In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
Close, But a Hand Rolled Cigarette

I’m a little more mentally challenged than I thought, but at least I got my quotation from Hamlet, Act IV, Scene IV in fairly good shape. But my dear son, Ranney, did me the favor of looking up the entire quotation and emailing it to me.

For those of you who have not read Hamlet, this soliloquy is the turning point in the play, when he berates himself for not having avenged the murder of his father and the seduction of his mother and decides, at last, to act.

The story he tells is of his chance meeting with a courageous army, led by their inspirational ruler, who are on their way to give their lives for a tiny piece of land, motivated by a point of honor.

Keep in mind that many of the words are Old English. Just try to understand them in context. Sorry I don’t have the notes to explain them.

It is a truly noble soliloquy, beautifully written, and with eternal meaning.

How all occasions do inform against me
And spur my dull revenge! What is a man,
If his chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed? a beast, no more.
Sure he that made us with such large discourse,
Looking before and after, gave us not
That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unus'd.
Now, whether it be Bestial oblivion, or some craven scruple
Of thinking too precisely on the event,-
A thought which, quarter'd, hath but one part wisdom
And ever three parts coward,-I do not know
Why yet I live to say 'This thing's to do;'
Sith I have cause, and will, and strength, and means
To do't. Examples, gross as earth, exhort me:
Witness this army, of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince;
Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd,
Makes mouths at the invisible event;
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that fortune, death, and danger dare,
Even for an egg-shell. Rightly to be great
Is not to stir without great argument,
But greatly to find quarrel in a straw
When honour's at the stake. How stand I, then,
That have a father kill'd, a mother stain'd,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
And let all sleep? while, to my shame, I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men
That, for a fantasy and trick of fame,
Go to their graves like beds; fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain?-O, from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Shakespeare for Our Time

There are similarities, but not with our leader, who isn't heading the surge and wouldn't understand the quotation.

Each blogger, so far as I know, has a theme or driving force written at the top of his or her blog. Mine, which appears at the top of my blog, is from the turning point of Hamlet. I learned it in high school and, with a lapse or two, have never forgotten it. In honor of my 85th!!! Birthday next week, I have decided to quote the entire passage from my memory, such as it is. It is from Act IV, Scene iv.

What is a man if the chief good and market of his time
Be but to sleep and feed?
A beast, no more!
Sure, He that made us, looking before and after,
Gave us not that capability and godlike reason
To fust in us unus'd.

Witness this army of such mass and charge,
Led by a delicate and tender prince,
Whose spirit with divine ambition puff'd
Makes mouths at the invisible event,
Exposing what is mortal and unsure
To all that death and danger dare,
Fight for a plot whereon the numbers
Cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain.

How stand I, then, that have a father killed,
A mother stained,
Excitements of my reason and my blood,
Whilst to my shame I see the imminent
Death of twenty thousand men
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds?

Oh, from this time forth
My thoughts be bloody
Or be nothing worth!

LittleBill's Economics, continued

The major problem, especially with Republicans, is propagandizing the American public to feel that taxes are an imposition that they should resent, particularly if the taxes go to help someone else. (At the same time, the rest of the world is told what a truly generous nation we are. Are you really sure that all of the charitable funds which this administration boasts about distributing all over the world really get there and are not dissipated through fraud, as has happened in Iraq?)

The economic levels between the rich and the poor have been so extreme that one would think we, as individuals, would recognize that something is morally wrong? Many people, including many of those not so rich, consider it a duty and a privilege to contribute to the welfare of all. It should be a lifelong habit, for example, for those who don’t use the freeways, those who don’t have any children in school, and those who can afford at least a token of care for the country as a whole to contribute. (Don’t they teach you any of this stuff in church?)

Under my plan, instead of giving tax breaks to everyone, including the rich, the degree of richness should be adjusted downward to the very bottom, where even those citizens are paid a wage that can sustain them and their families, with enough to spare, so that we end up with everyone being able to pay some amount of taxes to contribute to the welfare of the nation, with even the poorest feeling both the duty and the pride of being part of the system.

New Questions and/or Comments

Do other nations send their citizens over here to oversee our elections and any hanky panky that might be going on? Were any foreign observers here during the “elections” of 2000 and 2004? Have our citizens who are observing foreign elections been invited?

Americans are hysterical about their right to bear arms. Funny thing is, I have seldom, if ever, heard or read of a gun having been used legally by a person using it for protection of his/her home, family, or self. By far, the incidents appearing in the news are about criminals using guns.

The Second Amendment, written long ago when this was a very young country, which had only recently conquered and wrested it from the Indians who were the original inhabitants, appears to have had in mind the self-protection of the conquerors from those whom they had wronged, as well as being a step up in the formation of a “well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State.”

