Friday, April 19, 2019


I confess to the horrible crime of betrayal, and divided loyalties; I am the spawn of one father and the spiritual son of two others, both as horribly flawed as the natural one, and I am beginning to fear that I am channeling all three of them.  Sybil herself (or at least the opportunism of her psychologists/biographers) couldn't have put up with the energetic belligerence of three such overwhelming personalities.  I've got a grip on the edges of reality, but then I spent a lot lot of years clinging to things by sheer stupidity and gall.  Let's just hope the synapses and the integrity of the flesh last a few more years....

BETRAYAL.  Dante (a brilliant student of a very particular school) understood the very essence of aboriginal humanity: the blackest and most viscerally heinous sin is betrayal.  Rhesus monkeys understand the essence of this, and a slightly more sophisticated cousin named Dante buried his favorite enemies in the ice for it.  If you read the Inferno or any modern renditions of it, ALL sins the flesh is born to ultimately boil down to betrayal.

Now, I can hear you fucking cynics whining already.....SIN, you say, what the fuck, were you born in the 16th goddamn century or something?  I DO have to admit that sin sounds a bit antiquated and overly specific, and certainly a violation of general spirit of ironic whimsical optimism we 'enjoy' presently...however the pinko tree-hugging beardy weirdies have ignored the stark fact that the universe really doesn't GIVE a flying <explitive deleted> about their commitment to a sustainable way of life.

SIN admittedly is a terrible word, and one that has recently acquired a bit of <butt-fucking predetory hypocritical pious jackass unpresidential m****f*** but I digress> disregard and ambiguity in recent years; but Jesus, the crazy Esseneite terrorist Maccabeetista/hippy that he actually appears to have been, would have been the first to admit that a bit of moral compass is easy to discover and impossible to lose, if you really have decided to be an honest person rather than a cabbage or something.  Jon Stewart, may we draw bated breath at his name, realized that we cannot pretend to believe that our ambitions really constitute the essence of a meaningful life if we forget, even for an instant, who truly suffers in this life, and who lives off the blood of those who suffer.  'Vuestra Merced', my hairy pink ass....

Which, apparently, (or so my conscience, or at least the demon of consistency, tells me), leads back to betrayal.

Whew.  It is a kind of mental hari-kiri one must commit, to admit that one just cannot stand the pretensions of one's mentors; the terrible flaws that they threw up (smirk) as virtues and principles; the beliefs that they swore they were too wise to own.  It is not maturity that I recognize, but birth.  Fuck manhood, that was a shill and a load of horseshit from start to finish.  Give me the pain and shock and blood of birth any day.  SHOCK puts the fear of death in you, and someday we'll know enough to make that a right of passage.  Millions of aboriginal traditions can't be TOO far wrong....

It comes to this; I have developed a terrible guilty pride in the metephorical body slams and face plants I've delivered to my septa/octogenarian political adversaries in recent years.  Their dearest favorite sons have disillusioned them vastly, and it enrages and horrifies them to have to face up to the fact that, after all these years, they are going to have to THINK again.  They are going to have to actually use those hard-fought skills of critical thinking to deploy and defend their own innate sense of honesty.

Heinlein, Solzhenitsyn, Howard and Vance had their particular blind spots, but the very essence of shock is the realization that the universe is NOT going to slide a comfy sling under your ass if you feel a bit lazy....fanatics, beware, for there be Tygers here.  Yea, oh brothers, you must become more than your teachers, you must transcend and defeat their flaws in order to discover new and more fantastic flaws that neither you nor Dunning-Kruger can comprehend.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Quotes for today...

President Dwight D. Eisenhower: “Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.”

Our nation grew out of this principle. During the first terrible winter after landing at Plymouth Rock in 1620, many of the Pilgrims and their children were saved from starvation by the food given them by Native Americans. It was our first supplemental nutrition assistance program. Our national narrative and legendry were set in motion by this act of lifesaving food aid. We should not abandon this noble tradition, but honor it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Darwin Day 2012

We probably shouldn't lapse into the belief that we live at some unique point in history, that we have no where to go but down... the great neo-conservative mistake is that a world once existed that resembled their libertarian/theocratic paradise (I wonder how we missed it when we were there?). The great pinko/communist utopia is no more likely, but it exists in the future. The former ignores the facts of history, the latter the basic nature of (naturally selected?) human beings. By refusing to live in or learn about their own time (how they got there, where they might be going), both groups are betraying themselves as well as us.

