Thursday, November 5, 2015

Chief Rosy Lips, no use flogging a dead horse, catch a bus! (repost)

Native Americans (often referred to derogatorily as "Indians") never owned land. They saw themselves as caretakers and had the wisdom to respect others’ right to walk upon the land. If only the White Man had befriended them and left them in peace, he would have learned a lot from them and been better off for it.

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that: when you discover you are riding a dead horse, your best strategy is to dismount.


However, in our government, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as:

1. Buying a stronger (and more expensive) whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

4. Arranging trips to other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.

5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.

6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.

7. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.

8. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase efficiency.

9. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse's performance.

10. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse's performance.

11. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed, it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some live horses.

12. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horses.

And of course....

13. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position.

If you don't understand the stupidity in this reasoning, you probably are happy with the way our tax money is being spent... and that would totally make you part of the problem!

[First posted 1 January 2012, reposted 24 February 2014]



[Dead Horse story courtesy of Olivia de Haulleville]

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Lost Words: Heavens to Murgatroyd! Anyone remember what this means?

We can have archaic and eat it, too.
By Richard Lederer

About a month ago, I illuminated some old expressions that have become obsolete because of the inexorable march of technology. These phrases included "Don't touch that dial," "Carbon copy," "You sound like a broken record" and "Hung out to dry." A bevy of readers have asked me to shine light on more faded words and expressions, and I am happy to oblige:

Back in the olden days we had a lot of moxie. We'd put on our best bib and tucker and straighten up and fly right. Hubba-hubba! We'd cut a rug in some juke joint and then go necking and petting and smooching and spooning and billing and cooing and pitching woo in hot rods and jalopies in some passion pit or lovers lane. Heavens to Betsy! Gee whillikers! Jumping Jehoshaphat! Holy moley! We were in like Flynn and living the life of Riley, and even a regular guy couldn't accuse us of being a knucklehead, a nincompoop or a pill. Not for all the tea in China!

Back in the olden days, life used to be swell, but when's the last time anything was swell? Swell has gone the way of beehives, pageboys and the D.A.; of spats, knickers, fedoras, poodle skirts, saddle shoes and pedal pushers. Oh, my aching back. Kilroy was here, but he isn't anymore.

Like Washington Irving's Rip Van Winkle and Kurt Vonnegut's Billy Pilgrim, we have become unstuck in time. We wake up from what surely has been just a short nap, and before we can say, I'll be a monkey's uncle! or This is a fine kettle of fish! we discover that the words we grew up with, the words that seemed omnipresent as oxygen, have vanished with scarcely a notice from our tongues and our pens and our keyboards.

Poof, poof, poof go the words of our youth, the words we've left behind. We blink, and they're gone, evanesced from the landscape and wordscape of our perception, like Mickey Mouse wristwatches, hula hoops, skate keys, candy cigarettes, little wax bottles of colored sugar water and an organ grinders monkey.

Where have all those phrases gone? Long time passing. Where have all those phrases gone? Long time ago: Pshaw. The milkman did it. Think about the starving Armenians. Bigger than a bread box. Banned in Boston. The very idea! It's your nickel. Don't forget to pull the chain. Knee high to a grasshopper. Turn-of-the-century. Iron curtain. Domino theory. Fail safe. Civil defense. Fiddlesticks! You look like the wreck of the Hesperus. Cooties. Going like sixty. I'll see you in the funny papers. Don't take any wooden nickels. Heavens to Murgatroyd! And awa-a-ay we go! Oh, my stars and garters!

It turns out there are more of these lost words and expressions than Carter had liver pills. This can be disturbing stuff, this winking out of the words of our youth, these words that lodge in our heart's deep core. But just as one never steps into the same river twice, one cannot step into the same language twice. Even as one enters, words are swept downstream into the past, forever making a different river.

We of a certain age have been blessed to live in changeful times. For a child each new word is like a shiny toy, a toy that has no age. We at the other end of the chronological arc have the advantage of remembering there are words that once did not exist and there were words that once strutted their hour upon the earthly stage and now are heard no more, except in our collective memory. It's one of the greatest advantages of aging. We can have archaic and eat it, too.

See ya later, alligator!
__________________

Richard Lederer is an American author, speaker, and teacher. He is best known for his books on the English language and on word play such as puns, oxymorons, and anagrams. 

[With thanks to Judy Mezen]


Monday, November 2, 2015

Camel or rope, still can't squeeze through! (revisited)

"And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God." ~ Matthew 19:24

This well-known quote from the New Testament attributed to the apostle Matthew has been the subject of endless debate over the centuries. Some scholars say that the Master Yeshua (called "Jesus" by modern-day Christians) wasn't referring to a camel but to a rope. One bible study site I stumbled upon while researching this subject has this to say:









Jesus and all the Jews spoke a language called Aramaic, and the word gamla meant either a camel or a large rope, just as we have words which are spelled the same, but have different meanings. And some of the earlier translators or copyists must have taken the wrong meaning here. For no one would ever talk about a camel going through a needle's eye. But every Jewish house had several large ropes, that were used to tie bundles on the backs of men and animals.

