3.2.1 Quote Me!

I was tagged on a post made by Jill yesterday to participate in this writing challenge.

Here are the rules:

Thank the Selector – Thanks for selecting me Jill.
Post 2 quotes for the dedicated Topic of the Day which is: Age – Age, Ageing, Aged.
There is a third rule, but I try to discourage chain mail, so I am ignoring this part.

I have no idea why Jill would associate me with being old or ageing, but I guess that I have been around the block a few times.  Most of the hair on my head has fallen out and the few that are left have turned gray, but I don’t think that I am any worse for the wear.  Yes I do sleep more than when I was young and I am not as active any more, but I don’t consider myself to be an antiquated, worn out, moth-eaten senior citizen.  I will admit to being elderly, over the hill, a bit timeworn and even being an oldie, but I am not an antique, or passé, ancient, creaky or rusty, because my mind is still sharp.  If I were to take a retrospective view at my life, I would say that I am the perfect age.

My first quote is from Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche who was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, philologist and a Latin and Greek scholar and his work has exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy and modern intellectual history.  My second quote comes from François-Marie Arouet who is better known as Voltaire, and he was a major French writer whose works and activities influenced the course of European civilization.

Friedrich Nietzsche “Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age.”

Voltaire “What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.”

As a bonus I have included an original quote of my own accord, however it has nothing to do with ageing.

“If my appearance resembled that of Rosanne Barr even in the slightest bit, then I wouldn’t go around making fun of the way that anyone else looked.”

Aristotle Student of Plato and Teacher of Alexander the Great

I saw this writing challenge ‘Genius of the Ancient World’ on Ray NotBradbury which is a site that I follow and it looked like fun to me.  The idea is to use three quotes from an ancient philosopher and I chose Aristotle.  Aristotle’s words were rewritten by his students and translated many times, so a lot of the quotes that are attributed to him are often judged by others as being fake.

Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

Habits are learned behaviors, which can become automatic after enough repetition.  You are what you repeatedly do and qualities are acquired by acting in a particular way.  Aristotle wrote ‘Categories’ around 350 BC and in Part 8 he talks about quality.  By ‘quality’ he means that in virtue of which people are said to be such and such.  “Quality is a term that is used in many senses.  One sort of quality let us call ‘habit’ or ‘disposition’.  Habit differs from disposition in being more lasting and more firmly established.  The various kinds of knowledge and of virtue are habits, for knowledge, even when acquired only in a moderate degree, is, it is agreed, abiding in its character and difficult to displace, unless some great mental upheaval takes place, through disease or any such cause.  The virtues, also, such as justice, self-restraint, and so on, are not easily dislodged or dismissed, so as to give place to vice.”

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.

Learning anything can be hard and tedious, and it may also come with an assortment of other difficulties, but once knowledge is gained, then you are on your way to success.  If you put in the hard work that is required, it will pay off in the end.  I believe that anything that you learn is of some value, but I also believe that our education system is broken.  I can’t really say that the Common Core State Standards Initiative is why our system is broken as it is much more complicated than any single issue, but I don’t think it is helping.  Common Core is an educational initiative that was put in place in 2010 that details what K–12 students throughout the United States should know in English language arts and mathematics at the conclusion of each school grade.  Common Core is not working, as measured by its own standards and metrics.  The National Report Card reveals that two-thirds of graduating seniors are not ready for college.  Seventy-five percent failed the math test and sixty-three percent failed the reading test.

It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

Life is about making it through the darkness of night and reaching the light of day, as we will all encounter times of happiness and times of sorrow.  Everyone must learn how to get through the tough times by focusing on the light ahead. We will all go through a rough patch from time to time, encounter a tragedy, have relationship problems, etc., but you must be strong, so you are able to pull through the hard times.  Instead of dwelling on bad things, think about good things that could happen in the future.  There is no easy and definite answer for what this life has in store for you, as we are all given unique challenges and we must not engage in a defeatist self-pity syndrome where we find blame in everything, and mope about being stuck in the darkness.  As an alternative, we should cut through the clutter and find a way out of the dark woods, by putting our focus on solutions instead of our problems.

Also Known As Cunnilingus

I always wondered why engaging in oral sex on a female is called eating out, I mean like am I supposed to bring a fork and knife along with me to get the job done properly?  I know that oral sex is done by stimulating your partner’s genitals with your mouth, lips or tongue, where a guy or perhaps another girl will be given access to your most intimate area and then they start kissing their way down your body, till they reach the sweet spot.   I wonder if a person suffering from dyslexia might have a problem that would cause them to juxtapose some of the female body parts.