1. The death of Socrates

I only know that I know nothing. - Socrates (English translation) 
The writer of the Wikipedia article on this last quote adds the following: "The impreciseness of the English translation stems from the fact that the author is not saying that he does not know anything but means instead that one cannot know anything with absolute certainty but can feel confident about certain things."

The problem, as the city fathers saw it, was that he was too often infuriatingly right.

Athens had just lost a 'war of choice'; Sparta, the occupying power, had set up a 'conservative' (i.e reactionary) regime to keep the Athenians out of their hair for a few years, and bogged back off the the Peloponessus to flog their peasants and sing hymns to themselves. Democracy had apparently failed the Athenians, and the new rulers were in the mood to settle a few long standing vendettas and stifle a few irritants.

Socrates had dedicated his life to being an irritant. He dressed badly, lived off everyone, never bathed, and could drink (and talk) anyone in Athens under the table. But so what? I am sure we've all known someone like that. Heh-heh.

A quote from the Wikipedia article on the life and death of Socrates says: "Socrates defended his role as a gadfly until the end: at his trial, when Socrates is asked to propose his own punishment, he suggests a wage paid by the government and free dinners for the rest of his life instead, to finance the time he spends as Athens' benefactor."

A most infuriating person, indeed! He considered himself the least wise of men, and the most ignorant; his only arrogance was that he considered himself enlightened and improved by this epiphany. Since he was indisputably successful at making anyone look like a fool, merely by demonstrating how shaky the roots of their convictions were, he was very skeptical of the value of 'inherent' or pious virtue and the wisdom of influential men. A recipe tailor-made to piss off everyone, almost all the time. The kids loved him, of course.

Back in the bad old days, while Athens slowly destroying the spirit of 'democracy' with that thoroughness that only a really successful society can muster, Socrates was inventing situational thinking in the most Darwinian possible arena: he was an infantryman during the later episodes of the war with Persia. Luckily, he had apparently been introduced to the pioneers of Greek 'science' (Anaxagoras and his predecessor Thales) in his youth, and this practice in abstraction of thought served him well, both on the battlefield and at the dinner table. Socrates became an expert at 'dialectic' reasoning, i.e. thinking on one's feet.

Socrates possibly considered his complicity in his death sentence a last act of instruction; by throwing himself under the bus, he may have averted worse. He has often been cited (mainly through the mouth of Plato) as an opponent of Athenian democracy, but... From what little we know of his life and his character, it seems more likely that he despised what Athenian Democracy (capital D intentional here) had become; what had been done in its name, particularly in the disastrous war with Sparta. (A.R. Burn, Thucydides)

2. the Socratic legacy

The wisdom of nature is such that it produces nothing superfluous or useless but often produces many effects from one cause. - Copernicus

Non-scientists and semi-scientific 'philosophers' of the current era often mischaracterize the nature of the scientific enterprise: that science thrives on certainty and... the immutability of facts and... the rigid adherence to logic... etc. This is EXACTLY wrong, as we can see from the practice of situational ethics, the perspective of 'weak' anthropomorphism, and phenomenon of anosognosis.

The Socratic habit of skepticism, of ever-shifting ethical principles, is the very basis of Western philosophy and particularly the scientific method; it is at the very core of what separates what scientists do from 'opinion' (or religion if we must be blunt). No hypothesis is safe from scrutiny, no matter how overwhelming the evidence; and no facts are safe either: we should always go back and measure again, just to make sure.... in other words, the skeptical intuition of the scientist leads him where logic cannot or will not.

