Silent Scream

I can’t look him in the eye.  I can’t.  It’s too painful.  The man is a shadow of his former self.  Tied down, hooked up to machines that poke and prod him everywhere, showing readings on every important thing his body does.

He is Gaunt.

Hollow.

Filled with fear and pain.

He twitches in time with some internal clock that beats an odd rhythm, and every once in a while the fear and pain completely take him.  Eyes wild with terror, his emaciated form twists wildly under thin blankets that seem incapable of keeping out even meager amounts of cold, fingers like talons grasp for a hold on anything, anything to push him away from the pain, from the abject fear.

He mouths words, but is incapable of speech.  Most of the words he mouths are incomprehensible, but a few get through.  “help me” “Help Me”  “HELP ME!”  His eyes burn with soul crushing agony.  His mouth becomes an inarticulate, silent scream.  My ears hear nothing from him, but my mind, knowing that ears lie, hears the scream.  The earth shakes with the thunder of his rage and pain and pounds incessantly in my skull. And he repeats the process, only the next one is stronger, more abject, more thunderous.

He sees, but does not comprehend, and his one reaction is one of primal fear.

And then just as suddenly as the fit comes, it goes. He is again resting.

Machines beep to themselves in the corner next to the bed.  His eyes half opened, half closed, showing no signs of life whatsoever.  If i didn’t see the slight movement of the sheets, and see the machine tell me he had a pulse, I’d think I was looking at a corpse.

And then a startled sounding breath. Movement.  His head moves slightly, but remains, as always, leaning to his left.  Tongue hanging out ever so slightly, with a tube stuck down his throat to help him breathe.

The doctors say it helps him breathe, but I hear in the same breathe that he breathes on his own. Makes me wonder after the sanity of people who can say such things.  Either he is breathing and needs no help, or he is really having a bad time, and needs a machine to do it for him. Right?

Right?

No human deserves that pain.  None.  But it exists, it is as real as darkness, as real as the night.

It had better be worth it.  He better make it.

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Pic of the day:  The Flagellation of our Lord Jesus Christ (1880), William- Adolphe Borguereau

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Philip K Dick, Ben Franklin, and a Good Ol’ Slap In The Balls

Nothing today except a quote, a viddy and a pic.  Been busy running around, and frankly I have not had so much as a minute to devote to anything except that running around. I have to go get ready to go to work tomorrow, so read the quote, watch the viddy, enjoy the art, and have a good night.

And remember, if  you are so busy that you don’t have time to think, and don’t make enough money to get all the things you need to live the life you want, chances are you are one of the 99%.

Go slap a billionaire in the balls and go to sleep.

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Can any of us fix anything? No. None of us can do that. We’re specialized. Each one of us has his own line, his own work. I understand my work, you understand yours. The tendency in evolution is toward greater and greater specialization. Man’s society is an ecology that forces adaptation to it. Continued complexity makes it impossible for us to know anything outside our own personal field – I can’t follow the work of the man sitting at the next desk over from me. Too much knowledge has piled up in each field. And there are too many fields.

Philip K. Dick, The Variable Man (1952)

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Viddy of the day:  Fox News Vs. Muppets: Ana and Cenk, The Slippery Slope of Science.  More fun than a little here with my bro Cenk on his new gig on Current TV. And no surprise, Sheriff Joe from Maricopa county, Arizona is a dick.

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Pic of the day:  Benjamin Franklin

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

Words To Live By

Words to live by, or some such schmaltz.  A few quotes by Robert A. Heinlein and some Hokusai tonight.  No need for anything more.

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Political tags — such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth — are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Time Enough for Love

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I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress

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Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy — in fact, they are almost incompatible; one emotion hardly leaves room for the other.

Stranger in a Strange Land

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“Value” has no meaning other than in relationship to living beings. The value of a thing is always relative to a particular person, is completely personal and different in quantity for each living human—”market value” is a fiction, merely a rough guess at the average of personal values, all of which must be quantitatively different or trade would be impossible.

Starship Troopers

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The very basis of the Judeo-Christian code is injustice, the scapegoat system. The scapegoat sacrifice runs all through the Old Testament, then it reaches its height in the New Testament with the notion of the Martyred Redeemer. How can justice possibly be served by loading your sins on another? Whether it be a lamb having its throat cut ritually, or a Messiah nailed to a cross and “dying for your sins”. Somebody should tell all of Yahweh’s followers, Jews and Christians, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Job: A Comedy of Justice

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Pic of the day:  A Tour of the Waterfalls of the Provinces:  Shimotsuke Kurokamiyama Kirihurino Taki, by Katsushika Hokusai

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That’s it from here America.  G’night!

The Idler No. 2

The day has been a long one, like many of the ones I’ve had lately.  So today I will simply toss out for you something from an author I have had placed here in quotes a great many times, Samuel Johnson.  Only this time I will place an essay of his, in it’s entirety for you to peruse.  Enjoy! courtesy of Wikisource.

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Many positions are often on the tongue, and seldom in the mind; there are many truths which every human being acknowledges and forgets. It is generally known, that he who expects much will be often disappointed; yet disappointment seldom cures us of expectation, or has any other effect than that of producing a moral sentence, or peevish exclamation. He that embarks in the voyage of life, will always wish to advance rather by the impulse of the wind, than the strokes of the oar; and many founder in the passage, while they lie waiting for the gale that is to waft them to their wish.

It will naturally be suspected that the Idler has lately suffered some disappointment, and that he does not talk thus gravely for nothing. No man is required to betray his own secrets. I will however, confess, that I have now been a writer almost a week, and have not yet heard a single word of praise, nor received one hint from any correspondent.

