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  • mistermuse 9:39 am on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    SMILES AND SHADOWS 

    Show me a man who smiles when everything goes wrong — and I’ll show you an idiot.” –Evan Esar

    I’m very happy to say I seldom smile, so if I’m an idiot, it’s not because I smile a lot. On the serious side, though, there are of course many ways to show that you’re an idiot — not the least of which is being a Republican (no offense intended if you happen to be a boneheaded GOP devotee). Of course, you don’t have to be a two-faced Republican (although it certainly helps) to be an idiot. As human beings (even including politicians and celebs), we’re all prone to at least occasional idiocy. After all,

    I will also admit that there are times (such as during The Great Depression of the 1930s) when it made perfect sense to exhort people to smile through their troubles (like laughing to keep from crying):

    Going back even further in time, smiling wasn’t always in fashion. No doubt you’ve noticed that people seldom smiled in olden day portraits or in black and white photographs of the 1800s. Even Leonardo da Vinci’s early 1500s Mona Lisa portrait betrayed but the beatific shadow of a smile.

    Of course, there are all kinds of smiles: sincere and insincere, artful and artificial, genuine and disingenuous, forthcoming and forced — speaking of which, this quote seems to make the best of the situation:

    Start every day off with a smile and get it over with.” –W. C. Fields

    ๐Ÿ˜€

     
    • Don Ostertag 9:57 am on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      W,C. is the Confucius od our time.

      Liked by 2 people

    • The Coastal Crone 11:39 am on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the Sunday smile!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rosaliene Bacchus 3:29 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Nothing beats a smile and a good laugh to drive away the shadows ๐Ÿ˜€ The song “Smile” by Nat King Cole (1954) carried me through the most difficult years of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 5:04 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Definitely needed this post today after watching the latest news. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:11 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Back in the day, it was said hat an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Unfortunately, these days, a smile a day doesn’t keep the bad news away….and neither would an apple. I don’t know what’s left to try, except maybe living in a cave like a hermit! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 5:45 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Smile and the world smiles with youโ€ฆ
      ๐Ÿ‘

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:24 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        You may be on to something. Trump hasn’t smiled since running for Pres in 2016 and the world has gone to hell. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 5:55 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Thereโ€™s a difference between smiling like a twit and keeping your sense of humour. Iโ€™m coming through a total mess of a work situation right now, and my sense of humour is keeping me sane. Or, as a colleague of mine has remarked, mining for irony can be an entertaining side gig.
      I enjoyed your selections. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:39 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        “Twit” has been one of my favorite words since I saw Alfred Hitchcok’s THE LADY VANISHES, in which two characters played hilarious English twits.

        Glad to hear your sense of humor has been keeping you sane. The same attribute works for me every time I look at my face in the mirror. ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 6:28 pm on June 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      WC- the master of the witticynicism.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jilldennison 3:42 am on June 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I LOVE that first clip, “Nobody’s Perfect” … I didn’t expect that ending and I outright laughed! I don’t smile as much these days as I once did, but I can paste one on when I need to in order to let loved ones think that everything is alright. I imagine that’s what we all do these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:19 am on June 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        The “nobody’s Perfect” clip is the ending scene from the Billy Wilder-directed SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959),, starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe. It’s widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies of all time, and one of my favorites as well.

        As for pasted-on smiles, keep on keeping on. Politicians may make us sick of such smiles, but you prove that they can be used for noble purposes. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        • jilldennison 5:36 pm on June 5, 2023 Permalink

          I had no idea!!! Yep, my friend, I shall keep on keeping on until I can do so no longer, and then I shall die with a pasted on smile on my face! Or maybe a real smile for thinking of leaving all this mess!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Geoff Stamper 1:36 am on June 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      A friendly smile can make one’s words more palatable.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 6:57 pm on May 31, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    I’M BACK, JACK (AND JILL) 

    My recovery from strangulated hernia surgery May 17 has been a bit of a bumpy road, and I’m still not feeling up to snuff (which is tobacco, as in “Tobacco Road,” which shamelessly brings me back to the bumpy road I’m on)….all in service of saying I’m back to posting (on a very limited basis).