So in reality, 'Intelligent' Design enthusiasts and others who try to hijack the scientific apparatus invariably accuse the scientific 'establishment' of exactly the things that make religions and churches soinsidious; rigidity, blind adherence to logic (Aquinas and St. Augustine), unshakeable axioms, indisputable and unexaminable 'facts'. “More hypocrisy?? Haven't we had enough of this cr***? ....and a wonderful arena for examining psychological motivations and such, hmmm..??”

3. the 'weak' anthropic principle

[Freeman] Dyson [takes] Steven Weinberg (a physicist and Nobel laureate) to task for his claim that someday we will be able to know everything. “Our ape-brains and tool-making hands were marvelously effective for solving a limited class of puzzles. Weinberg expects the same brains and hands to illuminate far broader areas of nature with the same clarity. I would be disappointed if nature could be so easily tamed. I find the idea of a Final Theory repugnant because it diminishes both the richness of nature and the richness of human destiny. I prefer to live in a universe full of inexhaustible mysteries, and to belong to a species destined for inexhaustible intellectual growth.” - from the Errol Morris article

Darwinism and evolution and contingent history extend far back in time; infinitely far back beyond the history of life on earth and very possibly beyond the Big Bang itself... human intellect may very well be incapable of grasping a scale of history of even human history. How can we cope with a time scale that encompasses millions and billions of year? How will we ever reach a consensus on exactly what the universe IS, much less discern any purpose to it?

Strong anthropic adherents try to take advantage of the apprehension that the current cosmological 'physical setup' is so improbable that there MUST have been intelligent intervention at some point; the more weasely and 'devout' scientists place this intervention 'outside space and time' and, usually, beyond the Big Bang (e.g. Owen Gingerich and Francis Collins) so that 'atheistic' scientists can't get the filthy fingers of their 'method' on it (or Him).

But what does it matter if it IS improbable? If WE are improbable? According to the best biological and paleontological evidence, humans certainly were NOT the purpose of evolution; there is no direction of evolution other than the historical spread of species into available niches; the supposed 'advance' in complexity in earthly life is simply an inevitable consequence of this gradual, trail-and-error process of taking advantage of new vacancies in ecological space; the number of bacterial strains alone still VASTLY outnumber all other species combined. (And then there are all those beetles....) Complexity in just another tool of the trade in the evolution game.

So the fact that the universe seems so improbably constituted to allow humans to perceive it SHOULD imply the opposite conclusion: that humans ONLY 'notice the universe is improbably hospitable' because it so happens to BE constituted to allow life of our type to evolve to the point of self-appraisal. There could very well be multiple universes where that did NOT happen, or possibly ancestral or successive universes where self-aware beings didn't/won't exist. We don't know, possibly cannot know, since we are here. And that leads us to...

4. Anosognosis: Something is wrong, but we will never know what it is....
(ref: NY Times article by Errol Morris is here: )
Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. - Charles Darwin (1871)
People will often make the case, “We can’t be that stupid, or we would have been evolutionarily wiped out as a species a long time ago.” I don’t agree. I find myself saying, “Well, no. Gee, all you need to do is be far enough along to be able to get three square meals or to solve the calorie problem long enough so that you can reproduce. And then, that’s it. You don’t need a lot of smarts. You don’t have to do tensor calculus. You don’t have to do quantum physics to be able to survive to the point where you can reproduce.” One could argue that evolution suggests we’re not idiots, but I would say, “Well, no. Evolution just makes sure we’re not blithering idiots. But, we could be idiots in a lot of different ways and still make it through the day.” - David Dunning (inteviewed by Errol Morris)

Anosognosis ("You cannot know all of what you do not know.") itself no longer appears to be simply (simply? Bwahahahah!) an aberration or a delusion (or even a neurological condition), but rather a profound mental reflex of Homo Sapiens; we are wired to let the circuit breakers trip in our head, to not notice the facts if they are too terrible or traumatic or demoralizing to deal with consciously. We can't help it, not a single one of us. Every person on earth has some “unknown unknown”, some space in the mental universe that they are completely unaware of.