Even in Greek the camel-rope confusion persists. The Greek word for "thick rope" is kamilos; and "camel" is kamelos. But in wasting so much breath arguing about whether the Master meant "rope" or "camel" many theologians have completely missed the point.

And the point is the Eye of the Needle. Graphically, you can visualize it as a very narrow aperture that the thread absolutely has to squeeze through if you want to do any sewing with it.

I prefer to use "more scientific" terminology by calling it the Frequency Scanner. What, you may ask, is a "frequency scanner"? The secular definition is what radio buffs would be familiar with and it has to do with identifying the source of radio transmissions by means of a vast database of terrestrial radiowave frequencies.

As I'm not a radio buff I generally go with the "spiritual" definition wherein the Frequency Scanner is what measures an individual's auric purity and molecular integrity. All of us are born with hardwired frequency scanners which we may not necessarily be aware of. Those who unconsciously use their frequency scanners to suss other people might call it "intuition" or "instinct" or "following their gut feelings."


The Eye of the Needle, therefore, is a powerful metaphor for the perfectly natural process of self-selection whereby each soul determines its own onward evolution - or otherwise. Each of us must gather all the different threads of our genetic memories and converge them into a single point, in order to penetrate the most modest of apertures - the vulva of a vestal virgin, who represents the call of the Mother of all Goddesses, to return to our divine origins in her cosmic womb and be reborn anew.

I view the soul's pilgrimage through the fields of density and complexity as the method by which the Atman (Divine Self) gathers experiential data and then rearranges it to generate coherent patterns, which often take the forms of sacred geometry. If you imagine each life as a colored thread warping and woofing through the tapestry of eternity, it's almost inevitable that you will eventually begin to perceive the grand mandala of Life Itself and experience a glorious eureka moment.


Was the Master Yeshua a closet socialist? Why such a pronounced prejudice against rich folks? When he is quoted as saying there's no way a rich man can gain entry into "the kingdom of God" - does he mean this literally? Or was it just a bad hair day for Jesus that yielded this particular injunction?

My sons-in-law are all fairly rich guys. And I consider them decent and goodhearted souls. The only essential difference between us is that they are almost entirely focused on building their businesses and ensuring their families enjoy the very best that life can offer - while I'm almost entirely focused on freeing myself from any form of busyness.

Having spent more than 50 years researching what some may call the esoteric realm, I consider myself fairly well informed about the funky stuff that goes on within the Inner Planes. However, when it comes to subjects like sports or the stock market, my understanding of these worldly matters borders on the imbecilic.

So, from my personal perspective, what the Master Yeshua actually meant by his provocative statement was simply this: those who get overly caught up in external reality will find it a lot harder to attune to their own inner voice. If all one ever hears is the loud chattering of the marketplace, sportscasters and airheaded radio DJs, it's quite unlikely that one will ever acquire the necessary neural acumen to break free of the artificial holographic matrix wherein our anthropocentric games of buy-and-sell and win-or-lose are being played out.

No matter how much money you may have stashed away in some offshore account, you will still end up shitting your pants when you wake up one morning to discover that Wall Street no longer exists. The Jewish brokers made off with all your cash while you were fast asleep. What those silly scammers intend to do with all their worthless currency notes not even God knows.

They could use their $50 bills for rolling tobacco, just to remind themselves that they were once loyal subjects of Rex Mundi. Or they could pile up all the currency notes and make the most extravagant bonfire in history. Or wipe their bottoms with $10 bills just to prove they are no longer obsessed with "the bottom line."


In any case, you can rest assured that money distilled from the blood, sweat and tears of countless generations of semi-conscious and mentally enslaved humans will not be accepted as legal - or illegal - tender in the kingdom of God (I prefer to use the term "heaven").

All the fang-and-claw scenarios of dog-eat-dog politicians... the feeding frenzy of cocaine-crazed remisiers... the hustle and push of insurance and snake oil salesmen... the wheelers and the dealers... prime movers and shakers... the cigar-chomping moguls and ghoulish martini-swilling financiers behind the glitter and glamor of Hollywood, Bollywood and Follywood... I'm not letting them into heaven, no way!

Not unless they clear their emotional garbage and get their auric fields clear and fragrant.

God's love is both unconditional and conditional.

(If you happen to be a fan of Richard Dawkins and don't believe in God, that's fine. I don't need you to believe in me to be whatever and whoever I am, because the only God I accept as authentic is the one I see in the mirror, and in every pair of eyes looking back at me. In any case, God is actually an atheist, like Professor Dawkins.)

"Unconditional" - in the sense that even the ones who end up in a hell of their own making are still cherished and valued as souls and will always be offered another opportunity to clean up their acts and get out of their ruts.

"Conditional" - in the sense that if you misunderstand what Mastery is all about and go about enslaving and exploiting a whole lot of other lifeforms - human and more-than-human - because you erroneously believe that's what Masters do, then you've pretty much flunked this evolutionary semester.