    I’m under doctor’s orders not to do any heavy lifting (physically), but I also don’t feel like doing any “heavy lifting” mentally, so I’ll limit the rest of this post to a few ROAD songs while I’m on the road to recovery. Take it away, Ray.

    We end with WAITING AT THE END OF THE ROAD from the great1929 early talkie HALLELUJAH:

    Thanks in advance for any comments you may have, and forgive me if I don’t reply to each individually.

     
  • mistermuse 7:23 am on May 17, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    HEALTH ISSUES 

    I’ve been m.i.a. lately because I dealing with serious medical problems.I don’t feel well enough to go into details, but I just want to let my readers know that I won’t be posting for the foreseeable future, Thanks for your past support.

    Take care.

     
  • mistermuse 10:55 pm on May 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    OIL OF SNAKE IS THE PITS 

    In case you haven’t heard –and, if you didn’t have your eyes wide open, how would you — let me be the first to let you in on a new game show titled SNAKE OIL debuting next season on FOX (the TV network, not the hole, the terrier, or the trot). According to deniable sources, the show’s contestants will be given a convincing sales pitch of unique products “by entrepreneurs, some of whom are showcasing real business ventures, while the others are Snake Oil Salesmen whose products are fake. With the help of guest celebrity advisors [such as, perhaps, Donald Trump — unless he’s too busy appearing on future shows like LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE and WITCH-HUNT], contestants must determine which products are real and which are a sham, for a chance to win life-changing money.”

    Obviously, this show with its “chance to win life-changing money” pitch is going to be such a major hit that it will send WHEEL OF FORTUNE spinning down to the minor leagues. In fact, it’s a virtual certainty that millions, if not billions, of people will be futilely clamoring to become contestants. Unfortunately, the demand will be so in excess of contestants chosen, that your chances are infantisimal (unless, of course, you’re an infant). Fortunately, friends, I have an in with SNAKE OIL insiders, and for the ridiculously low price of $999,999.99, I can get you on the show. Where else can you have an excellent chance at “life-changing money” for under one million clams? And to prove that this is no shell game, I give you my personal guarantee that I’m on the up-and-up.

    So act NOW! This offer isn’t going to be around forever (and neither may I).

    P.S. Of course, “clams” is only a figure of speech. Cash is preferred, but I will also accept a private jet and luxury apartment in a civilized country which has no extradition treaty with the U.S.

     
    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 11:54 pm on May 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      A brilliant post, well said. But thereโ€™s a problem; why do the snakes always get priority? Itโ€™s about time the raccoons, pigeons and badgers had a turn. Fair is fair. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:35 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Actually, snakes don’t get priority when it comes to having a day named for them, like GROUNDHOG DAY. Of course, groundhogs earn their day by predicting if there will be six more weeks of winter, based on whether or not they see their shadow….which puts snakes at a glaring disadvantage.as a weather forecaster. Also, snakes get a bad rap for scaring people, but they’re actually pretty down-to-earth creatures.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 7:41 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I live in Maine. Thereโ€™s a reasonable chance you might be paid in actual clamsโ€ฆ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:03 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Sounds inviting!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rivergirl 8:06 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink

          Again.. video unavailable.
          I canโ€™t see any of them lately.
          ๐Ÿ™

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 8:59 am on May 12, 2023 Permalink

          The video is “Clambake Invite.” It’s a 2010 performance of the “This Was A Real Nice Clambake” song from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL.

          I hope your “video unavailable” problem goes away soon!

          Like

    • magickmermaid 1:30 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      ๐Ÿ˜€ This mermaid has more than enough clams and a snake tattoo. The snake is an ancient symbol for rebirth, renewal, transformation and healing.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 3:45 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      So then, pass the oil of snake
      For symbolic goodness sake!
      ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 7:05 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, you lost me at Fox. They don’t do fair and balanced game shows, but last I saw they do spectacularly fantastatical unreality shows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:34 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Just to clarify, there’s a distinct difference between the programming on the right wing Fox News, and on Fox-affiliated local stations across the U.S. which air their own news and sports programs and network-produced entertainment such as quiz shows. The local Fox station in my city avoids political partisanship .