I usually start off by kissing my partner on her lips, the ones that are part of her mouth, before I  place my tongue and lips on her genitals (vagina, clit, pussy) and begin my licking or nibbling process.  I usually do not go around licking my food unless it is ice cream, or nibbling my food unless I am eating grapes, but I imaging the term eating out comes from these acts of licking and nibbling.  I never know how many licks it will take to finish my ice cream, as finishing is not what is important, at least for me.  I can see how finishing would be important for the girl though.  To me success is a journey, not a destination, and the journey is much more important than the destination.  Although food and sex sound like a good combination, when put them together they are not as sexy as you might think that they would be.  There are a plethora of issues that come up when you mix food during sex, like infections and irritations.

I watched this movie the other night that featured Nyotaimori which is the Japanese practice of serving sashimi or sushi from the naked body of a woman.  Even though the kitchen and the sushi are disinfected beforehand and the woman’s privates are covered with exotic flowers or banana leaves, this practice seems highly unsanitary to me.  I don’t like sushi, but this may be where the term eating out was derived from.  I always make it a point to avoid having sex when food is mixed in as the last thing that I want is to wake up the next morning with itchy and smelly private parts, or sticky bedding, among many other things, although I was a bit tempted the time when my girlfriend said that she could drive me wild with pop rocks.

Look Who is Back

  

Janet said, “Come quick, the squirrel is back looking for more peanuts.”  Jeremy said, “Honey we just got that letter from our homeowners association which prevents us from providing any critters with food either purposefully or accidentally.”  Janet said, “Screw them, that squirrel is so cute and I would just love to nestle up with him and I am sure that giving him a few peanuts will not harm anyone.  No matter how heavily populated our neighborhood is, some wild animals are going to live in the surrounding woods and we must learn how to share the space with them peacefully.”

Jeremy said, “Baby I am happy that you are exerting your maternal instincts, but the most effective way to coexist is to have appropriate rules in place and let the wild animals be wild.  If we start to feed one of the squirrels, then he will probably tell all of his buddies where they can get a free meal and then numerous squirrels will start to amass in our back yard and they may even create a ceremony around it.  They may seem cute, but squirrels are wild animals, so you can never predict their behavior as it could become deleterious.  This particular little guy with that white bushy tail has been absent for a few days and he is looking woebegone, but perhaps he is just parched as it has not rained in a while.  Fill up a bowl of water and I will take that out to him.  Get hopping bunny, before the poor creature dies of thirst.”

Janet said, “While you may think that your acerbic tone is funny, it is not helpful and I don’t appreciate your humor.  I wish I had a magic button that I could press anytime I wanted you to be muted.  Take some peanuts with you when you go out with the water.”

Written for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create Time To Write: Picture Prompt 17 and Randomness Inked Scribbling the Unspoken Let it Bleed Weekly Prompt Challenge 20 with the prompt magic and Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #198 #Wordle #MLMM #amwriting and the Daily Post where the prompt is ceremony.

Out Of Step Or Archaic

Time is said to change everything and I have seen many changes to the Catholic Church take place in my lifetime.  The Church still has issues with abortion, divorce and gay marriage, but it should not be labeled an antiquated institution.  Pope Francis is pro-life, and there is a good chance that will never change, but he has softened his stance on divorced Catholics.  Pope Francis praised an Argentinean document stating that in some ‘irregular family situations’, people could still receive communion.  Francis thinks that through the “help of sacraments”, this could provide a broader effort to support and integrate divorced and remarried Catholics into the life of the church, and this offers direct evidence that Francis supports a significant change in the way individual priests deal with divorced Catholics.

In 2013, Pope Francis said, “If someone is gay and searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”  There is also that incident where a survivor of clerical sexual abuse was told by Pope Francis that God had made him gay and loved him, and this is arguably the most strikingly accepting comments about homosexuality that have been uttered by the leader of the Roman Catholic church.  Pope Francis says transsexuals and gay people should be embraced by the Catholic Church after he met a woman from Spain who later had a sex change to become a man and subsequently married a woman.  He invited the couple to the Vatican, where they told him how upset they had been when a local priest had told them they would “go to hell”.  Francis responded, “Life is life, and things should be taken as they come.  Sin is sin, but tendencies or hormonal imbalances … can cause many problems and we have to be careful.  But each case must be welcomed, accompanied, studied, discerned and integrated.  When a person (who is gay) arrives before Jesus, Jesus certainly will not say, ‘Go away because you are homosexual’.”  Francis then joked saying that they should not go around repeating that the Pope wants to bless transsexuals, as he did not want to have to read that on the front pages of all the newspapers.