David Dunning and his colleagues discovered, in an exhaustive set of studies, that people consistently overestimate their abilities in areas where they are not competent; moreover they found that the more incompetent a person was in a given field, the worse they were at assessing their competence. Indeed they overestimated their abilities to a degree in direct negative correlation with their actual competence. And they also appeared to the lack the skills to judge the performance of people who were competent in that field. In other words, they were not in what we would call denial. Worst of all, the more ignorant they were, the more they were incapable of discovering or correcting their ignorance.

So...we can't just marginalize 'willfully' ignorant or malicious people merely because they must 'bad' or selfish to exhibit that much stubborn incompetence. They may be LITERALLY incapable of the kind introspective and intense self-appraisal that those of us here suffer through every day. And who can blame them, really? Ignorance may really be bliss.

5. Wrapping it all up together...situational ethics

Stupidity got us into this mess; why can't it get us out? - Will Rogers

Every thinker puts some portion of an apparently stable world in peril and no one can wholly predict what will emerge in its place. - John Dewey

All of us here have repeatably fallen into the neo-Platonic swamp; I am quite sure of that.. Progressives, liberals, free-thinkers, secular humanists, moderate Republicans, No-Labelers.... we have all hit that wall that sez: “NOTHING YOU BELIEVE IS TRUE. There is NO SOLID GROUND to stand on. EVERYONE, even the people you absolutely despise, are to be tolerated, no matter how venomous or malignant their observations or conclusions or habits. Turn the other cheek. Hope for the best.” At best we believe we have discovered that we are competent enough to recognize how shaky the ground is.

Socrates, Darwin and Lincoln all shared a more constructive perspective: in a moving, constantly mutating, incredibly complex universe, we cannot afford to build a permanent foundation of belief on anything...but we can certainly find the best of the terrible alternatives, if we look hard enough and think hard enough and never, NEVER pretend that we know enough. Those ethics and morals and principles we have so painfully arrived at may be entirely irrelevant next week, but...we KNOW that's going to happen, and we are ready for it. Over and over again, throughout our lives, we will have to apply our best efforts to finding a new temporary home for our thoughts.

Darwin never lost sight of his purpose, kept his eye on the ball. He labored for more than 20 years to probe TO HIMSELF that his first intuition of his theory was true. As if it was open to question, his generosity to Wallace removed any accusation of ego from the publication of his work. He worked hard in his chosen field, for the rest of his life, defending and reinforcing his ideas. He died content, with no fear of death, because he was confident that he had comprehended what really drove biological 'determination' (or better, lack of same). And he knew that his offspring and his own personal death were an intimate part of it all. He was not of the Chosen people; he was relieved to settle for Peace instead. Only peace. Was he deluded, or was he one of the few people competent enough to judge the evidence and come to the correct conclusions?

Socrates sacrificed himself for his country (becoming a martyr to the cause of skeptical thought), as Giordano Bruno and Thomas Paine and Abbie Hoffman and Abe Lincoln did; so should we, in small ways at least. We probably will not be able to teach people who cannot or refuse to think, but we should keep trying regardless; and some of us will inevitably be burned for it. The topography of situational ethics is an ever-shifting ground of evolutionary, cultural, and physical forces in an indifferent universe. We stand willingly in the gap. The real glory is in the comprehension of a tiny part of the vast mystery of our journey. As Darwin did, perhaps, we can find solace and even content on that road.

Space Brothers Bulletin!!!!! ---- #6 -- May 2001

Been a LONG hiatus in the news because (whimper!) my 007 super-secret contact with the Brothers has BETRAYED me. Well, sort of. Io thinks my brother-in-law and nephews need her 'benign influence' (hoo-hah) more than I do. Says I'm 'enlightened' enough. Really? I haven't noticed...

So she sent me off to an EVIL and FORNICATING land on a Mission from, well, God. Not that it IS a mission from Him (as if he cared), but it has such a whimsical, 80's sort of ring to it. If I said I was on a 'Mission from Space' it would get me *looked at*, ya know. Or, I should say, *looked at more*.

My purgatory was long and eventless, punctuated only by the election of a Forehead as President, selenium accumulation, and countless frozen burritos. I withstood numerous attacks from NIMBY-crazed suburbanites and acne-ravaged meth cookers. I began to revere television and Harry Potter. I even took a job as a security guard.