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 10:34 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Yep, I’m aware. Still, I see Fox, I run. Pavlovian response, I guess…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:42 pm on May 12, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I don’t blame you — I avoid Fox News like the plague.
        Just the thought of watching it makes me want to gag.

        Liked by 1 person

    • jilldennison 12:19 am on May 13, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      WHOA … you’re good at this … are you sure you’re not auditioning to replace Tucker Carlson??? Sorry, mm, but I don’t have $999,999.99 lying around today … but as soon as my rich uncle gets out of the poor house …

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:06 pm on May 13, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Jill, but Fox would be a sucker to replace Tucker with a Trump mucker like me.
        As for not having $999.999.99 lying around: because I like you so much, I’ll be glad to settle for $999,999,98. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

        • jilldennison 3:50 am on May 14, 2023 Permalink

          Heh heh … Fox would likely lose the rest of their viewers quite quickly, but you never know … you might wake a few of them up! Oh, thank you for the price break, but the sum total in my bank account now is under $300 … I think I’m a long way off!

          Liked by 1 person

    • selizabryangmailcom 5:57 pm on May 16, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      CNN better be careful. It’s well on its way to becoming a leftist Fox. All for ratings, ratings, ratings. $$ really is the root of all evil.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 6:50 pm on May 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    BIG TALK, SMALL TALK, AFTER ALL TALK 

    Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool; after he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume.” –H. L. Mencken

    Thanks to Donald Trump and preceding prevaricators like Bill Clinton, P. T. Barnum and Charles Ponzi, America has long been a world leader in BIG talkers, most of whom are men (women are — generally speaking — better small talkers, in my humble, if foolhardy, opinion).

    Personally, I’m not much of a talker, big or small. I much prefer to write, though I like to listen to people who have something worth saying — as opposed to those who just like to hear themselves talk (speaking of lying politicians, believe it or not).

    Enough (written) talk. How about some tunes about talk like this first song, which you may have heard of because….

    For those who’d rather not talk about love, this witty ditty is for you:

    For those who could do with less talk of any kind, this one may be music to your ears (vocal refrain not until 1:53 into the clip):

    What more can I say?

    THE END

     
    • jilldennison 11:15 pm on May 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      And then there’s …

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:52 pm on May 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Jill. That would’ve been my post’s fourth “Talk” song if I hadn’t decided to stop at three (which also eliminated a few others I considered). Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Geoff Stamper 11:15 pm on May 6, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t do clips but my favorite Talk tune is You Talk Too Much by Joe Jones.

      Liked by 1 person

    • rawgod 4:19 am on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Can I offer you some doublespeak?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:19 am on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        If only Trump would sing that song,
        But he don’t know right from wrong,
        And we know that he never will.
        He’s sick and it makes me ill.

        Like

        • rawgod 12:42 pm on May 7, 2023 Permalink

          You’re saying he is contagious? You’re right. In fact he’s been epidemlic. in the US, and he is part of a political pandemic across this world. Maybe they can make a vaccine?
          But it wouldn’t help, because most of his followers are anti-vaxxers!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 1:43 pm on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      You must add a link to the song from Disney “We Don’t Talk About Bruno!” Perfect addition to the post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:45 pm on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I haven’t kept up with the movies (including Disney’s) for years, so I never heard of that song. When I have a little more time, I’ll check it out to see if I like it. Thanks for the suggestion.

        Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 6:15 pm on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I love the Cole Porter song! Parts of it remind me of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Major-General’s Song (the tempo, not the words).

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:26 pm on May 7, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I love that witty song too, mm. Cole Porter, as you may know, wrote both the music and lyrics to his songs, so in this case, you could say he was the American equivalent of Gilbert & Sullivan rolled into one.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 5:08 am on May 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:18 am on May 8, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        If Bobby Darin could talk to the animals like he sounds to me, the world would be full of nor only contented cows, but all species (unlike Donald Trump, who talks to his “animals” like an ass).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Pam Lazos 2:01 pm on May 10, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Here’s my fav: https://youtu.be/-Kdt1IARNkI

      Liked by 1 person

    • Priti 11:42 pm on May 11, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 9:18 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    DO YOU BELIEVE, OR LEAVE BE? 