When I was young, most of the mass was in Latin, which made it very difficult to follow.  All women were required to cover their hair with a scarf or a hat of some kind.  No one ate meat on Fridays during Lent and now all of this has changed.  Back in the day, communion was only given by the priest and now there are helpers, maybe they are called deacons who help out with this.  I was never given wine at communion, ‘the blood of Christ’ as this was only for the priest and now it is common place to receive both the bread and wine.  Also the role of women being allowed on the altar has changed since I was young.  The church is slow at making changes, but I would not say that it is archaic.

 

Ancient Laws

Around 1780 BC, King Hammurabi (1810-1750 BC) the sixth king of Babylon who reigned from 1792 to 1750 and the first king of the Babylonian Empire, extended Babylon’s control over Mesopotamia by winning a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms.  Hammurabi is known for the set of laws called Hammurabi’s Code, one of the first written codes of law and most complete surviving guide in recorded history.  The Hammurabi code of laws, a collection of 282 rules, established standards for commercial interactions and set fines and punishments to meet the requirements of justice.  Hammurabi’s Code was written in the Akkadian language and carved onto a massive, finger-shaped black stone stele (pillar) which was a single, four-ton slab of diorite, a durable but incredibly difficult stone for carving.  The stele was placed outside the temple of Marduk, the national god of Babylonia.

Many of these laws were indirectly related to water such as, “If a [woman wine-seller] does not accept grain according to gross weight in payment of drink, but takes money, and the price of the drink is less than that of the grain, she shall be convicted and thrown into the water.  If a man’s wife be surprised [having intercourse] with another man, both shall be tied and thrown into the water, but the husband may pardon his wife and the king his slaves.  If the ‘finger is pointed’ at a man’s wife about another man, but she is not caught sleeping with the other man, she shall jump into the river for [the sake of her] husband.  If she is not innocent, but leaves her husband, and ruins her house, neglecting her husband, this woman shall be cast into the water.”

This practice was known as trial by ordeal which has been commonplace in many cultures.  It was believed that the Euphrates River would act as judge of people accused of various crimes.  If, when thrown into the river, the accused floated, she was considered innocent, however if she sank, the river had found her guilty.  If anyone brings an accusation against a man, and the accused goes to the river and leaps into the river, if he sinks in the river his accuser shall take possession of his house.  But if the river proves that the accused is not guilty, and he escapes unhurt, then he who had brought the accusation shall be put to death, while he who leaped into the river shall take possession of the house that had belonged to his accuser.

Hammurabi’s Code provides some of the earliest examples of the doctrine of “lex talionis”, or the laws of retribution, sometimes better known as “an eye for an eye”, which decided that punishment for someone committing an injury should be dealt with in the same manner as that injury.  Some things in the Code of Hammurabi were very cruel and deceiving, while other things were fair and righteous.  If a man was in debt and was unable to pay his creditors, he was to sell his wife, son, or daughter, or bind them over to service.  Many harsh punishments, sometimes demanded the removal of the guilty party’s tongue, hands, breasts, eye or ear for doing certain crimes, but this code is also gave us one of the earliest examples of an accused person being considered innocent until they were proven guilty.  The code contains about 300 laws that discuss a wide range of subjects, including homicide, assault, divorce, debt, adoption, tradesman’s fees, agricultural practices, and even disputes regarding the brewing of beer.  Hammurabi is remembered as a pioneering lawgiver who worked in the words of his monument “to prevent the strong from oppressing the weak and to see that justice is done to widows and orphans.”

What In The Hell Am I Writing About

I have not drawn a conclusion yet, I am only making an assumption and I will probably never be able to prove anything.  If I did feel that I would eventually acquire this proof, than I would probably be more authoritative and make a presumption.  I utilized systematic thinking to analyze each part of this issue before I came to this line of reasoning.  My purpose was simply to question information, without making an inference that would form a point of view, until all of the concepts and implications were understood.  Whenever we reason things out in our minds, the first step should be clarifying the issues. Only clear information is relevant to the to process of making logical inferences that are based on sound assumptions.

An inference is one of the steps involved in reasoning, allowing your thoughts to move forward from being a premises to becoming a logical consequence.  An inference is an intellectual act by which one concludes that something is true in light of something else’s being true, or seeming to be true.  An inference is an educated guess that is made from evidence that is apparent while accessing prior knowledge that is available about this situation.  People learn about many things by experiencing them first-hand and by using our powers of observation this helps us to gain background knowledge, but through the mental process of inference we can connect facts to derive a new belief because of our existing knowledge. Inferences can be accurate or inaccurate, logical or illogical, justified or unjustified and faulty or true.