But at last, while in the terrible throes of temple-slapping boredom, I was contacted! One Dark and (well, not Stormy. No night in the EVIL and FORNICATING land is really all that awful.) as I was 'doing-something-secret' in the parking lot of my Assigned Post (us security people have are own little lingo here, as you will see) I saw a Suspcious Activity. Well, actually, it *appeared* to be a bunny-rabbit, chewing on some of our client's ornamental plantings. But with my newly aquired enlightenment, coupled with the Honed Precision Senses of the Private Security Officer, I was able to see that, yes, it was a bunny-rabbit, eating the damn weeds in the corner of the parking lot. Rats.

Well, I 'investigated', in any case. Much to my surprise, the Susp.. I mean, rabbit, didn't 'evade'; he even introduced himself, in a sort of back-handed way: "Pat, why don't you tell Kim to plant something EDIBLE out here. These damn shrubs are awful! Hard, scratchy... My name's Benny, by the way, plant manager here and your new contact."

I screwed my face up in my best intelligent expression, while attempting to process this last: 'A rabbit is telling me he is managing a motherboard fabrication plant. All automated, give him his due, all he needs to do is chitter at people and push buttons with his nose or something..'

"What's wrong, are you ill or something? I'll admit I didn't expect much, Io certainly didn't describe you very impressively, but your look even worse than I'd imagined." What is it with these guys? Is there some kind of Space Brothers Agent Institute of Mockery and Bitchiness somewhere?

Meanwhile he launched into a very boring, if relatively tactful, diatribe about how I had not been conducting myself as befits one who has been admitted to 'vastness' (huh?). Those damn burritos again, I guess. All this while masticating Mrs. Love's flower bed.

Benny and his tribe are part of a new Brothers project (he explained), SPASM (Strategic Products for the Anti-Stultification of Mankind), and they are infiltrating the various electronics manufacturers around Morgan Hill to introduce Subliminal Geekification/Fnord Visualization code into all of the ROMs. Soon everyone that buys cell phones and computers will be swearing at FOX News and getting into number theory 'really deep'.

He lamented the fact that all the major manufacturers were not represented close by; Gateway, ferinstance. "No big deal, though. Since Michael lost the big foof-raw we've come to realize that anyone who buys one of them must be too far gone already. Probably an AOL user or something."

Now this was news! "You mean <glyph-squiggle>, formerly the artiste formerly known as Prince, has won the title?", I interrupted excitedly. "Don't break out your sequined leotards yet. Being inaugurated for Perfect Beingness is a long, painful process, mainly for us. His second had to be exhumed and reconstituted first, and now that he 'has returned' we are having a real hard time keeping him from performing a coup. He's been pretty pissed off ever since they took Japan away from him, and they really should have substituted something else, like Las Vegas maybe. Look what he did for the Phillipines! Elvis should have pre-empted The General as soon as <glyph-squiggle> started that project, but, well. Hindsight ya know."

Benny also informed me about activities of the DWEAB (Director of Wyrd Education for Aboriginal Beings) so I am 'in the know' once again. Since Voyager is in UPN syndication now the DWEAB has been looking for an effectively brainless way to get Their point across without borrowing too many tactics from the Grays. The current DWEAB (James Cameron, apparently) is going to visit the Brothers IN PERSON in the next year or so, once he's completed his various NASA courses, bribed the suitable congressmen, etc. He also states that he has discovered a painful but effective method of removing the Gray Implant, something calls the 'drowning-that-whiny-Leonardo' method. Has to do with watching some horrible video tape of some kind, over and over until the Gray Operators are driven insane and the implant is burned out by some sort of reverse feedback effect. Not sure what he's talking about here, but then I've been 'vastened' (NOT 'vaselined'. That's something else, also a painful but, unfortunately, INEFFECTIVE means of, well..).

Elvis managed to bail out Gravy, in March last year. Leave it to...


----- Space Brothers Inc.