Whence this negligence proceeds I am not able to discover. Many of my predecessors have thought themselves obliged to return their acknowledgments in the second paper, for the kind reception of the first; and in a short time, apologies have become necessary to those ingenious gentlemen and ladies, whose performances, though in the highest degree elegant and learned, have been unavoidably delayed.

What then will be thought of me, who, having experienced no kindness, have no thanks to return; whom no gentleman or lady has yet enabled to give any cause of discontent, and who have therefore no opportunity of showing how skilfully I can pacify resentment, extenuate negligence, or palliate rejection.

I have long known that splendour of reputation is not to be counted among the necessaries of life, and therefore shall not much repine if praise be withheld till it is better deserved. But surely I may be allowed to complain, that, in a nation of authors, not one has thought me worthy of notice after so fair an invitation.

At the time when the rage of writing has seized the old and young, when the cook warbles her lyricks in the kitchen, and the thrasher vociferates his heroicks in the barn; when our traders deal out knowledge in bulky volumes, and our girls forsake their samplers to teach kingdoms wisdom; it may seem very unnecessary to draw any more from their proper occupations, by affording new opportunities of literary fame.

I should be indeed unwilling to find that, for the sake of corresponding with the Idler, the smith’s iron had cooled on the anvil, or the spinster’s distaff stood unemployed. I solicit only the contributions of those who have already devoted themselves to literature, or, without any determinate intention, wander at large through the expanse of life, and wear out the day in hearing at one place what they utter at another.

Of these, a great part are already writers. One has a friend in the country upon whom he exercises his powers; whose passions he raises and depresses; whose understanding he perplexes with paradoxes, or strengthens by argument; whose admiration he courts, whose praises he enjoys; and who serves him instead of a senate or a theatre; as the young soldiers in the Roman camp learned the use of their weapons by fencing against a post in the place of an enemy.

Another has his pockets filled with essays and epigrams, which he reads from house to house, to select parties; and which his acquaintances are daily entreating him to withhold no longer from the impatience of the publick.

If among these any one is persuaded, that, by such preludes of composition, he has qualified himself to appear in the open world, and is yet afraid of those censures which they who have already written, and they who cannot write, are equally ready to fulminate against publick pretenders to fame, he may, by transmitting his performances to the Idler, make a cheap experiment of his abilities, and enjoy the pleasure of success, without the hazard of miscarriage.

Many advantages not generally known arise from this method of stealing on the publick. The standing author of the paper is always the object of critical malignity. Whatever is mean will be imputed to him, and whatever is excellent be ascribed to his assistants. It does not much alter the event, that the author and his correspondents are equally unknown; for the author, whoever he be, is an individual, of whom every reader has some fixed idea, and whom he is therefore unwilling to gratify with applause; but the praises given to his correspondents are scattered in the air, none can tell on whom they will light, and therefore none are unwilling to bestow them.

He that is known to contribute to a periodical work, needs no other caution than not to tell what particular pieces are his own; such secrecy is indeed very difficult; but if it can be maintained, it is scarcely to be imagined at how small an expense he may grow considerable.

A person of quality, by a single paper, may engross the honour of a volume. Fame is indeed dealt with a hand less and less bounteous through the subordinate ranks, till it descends to the professed author, who will find it very difficult to get more than he deserves; but every man who does not want it, or who needs not value it, may have liberal allowances; and, for five letters in the year sent to the Idler, of which perhaps only two are printed, will be promoted to the first rank of writers by those who are weary of the present race of wits, and wish to sink them into obscurity before the lustre of a name not yet known enough to be detested.

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G’night America!

Brave Old World

       A quick viddy from an old TV movie version of  “Brave New World” from 1998 to begin the proceedings.  The viddy’s sound is not synced properly.

     I’ve really got nothing today, more because I am calling it an early night and want to concentrate on getting a job than anything else.  I’ll get to the Harry Reid race thing, Sarah Palin gets a job (can I be far behind?) and other stories that distract rather than illuminate tomorrow.  Just a few pieces of fine art and a few quotes for today sounds like a plan.

    First up, Hieronymus Bosch

    

   Next up, a personal favorite U-kiyo-e piece of mine, from Katsushika Hokusai:

    

    The last one an ancient sculpture of the historical/mythical figure Gilgamesh:

    Gilgamesh was an actual king of Sumer(modern day Euphrates valley) credited with having built the walls of Uruk.  The “mythological” part comes from the book “The Epic of Gilgamesh”, which says he was 2/3 god and 1/3 man.  He was said to have fought with demons, and dealt with the wrath of the goddess Ishtar, and crossed over to the netherworld to avoid death, a journey brought about when his best friend, Enkidu, dies.

    I’ve read the Epic of Gilgamesh, it is one helluva book, and it has, among other things, the story of the flood in it.  A story which predate the Bible flood story by 1,500 years.  Read the book.

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That’s about it, except for a second viddy.  An interview with Aldous Huxley

Today’s Nuggets, by Aldous Huxley, via wikiquote:   It is man’s intelligence that makes him so often behave more stupidly than the beasts. … Man is impelled to invent theories to account for what happens in the world. Unfortunately, he is not quite intelligent enough, in most cases, to find correct explanations. So that when he acts on his theories, he behaves very often like a lunatic. Thus, no animal is clever enough, when there is a drought, to imagine that the rain is being withheld by evil spirits, or as punishment for its transgressions. Therefore you never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible fooleries of magic and religion. No horse, for example would kill one of its foals to make the wind change direction. Dogs do not ritually urinate in the hope of persuading heaven to do the same and send down rain. Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies. Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat’s meat, to wheedle the feline spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, intelligent enough.

At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity, human malice, and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of religious or political idols.