought billboard campaign and other educational endeavors, including scholarships for freethinking students. The Foundation acts on countless violations of the separation of state and church, and has taken and won many significant complaints and important lawsuits to end state/church entanglements and challenge the “faith-based initiative.”

Want to join in ffrf’s critical work to defend the separation between government and religion? Membership in the nonprofit, tax-exempt Foundation includes a subscription of ten issues a year to the Foundation’s lively newspaper, Freethought Today. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes. Get involved: Join or make a donation to ffrf’s Legal Fund.

Freedom depends upon freethinkers.

ffrf LINK: in sidebar

Wha’s Up?

June 28, 2009
Islands w/ apple, religions in the stream of time.

Islands w/ apple, religions in the stream of time.

New work at all the ZAZZLE galleries.  Check out  the links in the sidebar.

            Kant said that no one could or would ever empirically establish whether or not god exists, so why bother? People scurrying about the “Holy” Land gathering up broken pots in ancient garbage heaps, and digging out the battered remnants of distant lives, will not thereby prove or disprove the presence of any holy spirit at any site at any time.  The fact that some bricks are scorched in Jericho and that the prostitute-traitor’s (read the book) house “may be that one” are conclusive of destruction, but mute on the subject of an invisible god’s genuine and verifiable machination causing it.

            But people need to believe: in anything, in something, the more hopeful, the better.  The less plausible, still acceptable (see: Mormons, Scientologists, the knuckleheads in tenny-runners who went off to see the comet, Jim Jones, et al), provided the final reward remains colossal (so you want to be a millionaire?).  Hope, aka faith, springs eternal for all, and, as Martha says, “That’s a good thing.”  However, wishing on a star” doesn’t pay the bills, so it helps if the “religion” is also a “cash cow.”

            “Faith is belief in things unseen,” said “St. Paul” a.k.a. Saul of Tarsus, inventor of the Paulist Christian doctrine, which was adopted by the Roman Emperor Constantine as a weapon against his political enemies, cobbling together an ad hoc “holy” text to be used as a road map for political activities.  It is in fact, anything anyone wants it to be.  Believe it, or not.  JL/PDX:10/27/06.

 “It does not do to dwell on dreams, Harry, and fail to live.  It will not do.” – Prof. Dumbledore (Richard Harris), Harry Potter: The Sorcerer’s Stone.”

 Ancient Egyptian proverb:

“A trifle, a little, the likeness of a dream, and death comes as the end…”

IN THE BEGINNING…

June 27, 2009
A feel good Buddha for Meditation

A feel good Buddha for Meditation

Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston have shuffled off this mortal coil.  The celebrity-stricken mob eddies in swollen sodden mass; news organizations become fanzine paparazzi; a rising tide of homilies, drivel, calumnies, and kudos drowns all sight and sound of dying Afghans and other unpleasantries.  Same old, same old.

A Frame of Reference

“Paradise is a far promise; fame is a food for dead men – take the cash and let the credit go.”

 Instead of argument that frets the soul and spoils digestion, share good food with good friends.  Abandon a life sick with brooding on unhappy cares; do not count on dubious treasures in some inaccessible heaven.  All that we know of life is that it is an enigma, and that it is short, and that, nevertheless, it can be made not only bearable but pleasurable.

Thus, fill your life as you would a cup.  Do not torture yourself with a forbidding future; ignore “the rumble of a distant drum.”  Let what may be Beyond remain beyond.  Tomorrow has not come – tomorrow may never come – at the moment tomorrow does not exist.  There is only today, and today is ours.

“Having failed of finding any Providence but Destiny and any world but this, Omar set about making the most of it; preferring rather to soothe the Soul through the Senses into acquiescence with things as he saw them, than to perplex it with vain disquietude after what they might be.”

—    Omar Khayyám, The Rubáiyát; Louis Untermeyer, editor, 1947 ed.; Edward Fitzgerald, editor/translator, 1859.

SPECIAL BONUS: A Global Philosophy for Successful Living in Eight Aphorisms.

From the BUDDHA: Go forth in joyful participation in the sorrows of the world.

From JOSEPH CAMPBELL: Follow your bliss.

From CHRISTIAN TRADITION: Practice the Golden Rule.

From GANDHI: Act. “Without action there is no result. You may not see the result in your lifetime, but if you do not act, there will be no result at all.”

From JACQUES COUSTEAU: Hope for the best. “I hope for the best, although I can’t say why.”

From TOM PAINE: Use Common Sense. “Reason is the most reliable path to the truth.”

From his holiness the 14th DALI LAMA: “If you want the best idea of how the world was created, don’t pick the best mythology, consult the best science.”

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From FatLemon: “Keep on keepin’ on, and don’t forget to salute the man in the moon.”

Peaceable Kingdom

Peaceable Kingdom

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