Or if you vehemently deny that you've just shit your pants - when everyone else in the room is holding their noses and glaring at you and pointing to that gooey brown liquid oozing from your trouser leg and onto the plush carpet - well, then I suppose we shall just have to label you another "Hisham" or "Najib" and frogmarch you to the sanitization facility where, after a thorough cleansing, you'll be given all the emotional therapy you need to qualify for rebirth as a protozoon.

And it won't cost you a penny, don't worry.

Carl Jung was fond of recounting an old ecclesiastical joke that goes like this:

Student: There were men in the olden days who saw the face of God. Why don't they see it any more?

Rabbi: Because nowadays no one can stoop so low.

[First posted 4 December 2009 & reposted 9 December 2013]



AISODONOLAH ~ another Manglish poem by Antares


Aitelyu ah, every year laif getting harder,
Not like lastaim so seemple one.
You remember ornot dat taim we all in skool
Honda Cub five hundred dollar can buy.
Now how much oridi? Five tausend over!
Becos of INGFLATION wat, dey say…
So whatever happen to INFLASI SIFAR hah?
Dis mins debladigarmen’s kempen for “Zero Ingflation”
Only add up to NUTTING pulak…
But aisodonolah…

De udder day my son come home from skool,
Say he nid computer.
Defler form one only, man,
Oridi want to so high-teck!
He say, nowdays got standard six buggers
Using word plocessor – Oi! Mamasan 2020, yutingwat!
So like a bladifoo I take de rascal to the IT Expo
And buy him two tausend linggit computer,
Summore got "Intel Inside" one.
Now defler as soon as he back from tiewshun
Oridi sitting like hunchback wid new video game: Taa-taaaa-taaaaaaang! Zoop-zooooop!
Waaah, got STEREO sound one, pulak:
CIA, James Bond and Mossad versus Al-Qaeda and Al Gore!
Arfturds I go and see how de bladi ting work...
And de ungratefoo chap, ah,
He tell me to go away!
Never gif his old man chan to play…
Aiyoh, chewren dese days ah, watusay,
Aisodonolah…

Hweeyoh, doan tok to me about TRAFFIC JAM, brudder,
See my blood pressure oridi shoot up!
Lemme arsk you ah: got so many so-call iconomicks expert,
How come dey kennot add up how much
Taim, petrol, energy and payshuns wasted
In de bladi name of Progress, hah?
And how come de Otorities seemply allow
Dose gawdam devilopers to build high-rice condo
Even where got only kampong road?
Tingking of da FUTURE, da tick-skin flers say.
WHOSE FUTURE, I arsk you? Their own lah!
Two, tree housing projek oridi can retire,
Get free condo summore…
Cheh! Aisodonolah…

You want to hear a good joke ah?
Why garmen awfis orways got Piles of Work?
Becos dose buggers sit on their fat backside all day long
Till dey all kena PILES pulak –
So dey say PILES OF WORK is Ockupayshunal Hazard lah, haha!

But now ah, I hear dey will be UPGRADED, man:
Every seevil servant will get computer and internet
Under da Smart Awfis Plan -
Mins da furniture smarter than deflers who work there lah!
Dat’s wat MULTIMEDIO SUPER CURRYPUFF is all about lah:
From Mediocracy to Mediacrazy – waffor, man?
We only arsk dem to bekum NICER HOOMIN BEANS –
No nid for all sorts of ackspensif e-kwipment lah.
Aiyoh, so many kampong steel got no paip water
Or letrickcity; nearly half da bladi pawpoolayshun
Kennot read or rait (nemmain their speling lah)…
Steel sumflers want to ackshun only,
Awfer Bill Gates CON-SULTAN JOB IN POOTRAJAYA.
Yuting we kennot awford ah?
Twenty million a month oso no ploblem, man!
But where de heck da money coming from?
Oso, where de fuck de money going?
Aisodonolah.

Tok tok tok tokkok only!
ISO dis and ISO dat,
Aisodono wat.
Everywan and Kompeni going GREEN nowdays,
Mins wat? Learn to PLAY GOLF ah?
SARS-TAIN-ABLE EVERYTING…
Including GREED.
Watudu, booshit is manure - and manure good for growth wat,
You better shurrup and main your own affairs.
Any ploblem call Gurmit or Karpal Singh lah!
But who will do our Dirty Work for us, hah,
Wen dose flers retire or die?
Aisodonolah.
Oridi everyting PRIVATIZED and PIRATIZED,
Now no more Public Sektor lor!
Survival of the Fattest, yutingwat –
Dontch know your Charles Darwin ah, brudder?
“Aiyah, CARI MAKAN lah,” some say,
But ackchwurly ah, CURI MAKAN only.
Sneak around wid bags full of LOOT,
When caught REDHANDED wid pants down
Like dat oso never get de BOOT!
Ackshun spik lauder than words, dey say,
But in dis kiasu-kiasi so-sigh-ty ah,
You tok too laud you get DETAINED;
Kip quiet only, you bin DEBRAINED…
So waffor I tok to YOU ah?
Aisodonolah.


[Written 29 January 1997; revised 4 March 2007 and 13 October 2011; doodles by Antares]