    Depending on the context, the above is a rather loaded question, isn’t it — perhaps especially in a religious context, which I’ll touch on later. In a broader sense, it’s almost beyond belief how easily people can be led by the (self-proclaimed) ‘knows’ to believe almost anything. I refer, of course, to such charlatans, snake-oil salesmen, and power-hungry politicians and despots as Trump and Putin, whose model is manifestly Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels’ manifesto that If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. Or, as the late British poet and critic Dame Edith Sitwell put it, “The public will believe anything, so long as it is not founded on truth.”

    Personally, I long believed in Live and let live (so long as what others do doesn’t hurt me and/or others). I now believe that line is too laid back for our times. Integrity and the moral order are too much in danger in today’s world not to instantly, aggressively, and loudly call out those liars for who they are.

    Again personally, as to religious beliefs, over my lifetime I’ve gone from practicing Catholic to ex-Catholic to deist (belief in an impersonal, uninvolved God) to non-believer — by which I don’t mean atheist, because I don’t know there is no God, anymore than I know there IS a God. Does that make me an agnostic by default?

    In the beginning, who can foresee where life’s spiritual journey will lead? From the time I was in my late teens, when I went on a retreat to the Trappist Monastery of Gethsemani….

    ….to (as I sit here) contemplating this Monastery, has been a long, long way to where I almost am now:

    THE AGNOSTIC’S MONASTERY
    by Martin Kirby

    In the Agnostic’s Monastery
    The quiet monks at vespers
    Chant The Word That Might Be Holy:
    Maybe…Maybe…Maybe.
    They feast on The Gruel of Hope.
    They celebrate The Eucharist of Contingency.
    They perform stately dances
    Around The Altar of Doubt.
    They sing requiems for The Death of Certainty.
    They send missionaries with glowing faces
    To preach The Conditional Truth,
    To proclaim that The Results Are Not All In,
    To reveal that The Name of God — is Possibility!

    Go to them. Bask in the flickering light of Possibility.
    Meet frowning Brother Dubious —
    Possibly he may guide you to your cell,
    And smiling but silent Brother Rehabilitatus,
    The Master of Novices.
    (His manual The Last Drop in the Cup
    May grow soggy with your tears.)
    And if the Jillion Jackstraws of Contingency
    Are particularly fortuitous,
    You may encounter —
    Relatively Reverend Abbott Existentialius,
    Generally admired for his gravitas,
    Who spent decades face down on the floor of his cell,
    Chanting, in proto-spiritual anguish,
    Maybe…Maybe…Maybe,
    Until he sprang up and proclaimed The Tin Rule:
    We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know!

    Go to them, as a tender novice.
    Be anointed with The Brotherly Glue of Sincerity.
    Offer them representative samples of the deeper yearnings
    Of What May Pass in a dim light for Your Soul.
    They will do what is possible.

    I’M NOT THERE YET….BUT I CAN’T STOP THINKING.

     
    • OIKOSโ„ข- Art, Books & more 9:29 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.

      Liked by 1 person

    • David Scott Moyer 9:54 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      We can’t KNOW that there are no dragons, or leprchauns or little gray alien invaders. I suppose we can’t KNOW anything at all. My favorite argument for atheism came from Ricky Gervais, talking to Stephen Colbert, who, at the time was a devout Catholic. I paraphrase Ricky: If you take all the religions of the world, you will find belief in something like 3000 gods. You (Colbert) don’t believe in any of them, right? Well, then I don’t believe in one more than you.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:45 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Supposing we can’t know anything at all sounds to me like an argument for agnosticism rather than atheism….but to “suppose we can’t know anything at all” about everything strikes me as something practiced at THE ABSURDIST’S MONASTERY. Again, I’m not there yet, but who knows — that may be next on the itinerary.