Wouldn’t you think that human beings would finally realize that hunting is just a MAN thing that is somehow connected with sexual prowess. We are rapidly reducing or destroying numerous species of animals, and people who live “civilized” lives no longer need to kill to eat. It’s just a “fun” thing to do, sort of like drinking or drugs, and also without moral conscience. And it is so easy to do if you are well-armed, because in almost every instance the prey is totally unaware that it is about to die, and defenseless as well. God, there is nothing quite as sexy as a man returning home with several birds in hand! You can’t blame a group of men like that bragging to each other and anyone else who will listen about their bags for the day. Or even a dead deer, though she may leave a fawn behind. Ooh, it just thrills me!

Sorry, every time I think of Bush or Cheney, this is what happens to me. I just sort of seem to lose my self-control. Better get to bed.

Delayed Reaction

Many, many years ago, when I was just a little girl and religion was not so militant, I attended a service at the local Presbyterian church with a friend of mine. As we sat in our pew, a silver tray was suddenly passed down the aisle with small cookies on it. I thought to myself, “How nice! Refreshments,” and I helped myself to several. That tray was soon followed by another, this time with little glasses of something to drink. They were small, so I took two and added them to the cookies beside me. Then I sat back, made myself comfortable, and ate lunch.

Some ten years later, when I was a student at an Episcopal boarding school, I was watching communion, when suddenly that childhood memory came rushing back to me, this time, finally, with realization.

After all of these years, I am quite sure God has forgiven me, for I knew not what I did.

The Bush Legacy Will Become A Late Modern Epic

In The Iliad and The Odyssey, war is the product of powerful, ambitious, often insecure men who have difficulty separating their personal motivations from those of the state.

The blood lust that overtakes the minds of men on a periodic basis continues unabated in our modern age. In The Bushiad, and The Idyossey the Greek gods of old are supplanted by contemporary corporate gods, also immortal and with insatiable needs for increased wealth and power.

Interested readers can go here and order their copy of this future modern American classic.

An Agricultural Experiment

An Agricultural Experiment

Especially for the well-to-do, and for anyone else who’s curious and has access to at least a small plot of land.

First, find a convenient plot to be your garden. This is to be strictly for fruits and vegetables of your choice, and YOU, not one of your employees, are to be the gardener. Anyone in your family is welcome to join you to work on this experiment. Plants that may already be there do not count.

Use stakes and cord to define the plot. A book on vegetable gardens should be very useful to you as you plan. Then choose the vegetable and/or fruits you wish to plant. If you are a beginner, it might be well to pick only one or two for a start.

Next, look over the tools in your garage or storage shed to see what you have on hand. Then go to an agricultural supply store for help with choosing other tools and soil amendment supplies you will need. (Be sure that you tell the dealer that you are only interested in environmentally friendly supplies.) He should be able to supply you with further literature on gardening, what insects are friendly, which are not, and how to get rid of them without destroying the earth, and what birds and animals may start coming to visit. You will find that there both insects and animals that will be gardening friends to your garden.

Watering is of paramount importance. You can water too much as well as too little, and drought and frost can be killers. Learn to know your seasons and what to expect where you live.

Unfortunately, there will be an exam, though there will be no monitors other than yourselves to see if you cheat and what your score should be. Here are some of the questions: Did your plants make it all the way to harvest time? Did they taste good? Will you try it again next year, and possibly increase the variety? Did your crops save you any money at the grocery store? Did any new insects, animals, birds, and people visit your garden? Any converts? Does your back ache from bending and stooping? Was it worth it? Did you learn anything new, like what it must be like to earn less than a living wage and work long hours at this kind of labor in a capitalist country? Did you give up on the whole thing halfway through and say the hell with it? Did you finish the job and have pretty good luck for a beginner? And finally, did you learn anything?


Something Lovely for a Change

Sweet pictures of a pair of cranes with their newborn offspring, accompanied by enchanting music.

The Sand Hill Cranes

These pictures were taken in the Suntree area of Florida ~Viera~ in the Melbourne area.

A Sand Hill Crane couple recently had an exciting addition to their family. When they built their nest near the water's edge, it immediately drew attention of passersby. Soon there were two eggs sitting on top of the nest and the mother on top of them.

The really curious passed by the site every morning and would stop their cars to get out and see if there were any new cranes yet. Many brought cameras of all shapes and sizes and would stand near the water for long periods of time hoping to catch a photo of the hatching.

Robert Grover, a dentist, didn't actually catch the birth, but he sure did capture some fabulous shots of the Momma, Papa and baby (the second egg never hatched). Then he put together a slide show with music that is just too good to not share it.