Logic is the study of the criteria used in evaluating inferences or arguments.  An assertion is a declaration that’s made emphatically, especially as part of an argument or as if it’s to be understood as a statement of fact.  A conjecture is an inference from defective or presumptive evidence, a conclusion deduced by surmise or guesswork or a proposition before it has been proved or disproved.  A conjecture is a statement for which someone thinks that there is evidence that the statement is true.  The main thing about a conjecture is that there is no proof, however once a conjecture has been proven, it becomes a theorem.  An argument is a collection of statements or propositions, some of which are intended to provide support or evidence in favor of one of the others.  The premises of an argument are those statements or propositions in it that are intended to provide the support or evidence.  The conclusion of an argument is that statement or proposition for which the premises are intended to provide support.  Premises are always intended to provide support or evidence for the conclusion, but they don’t always succeed!  It’s still an argument, and there are still premises and a conclusion, even if the premises don’t really provide any support at all.  The premises are taken for granted and then with the application of modus ponens of the conclusion follows.  Modus ponens is a valid, simple argument form and rule of inference.

Reasoning is the process of using existing knowledge to draw conclusions, make predictions, or construct explanations. Reasoning helps us to figure out things and the three major types of reasoning include Deduction, Induction and Abduction. The distinction between deduction, on the one hand, and induction and abduction, on the other hand, corresponds to the distinction between necessary and non-necessary inferences.  In abductive reasoning, the major premise is evident, but the minor premise and therefore the conclusion are only probable.  Abductive reasoning is a form of explanatory reasoning that starts with an observation or a set of observations that are made and then from there one seeks to find the simplest and most likely explanation.  Deduction is generally defined as the deriving of a conclusion by reasoning.  Deduction or the process of deducing, is the formation of a conclusion based on generally accepted statements or facts.  Abduction is defined as a syllogism (a deductive scheme of a formal argument consisting of a major and a minor premise and a conclusion) in which the major premise is evident but the minor premise and therefore the conclusion only probable.  Abductive thinking is not always clearly explained, but it requires premises encompassing explanatory considerations and yielding a conclusion that makes some statement about the truth of a hypothesis.

Now that I have cleared all of this up, can someone please tell me exactly what the hell I was writing about?

When You Got To Go

The Romans took pride in their ability to wash themselves and they felt that being clean made them superior to the rest of the world.  When the barbarians sacked Rome, they destroyed many things including the magnificent bath structures and the aqueducts fell into decay.  When Rome fell, mankind descended into the Dark Ages a period of over one thousand years (5th – 15th century AD) of intellectual darkness, sanitation began to disappear and man lost touch with hygiene.  After the collapse of the Roman Empire, bathing was replaced by the use of perfume.  Dirt, filth and squalor were commonplace everywhere.  The streets of mediaeval towns were foul-smelling, because in this time period they lacked closed sewers.  There were no private or public conveniences, and people resorted to the custom of throwing refuse into the street, and municipal authorities failed to clean the pavements, there was no sanitary legislation or care for public health, as sanitation was a concept not understood by society.  People at this time had a relaxed relationship to bodily functions, as they relieved themselves whenever it was needed and they did not seem to be concerned about privacy.  They just squatted down whenever and wherever they had to relieve themselves, it was a natural and inevitable thing that everyone had to do.

At this time chamber pots also known as bedpans were an essential fact of life, because nobody had indoor plumbing, and they made it more convenient for people to relieve themselves while they were at home.  These devices prevented a person from having to leave their house and walk to a nearby field or forest every time they wanted to go to the bathroom, especially in times when it was the middle of the night, or when it was raining!  During the Dark Ages, it was a common practice of using and emptying chamber pots.  Chamber pots were put all over the house and they were used everywhere, they could usually be found in the dining or billiard room.  People just pulled the chamber pot out of the cupboard or from under the bed, and did their business.  In the morning, people would carry the chamber pot out to the field and dump it out there or, if they had slaves, their job would be to empty the chamber pots.  It is also told that it was widespread practice for Kings and Princes to receive guests while they were at the stool.

People threw the content of the pot (or the whole pot for that sake) out of the window and into the street.  Waste was thrown out into streets or emptied directly into rivers that also served as the drinking water supply.  In the cities people would dump their slop buckets out their windows, and I wonder what it must have been like walking down the street having to dodge your neighbors’ bodily wastes being thrown in your direction, but I imagine that while seeming offensive to me avoiding human waste was just a normal part of everyone’s day.