        Like

        • David Scott Moyer 10:58 am on May 4, 2023 Permalink

          It is absurdist if you require proof of a negative. That is kind of what you do when you say you can’t KNOW that there is no God. I would say that it is so unlikely that there is one that any discussion of the possibility is rendered fictional.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 1:01 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink

          Anyone can (and often does) believe what they want to believe regardless of proof, whether in the religious or secular realm. When it comes to KNOWING in the religious sense, IMHO there is no such thing — it’s all belief. I don’t believe in the god of any religion, but I neither rule in nor rule out a “god’ in the deist or creator sense, unlikely as the possibility may be to limited human thinking. If there’s one thing I do know, it’s that we don’t know what we don’t know.

          Thanks for the stimulating conversation.

          Like

      • Rivergirl 7:51 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I may have to steal that one.
        ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Ostertag 12:08 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      We don’t know what we don’t know. I guess that sums up my progression from devout Catholic to my current thelogy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:47 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Same here, except I’d say I was more brainwashed than devout. Still, I was a practicing Catholic for decades before I concluded that practice DOESN’T make perfect if what one is practicing is inherently unsound to begin with….or maybe I’m just a slow learner. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    • rawgod 12:09 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      If God means some Super Being in charge of the universe, I am definitely Atheist, no ifs, ands, or maybes. But that does not stop me from believing there is a presence in the universe — and beyond — called Life. This presence is what animates every living being in our universe — and beyond.
      Life does not tell us what to do, or require us to worship it. Life actually asks us, and all other living beings: “How should we all live? I know nothing, so please teach me.”
      On this plane of existence, of late, too many people have lost the concept of “us” and become worshippers of “me”! “I am the only one who knows how everyone else should live!” “I get to write the rules of life.”
      There are no rules of life. Life needs us to say, in reply, “We are all one. If something is not good for all of us, then that something is not good for any of us.” We, all living beings, are in this together.
      And that is what I believe!
      (Funny, that you should believe, or leave be. In our universe we think we can know, but really all we can do is believe we know. We think we are guaranteed the sun will rise every morning, but the sun never rises, it is our world that turns itself towards or away the sun once every period of time we call a day. And sometime, though not in our lifetimes, if we can believe science, that sun is going to go nova, and we will stop existing to see the sun rise.
      Knowledge is temporary, and changes all the time. To me that makes it belief!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:25 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I like your thinking about a life presence in the universe, which some people might call God. But “God’ is a word fraught with so much disagreement, disarray, and embroilment that it only muddies the waters (for want of a better term). On the other hand, a God by any other name would probably amount to nothing more than a distinction without a difference, given human nature.

        As for “believe, or leave be,” I titled the post thusly before I’d thought the content completely through. Afterword, I’m thinking maybe I should’ve re-thought the title, but the hell with it. I’m done!

        Like

    • josephurban 12:21 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I KNOW there is no “personal” god just as surely as any religious person KNOWS there is one.
      In the end, I believe not what people say, but how they act. Now, if a person claims that god knows all and is watching our every move and judging us..well… how do these people ACT? For example, if I TRULY believed that an all powerful god was watching my every move, how would I ACT? Would I ever dare to break a commandment? Would I ever dare to treat anyone else with anything but the utmost respect?
      Imagine a man (call him “god”) is following you around all day and night. Watching. Judging. And this man has the power to condemn you to an eternity in hell if you step out of line. How would you act?
      My point. People don’t actually “believe” in a god. I know this because they don’t act like they do.
      Now, they do BELIEVE in the laws of gravity. If you take any religious person to the top of the Empire State building and ask them to jump, they will say “no”. Because they “believe” jumping will be very painful and final. If you ask them to ingest a poisonous substance they will say “no”,because they believe in poison.
      If they really believed in god there would be no sin, no murder and (if we follow Leviticus) no wearing of any clothes that are blends , like cotton and rayon.
      I KNOW folks don’t really believe in god because I see how they ACT. They don’t act like there is a god,do they?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:46 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Very good points. Most people seem to think of God only in a religious sense, perhaps because they’re unwilling to deal with the question of whether there’s a God in the first place….or if there IS one, He may not be the personal God of religion(s). An impersonal God is not for the faint of heart, but it may be either that or no God at all. Who knows?

