The Watering Hole; Friday December 20 2013; Of Mice . . . Of “Men”??

I’ll be brief. In his poem “To a Mouse” Scottish poet Robert Burns summed up a big pile of ‘stuff’ more than two centuries ago when he wrote:

Still thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e’e,
On prospects drear!
An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
I guess an’ fear!

He also, around the same time, wrote “To a Louse” in which he enumerated the essence of most everything else:

O wad some Pow’r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as ithers see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An’ foolish notion:
What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
An’ ev’n devotion!

Burns wrote those words in the late 1700’s, circa 1785. That’s roughly 225 yrs ago, and yet he somehow summarized the very pile of crap we still, on this very day in December of 2013, find ourselves having to deal with. Photo evidence follows; first, the Mouse (photo by Denny Green, Tempe AZ, December 2013):

Wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!

MouseStill thou are blest, compared wi’ me!
The present only toucheth thee . . .

And then there is, too and of course, The Louse:

Ha! whare ye gaun, ye crawlin ferlie!
Your impudence protects you sairlie . . .

Bon erYe ugly, creepin, blastit wonner
Detested, shunn’d, by saunt an’ sinner . . .
Gae somewhere else and seek your dinner
On some poor body

So: even though the answer is invariably OBVIOUS, apparently that always eternal question forever remains: “Whereto from here”??

Burns proffers those two options: a Mouse, or a Louse. The choice remains, apparently, up to each and all of us.

Me? I’ll take the mouse. He be cool. The Louse? Not so much.


64 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday December 20 2013; Of Mice . . . Of “Men”??

  1. I think this describes our current situation rather well.

    “If you camp out for an xbox, you’re a good consumer.”
    “If you camp out for social injustice, you’re a dirty hippie and deserve to be pepper sprayed”

  2. Suggestion for Zooey:
    Rename the activated black charcoal soap “The Nihilist”.

    First line on wrapper: Lather, rinse, repeat.
    Place a picture of grumpy cat on the wrapper and below that.
    “Why Bother?”

  3. Why Obamacare Could Produce More Atheists

    Less “mentalizing.”
    Analytical thinking style.
    Existential security.

    ……………………….which starts out with the example of Denmark, a society that is both highly irreligious and yet also highly ethical. “This is one of the most cooperative societies on Earth,” says Norenzayan, “and they’re doing it completely without religion.”

    And it’s not just Denmark. There are a number of un-religious societies in the world, including many Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, and China and also most European countries. So what makes them tick? “The way I would put it is that these societies climbed the ladder of religion and then kicked it away,” …………

  4. QOTD:

    “Ironically, if you read the whole interview, not just take one section, he talks very specifically about loving everybody. He talks very specifically about not being judgmental toward anybody, that’s God’s decision, not his. I mean, it is remarkable. There’s sections there where he sounds like Pope Francis.” — Newt Gingrich, comparing ‘Duck Dynasty’s’ Phil Robertson to Pope Francis.

    • Another problem is the way affordability is determined for family coverage. If an employee has a spouse with no coverage available other than through their partner’s employment, the 9.5% of income test is applied to the premium charged for the employee, not to the premium that would be charged for the employee’s spouse. Many employers subsidize the employee premium, but not that of other family members. The family members are unable to receive subsidies on the exchange and unable to afford the employer offered insurance.

      • Yup there are two groups of people who ‘oppose the ACA’ – the Duck Dysentry constituency that it is ‘marxism’ and those of us who think it is a crap law, doesn’t go far enough and is a giveaway to Big Insurance.

        • Doesn’t go far enough indeed. It really is a crappy first step toward what, with luck, it will eventually become. No surprise that it’s crappy, though; I mean, it’s the Republican version and barely resembles what Obama wanted on the front end. It’s garbage not because of Obama, but because of those on the other side who care only about increasing the pocket change for their rich friends.

          The ultimate solution for health care begins, of course, with bankruptcy for each and all health insurance corps, plus a takeover of the entire process by the government. Only then — profit motive removed — can it work. Only then WILL it work. Meanwhile, the herd simply moos, no one listens, and the bulls love it.

    • I’m pretty sure this has been true of Medicaid for quite a while. When I was still working for the lawyers, we used to get bills from Medicaid against the estates of older people who had been in nursing homes. We usually ended up denying payment of those bills, since the deceased usually had little or nothing left at the time of death.

      Maybe it’s different because they are recouping for ordinary medical costs now? I don’t remember that part from before.

  5. In what must be Opposite Day at Buzz Feed, they have declared Paul Ryan an advocate for the poor. Do we have a modern-day Ebenezer Scrooge in our midst? I don’t think so. Nothing has changed.
    The Republicans hold in contempt the unemployed, the poor and downtrodden, poor children, sick people and women: they are the personification of Ebenezer Scrooge BEFORE the nighttime visits, and they demonstrate so every day.

    In case I don’t get back here in the coming days, I’d like to wish everyone here a Happy Holiday season with my hope that 2014 is a good year for all of us.

    • Emily Dickinson was spot-on when she wrote, “The Bible is an antique volume, Written by Faded Men.” I’ve never found even the slightest reason to believe any of the baloney embedded therein, much less pay it any attention at all. Can’t understand what it is about the thing that causes so many to act so goofy.

        • Yep, that’s pretty close to what she had to say. Here’s how she summed it all up:

          The Bible is an antique Volume —
          Written by faded men
          At the suggestion of Holy Spectres —
          Subjects — Bethlehem —
          Eden — the ancient Homestead —
          Satan — the Brigadier —
          Judas — the Great Defaulter —
          David — the Troubador —
          Sin — a distinguished Precipice
          Others must resist —
          Boys that “believe” are very lonesome —
          Other Boys are “lost” —
          Had but the Tale a warbling Teller —
          All the Boys would come —
          Orpheus’ Sermon captivated —
          It did not condemn —

  6. New Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously upheld same sex marriage yesterday.

    today, A federal judge has struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.


  7. Fuck Dynasty

    The producer and creator of the A&E show “Duck Dynasty” once starred in a dark, homoerotic indie film about the gay porn industry called “The Fluffer.”

    BuzzFeed reported Friday that in 2001, Scott Gurney played a “gay-for-pay” meth addict who acts in erotic videos. The film premiered that year at the Toronto Film Festival.

    “The Fluffer” revolved around the destructive relationship between Gurney’s character and a gay college student — played by Michael Cunio — employed to keep Gurney aroused on set during filming.

  8. No music night yet maybe someone can copy and paste?

    The shortest day of the year today :). One thing we know after today…. the days get longer now, the sun starts to give us more each day until another spring comes and reminds us that we are all alive and another winter has passed.

    1. 99 Years ago, my great uncle and his fellow soldiers were in Belgium in a trench 100 yards away from the German soldiers in their trench. Lonely, far from their families, scared and wondering how long they would have to kill each other …. they somehow found a way to celebrate Christmas. I am not a religious man, I am an atheist, but I would like to think I too could do what the soldiers did that day.
    Paul McCartney perhaps captured the time better:
    2. I remember being there when this video was filmed. This song has been called the ‘perfect Christmas song’ by some people. I play this each year, but then again the message doesn’t change:

    3. This is just a party song – from the 1970s every Christmas disco ended with this….. and no, I never got the girl at the end of the disco :(.

    And here’s some gratuitous Diana Krall to turn all the boys gooey… gotta go take my daughter to see the musical Oliver !! 🙂

  9. A “great” Christmas ad blast from the past. Malls, consumerism, terrible rhyming, and cancer to boot — it’s got everything.

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