Quite Right

“You can do it,” she whispered.  Sally continued, “I know that it is awkward, but I can’t find the last word if you see it let everyone know! If not go with Mellow.”  George replied, “OK mellow it is, like Donovan’s Mellow Yellow.”  Sally said, “I do like that Donovan song, however I never actually understood what the hell he was singing about.” George said, “That song comes from an escapist view of life, someone who doesn’t live in the real world, but dreams, wishes, and fantasizes instead.  It’s about being cool, laid-back, and also the electrical bananas that were rumored to get you high from smoking their dried skins and suddenly they were appearing everywhere on the hippie scene, but others thought that they were ladies’ vibrators.”

Sally said, “Thanks for explaining that. BTW did you know that the neurochemical serotonin plays a key role in determining your mood, and that bananas improve mood because of their serotonin content.”  George replied, “I am not a freaking dietitian, but that seems very appropriate as I feel that mellow is a mood and maybe this points out the untoward reason for Donovan bringing up bananas.  It is quite possible that I have been looking at this song with a negative viewpoint.  Being mellow doesn’t have to come from drug use, as it can be achieved through meditation.  Meditation does not mean sitting down and doing nothing and the practice does have an actual amazing variety of neurological benefits.  Did you know that McCartney dropped by the session and was captured on tape saying “Mellow Yellow” and doing some rapid cheering somewhere in the mix at the end of the song amid the revelry?”

Sally said, “You seem to know a lot about this song, I wonder if you scraped the fibers off of a banana skin and cooked them over a low fire to release the hallucinogenic qualities that were supposed to be in this material.  Maybe you even went to the Gap and purchased some corduroy pants, which came in shades of saffron and yellow to make yourself feel like an absolute beast.”  George said, “Nope, but I did drink that new soda called Mello Yello when it came out that was designed to compete with the Pepsi product Mountain Dew, but I only drank it offscreen, as I was not paid for an endorsement.  I can see Donovan being mad about a girl named Saffron and also saffron is a spice, and one that people could become quite mad about, although too much will definitely ruin the dish as I found out when I made paella.  The sequence of events in this song keeps changing until it winds up with a fourteen-year-old girl exploring her sexuality and getting to the point where she will soon start using a vibrator.  I actually wondered if that fourteen year old line makes Donovan come off as being a pervert, but some people think that I am weird as I enjoy looking at Amaryllis, because I think that they are pretty.

Written for three different prompts, Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #197, Let It Bleed Randomness Inked ‘You can do it’ and the Daily prompt awkward.

A Literary Technique

Stream of Consciousness writing is a bit complicated, as it is supposed to be the unspoken thoughts and feelings that an author has about their characters without resorting to an objective description or the diverse thoughts and feelings that a character would normally encounter.  It is writing without regard to a logical argument.  The writer utilizes the Stream of Consciousness technique to reflect all the forces, external and internal, influencing the psychology of a character at a single moment.  It can be defined as a mode of narration that undertakes to capture the full spectrum and flow of a character’s mental process, in which sense perceptions mingle with conscious and half-conscious thoughts, memories, feelings and random associations, thus creating the impression that the reader is gaining intuition by eavesdropping on the flow of conscious experience in the character’s mind.  Many writers use this technique to capture the true nature of reality, which is said to be the essence of our existence and to get direct access to the thoughts of characters, the inner workings of the human mind.

The flow of thoughts in the conscious mind is difficult to capture, since the ordinary person’s mind jumps from one event to another, but this free association writing allows the author to jump from one thought to another without any indication of a change in the topic.  Stream of Consciousness writing should flow like a river or a stream going seamlessly from one thought to the next.  You do not have to stick with the original topic, as rivers and streams being fluid in nature are known to change course over time.  As perception shifts the writer shapes new thoughts and if research is not allowed these thoughts tend to become incoherent.  There is no agreed upon precise definition for the term “Stream of Consciousness” and no consensus has been arrived at as to how it is best used.  I often see this as being a series of disjointed and rambling thoughts or fragments that by nature of the process lack correct punctuation, favoring a looser, more incomplete style.  I have a difficult time with this type of writing and I find it to be pretty intimidating, as my writing background stems from research and I always break Rule Number One on Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday.  I think that my brain just works differently from others.

Stream of consciousness is often non-linear in a few key ways that define the style, as it does make use of unusual syntax and grammar, associative leaps, repetition, and plot structure.  A nonlinear plot structure might move forward and backward in time.  Story plots usually include four elements, those being exposition which is the information needed to understand a story, complication the catalyst that begins the major conflict, climax the turning point in the story that occurs when characters try to resolve the complication and resolution which is the set of events that bring the story to a close.