        Like

    • magickmermaid 12:36 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Even as a small child, I questioned the “truths” of organized religions. I wanted proof!
      Integrity seems to be vanishing at an increasingly rapid pace.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:01 am on May 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        If there is proof, it seems to have gone POOF….unless you consider creation itself as proof of a creator (which I don’t discount, although there’s a world of difference between the God of religions and a God who created the universe and left it to its own devices).

        As for vanishing integrity, I’d point to the god called Trump as a leading cause.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Geoff Stamper 2:55 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Don’t stop thinking. Where you have been is important but not as important as where you are going.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 4:17 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Likewise, and thanks. I won’t stop in this life, for who knows if we have a next life (God or no God).

      Like

    • obbverse 4:49 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Everyone must work through their beliefs and doubts. Whatever personal decision you make you are bound to find proof of your decision; and that decision should all come down to YOU. It shouldn’t be about upsetting the family, the priest, Rabbi, Whatever. I now tell any leaflet glad-handling dressed-in-their-Sunday-best (or Saturday best) wannabe converters, or those keen young smiling sweaty-suited cyclists who tap on my door the immortal words of the unsainted Dave Allen ‘Goodbye, and may your God go with you.’

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:35 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      To me, a person’s religion is his or her own business, and their beliefs are none of my business so long as they’re non-violent, respect my thinking, and aren’t “wannabe converters.” I don’t have a problem with those whose faith is a consolation to them — in fact, I empathize with them completely. All anyone can (and should) do is follow “their better angels.” The more of us who do that, the better off the world will be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 7:55 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Iโ€™ve never felt the need to believe and prefer that people take responsibility for their actions instead of calling it Gods will. Can I definitively prove he doesnโ€™t exist? No. But they canโ€™t prove he does either. Itโ€™s the ultimate stalemate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:27 pm on May 4, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I agree “It’s the ultimate stalemate” — but American politics is running it a very close second! ๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 2:05 am on May 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      You might be an agnostic. I have waffled between calling myself an agnostic and an atheist because like you, Iโ€™m not sure how to call myself. If there is a god (or gods), they are a nasty, cold bunch and maybe Putin and Trump are just chips off the old (superhuman) block and acting more like gods than the rest of us. But no, in the end, there are no gods, benevolent or otherwise. They are just a part of the human need for self-delusion that we require to get past all the tragedy that happens.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 9:43 am on May 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      The only thing that keeps me from being an agnostic is the precept that there is no creation without a creator. I don’t see how something can come from nothing. To account for the birth of a temporal universe, there had to be an already existing eternal force (for want of a better term) that most humans call God. But I agree that a “God” who created (and is indifferent to) the pain and suffering of his creatures can’t possibly be the all-loving God of religion(s), which amounts to nothing less than what you say in your last sentence.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 5:53 pm on May 5, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Funny, I have been on a journey the near reverse of yours–agnostic to theist to Christian now worshiping among Catholics. My community is led by Franciscan Friars, so it is far from “traditional!” I have no idea how it is for others. All I know is that God crashed into my life and seems to have hung around.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 6:56 pm on May 2, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    LIFE NOTES 

    The unexamined life is not worth living.” –Plato

    When a person reaches a (un)certain age,
    He or she may become something of a sage
    And be given to examine what life is all about
    (unless, of course, one’s a Trumpish sort of lout).

    I have reached that age and then some —
    So, upon reflection, thought I’d pen some
    Words of wisdom I’ve learned about life….
    And what I can’t explain, I’ll ask my wife.

    On second thought, I think I’ll leave well enough alone and, as is my custom, turn to the music of my life to deal with the subject under consideration.

    THAT’S LIFE has its place as far as it goes, but doesn’t answer the question, What’s life? To address that, I’ll put this on the table:

    Well, that philosophy doesn’t exactly bowl me over either, so I’ll end on this hopefully more fruitful note:


     
  • mistermuse 5:50 pm on April 30, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY 

    If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” –Louis Armstrong

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    April 30 is INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY, created by UNESCO to highlight jazz and its role in uniting people around the world. Jazz was created in New Orleans (birthplace of Louis Armstrong) in the late 1800s. I could say The rest is history and leave it at that, because it would take volumes to cover that history, and many such volumes have already been written. So I will simply hope you are someone who can or does dig jazz — especially the classic jazz I favor –and offer a few of my favorite selections.

    There is no more fitting place to start than with this masterpiece of classic jazz. According to jazz authority/author Scott Yanow:West End Blues, Armstrong’s favorite recording of his own playing, features a remarkable opening cadenza, some impressive wordless vocalizing, and a dramatic closing statement. As a whole, it is one of the finest jazz recordings of all time and by itself would have made Armstrong immortal.” It still gives me a thrill every time I hear it:



    Armstrong also made an amazing recording of this all-time standard, but let’s go with this rendition by the song’s composer:

    When it comes to jazz royalty, no one personifies the station more than Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington:

    I’ll close with a 1925 song that’s far from sophisticated, and actually sounds archaic by evolving jazz standards….but in terms of “uniting people around the world,” I know of no better title:

     
  • mistermuse 1:56 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    I PROPOSE FAIR & SQUARE TO MAKE YOU AWARE MY AIM IS TO PREPARE & SHARE A CARE PACKAGE 

    As a caring, sharing guy who today has nothing better to post, I thought I’d prepare a package you can peruse of more or less carefully selected quotes and music about CARE. If you couldn’t care less, I forgive you and give you permission to peruse no more. Simply pay a fine of all your money and proceed to the nearest exit, which is at the end of the post so you get your money’s worth.

    Thank you for electing to continue. As I was saying before being so rudely interrupted, this post will be a care package in quote-and-music form, but not in that order (that would be putting the quote before the chorus). Let us thus begin with this:

    Next is this lament penned in 1921 by the legendary W. C. Handy, known as the “Father of the Blues” for such immortal compositions as ST. LOUIS BLUES and MEMPHIS BLUES:

    We conclude the musical portion of the program with a song I may not have included If I Didn’t Care:

    We close by giving the post an equal amount of quotes (if not equal time) as the musical numbers:

    “If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” –Mickey Mantle

    “Take care to get what you like, or you will be forced to like what you get.” –George Bernard Shaw

    “God takes care of fools, drunks, and the United States of America.” –Stephen Leacock

    Even Stephen, the late Canadian humor writer, wasn’t prescient about the Almighty taking care of America — at least, not forever, for God seems to be falling down on the job lately….if not, you could’ve fooled me.

     
    • rawgod 2:14 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      We all care. Don ‘t you?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:37 pm on April 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Well, I doubt that Donald Trump cares about anything or anyone but himself. As for me, I care so much, I sometimes get care-ied away (with word play). ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

        • rawgod 7:43 pm on April 28, 2023 Permalink

          That you do, sir. And when I think of a witty comeback to that I will let you know. Today I seem to be all witted out!

          Liked by 1 person

    • rawgod 2:49 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      BTW, The “Almighty” was falling down on the job then too, when Leacock wrote that. Just look at the company he had the USA consorting. Tells you everything you need to know about his thoughts on our neighbour to the South.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 9:15 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        The devil is indeed in the details, as I knew very little about Leacock. After looking up the particulars. I see that he was an arch conservative, which puts his comment in a different light. Thanks for prompting me to educate myself about where he’s coming from. It may not be true that “You learn something new every day,” but even once in a blue moon is more often than some people I could name.

        Liked by 3 people

        • rawgod 11:00 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink

          Glad I could be of service. Robert Servie, that is, the Canadian who wrote “In Flanders Fields.” Also Harry Colebourn, a British-born Canadian soldier who took a bear named Winnipeg to England where it became famous as the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh stories. Useless trivia, all, but all of a time.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Lynette d'Arty-Cross 3:28 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for your care package. The musical selections were care incarnate, especially Judy Garlandโ€™s (Iโ€™ve always liked her singing) and the quotes, as always, carefully chosen. Cheers.

      Liked by 2 people

    • obbverse 5:17 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Serendipity- I put on some Ink Spots today when I was reading a book set in the late Forties today.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:36 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        They recorded IF I DIDN’T CARE in 1939, when IMHO they were at their artistic peak. That recording was one of their very best of many.

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 5:52 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Two of those songs are among my favorites… I do love me some Ink Spots!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:43 am on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise. When I collected old 78s, I must have had over 50 of their records in my collection. I still own several Ink Spots LPs.

        Liked by 2 people

    • magickmermaid 4:49 pm on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Three fantastic songs! I always learn something new here. Thanks for caring and sharing. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 7:07 pm on April 27, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. That makes up for the long, less-than-fantastic title of the post, with which i got carried away in trying to come up with something clever. I should have taken a cleaver to it!

        Liked by 1 person

    • jilldennison 1:51 am on April 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my! The music left me feeling like I was 4 years old again, sitting in my parents’ living room with the old gramophone playing!!! And the quotes … well, the first two are apt, the third is … I shall hush now, lest I offend. Thanks for the “Care Package” … this was fun!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:35 pm on April 28, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Jill. There’s another “care” song I considered including in the Care Package, but it asks such profound questions, I decided against it. However, because I think you’re mature enough to handle it, I’ll let you (and only you) in on it:

        Liked by 1 person

    • jilldennison 1:06 am on April 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Oh, that one is royal!!! Never heard it before, but it is fun!!! Thanks, mm!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • 100 Country Trek 4:55 pm on April 29, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this idea. The musical selections were so amazing , as always, carefully chosen. Cheers. Anita

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 8:43 am on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply  

    A TALE OF TWO WOLVES 

    You may have heard this metaphor:
    Be wary a wolf knocking at the door….
    But if you should hear your stomach growling,
    Beware of where a wolf may soon be howling.

    I send the above as a metaphorical smoke signal that coming up later this week is TELL A STORY DAY (April 27), in observance of which I’d like to pass along a story of an old Cherokee teaching his grandson about life:

    “A fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, prejudice, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” The old Cherokee paused, then continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

    The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf will win?”

    The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

    I can’t say if the story ends well —
    The above teaching is all I have to tell.
    The old Cherokee did the best he can do….
    The rest (of the test) is up to me and you.


     
    • BACK ROADS AND OTHER STORIES 9:37 am on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      I somehow got them to share a meal

      Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 10:32 am on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      A very apt parable for the world today.
      Seems that lately everyone is feeding the bad wolf.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:31 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I see CNN’s Wolf Blitzer feed us news of the world’s upheaval….
        But he can’t make the world stop feeding the wolf that’s evil.
        Maybe if he were on the network owned by that Murdoch louse….
        But that would be like asking the Fox to guard the hen house.

        Liked by 5 people

    • Don Ostertag 12:12 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Small world, Mr. Muse. I was just streaming the old Longmire TV and that quote came up in an episode I watched just before I read your post.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:40 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I assume you’re referring to “this too shall pass” in my reply to the first comment to this post. Thanks for noticing, even though I didn’t put those words in quotation marks in my reply.

        Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:01 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        It seems my initial assumption was mistaken. I was unaware of the Longmire TV series, but upon checking it out, apparently you were referring to what the old Cherokee said (my source for the two wolves story was a 2018 newspaper clipping). Sorry about that!.

        Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 9:48 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      Wise words today, MM.
      Whose rumbling guts grumble most?
      A big bad wolf or a rabid Fox host?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:37 pm on April 23, 2023 Permalink | Reply

        I’ll skip over those questions, and to these I’ll jump:
        Who lies more? A rabid Fox host or Donald Trump?

        Liked by 1 person

    • jilldennison 2:44 am on April 24, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      OH WOW, mm! That story … isn’t that just so perfect? So very true. We all do have some of both evil and good … which will we feed? Thanks for sharing this … so perfect for the times.

      Liked by 1 person

    • obbverse 3:23 am on April 24, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      When it comes to lies, both equally gush,
      Best to keep away from the endless rush
      Because once they get into full flush…

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:17 am on April 24, 2023 Permalink | Reply

      A wise tale. Sadly it seems like the evil wolf is winning lately.

      Liked by 1 person

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