----- "Gravity Repulsion And Vastening Ylem" (GRAVY)



The Space Brothers admonish thee all, Aboriginal Earth Beings:










CURES GEORGE W. BUSH! (Well, we're reaching, here.)

Suggested marketing slogans...

Kill vermin and noxious weeds in a biodegradable, economical

and asthetically pleasing manner!

The brown stuff that DOESN'T smell bad.

Smear it on the windshields of Black Helicopters and Limos and

MIB sunglasses!

Promotes Intestinal Fortitude!

Makes your engine run smoother and more fuel efficient!

Elvis sez: "Eat GRAVY and you, too, can be a Perfect Being."

--- END PAID ADVERTISEMENT --- a former Perfect Being to know the ins and outs of the stock market. So the Benevolent Ones did very well, and now own a controlling interest in IBM in addition to other former purgative mimic-ing corporate regimes. They've also managed to subvert the Bill's dad, and they must be working on Him, too, considering the his public utterences lately. This dove-tails neatly with their campaign to sabotage the Gray-sponsored prospective merger of Microsoft and Time-Warner.

The management of this last project is floundering a bit due to confusion over strategy. Some of the Brothers think that prying His Billness away will remove the last remnants of intelligence from MS. They think that the resulting company will then collapse into a huge bogosity-sinkhole from the intense concentration of stupidity that will occur when Case and Ballmer attempt to occupy the same boardroom.

Space Brothers Bulletin #7 -- Aug 2005

(A semi-regular feature of Peers of Wyrd, Good and Hearty Men,
none@all, the G/HADL, and the Vanquishers of the Gaseous)

    "So tell me again why I have to eat this crap?  Io told me she used to get cottage cheese and tuna fish."
    I gave her my best evil eye, but you know cats - they're only perceptive when it's incovenient for YOU.  She stood there with the offended posture that is universal among her kind, as if I'd mistaken the contents of her litter box for the entre' of a seven-course dinner.  
    I decided to fight fire with fire.  "I swear, Satin, you guys' monitor implants must be flawed; either that or the Brothers stipulate bitcheness as job requirement."
    "Read my lips, monkey-boy..."
    "And quit complaining about the food!  The people here will figure I've finally popped a rivet if I start feeding you stuff like that.  Do you want to make them suspicious?"
    "I don't have the slightest concern of making them suspicious, apeman.  They already think you're a dangerous whacko, believe me.  You should hear what they say about you!...And you really could work on your speil, you know.  I didn't believe Io when she gave me your persuasion score during her time with you but she DID say you were an idiot and..."
    "Agghhh!  Quit mentioning Io!  She's a traitor!  She forsook me for Republican, even!"
    "Well, even Republicans deserve our..."
    "Blaphemer!" I gave her a smug look.  "Won't they drum you out of your union for saying something like that?"
    "Bah...  Damned higher-ups are always bitching at us about 'tolerence' this, 'appropriate' that.  'Extending an olive branch to the loyal opposition'.  Ugghh!  If even one of them raised his fat ass off his..."
    Hah ha!  I knew I could distract her, eventually.  I cut off her rant, cleverly:  "But shouldn't the lower echelon of cadres be idealogically aligned with the Brothers Who Labor For The Good Of Us All?  I must say that, under the influence of your cynical attitude, my faith is  wavering; I suffer *terribly* in my manful resistance to the Evil Lure of Material Temptation-"
    "You know, I almost see what Io was getting at, you being an idiot and all.  In a sort of sickening way.  You have this sort of perverse talent for obviating the stupidity of the Enemy and all His works.  Considering your profound lack of intellect for the job I'm not quite sure how you do it yet, but...Amazing, amazing..."  She shook her head, as if she was trying to shake loose cheat grass from her ear, and dipped her head to the food bowl, crunching contentedly.
    Victory!....or as close as I'd get to it.

[We, the Space Brothers, endorse this advertisement. Insipid as it may be.]

----- Space Brothers Inc. 
----- "Gravity Repulsion And Vastening Ylem" (GRAVY)
The Space Brothers admonish thee all, Aboriginal Earth Beings: 







CURES GEORGE W. BUSH! (Well, we're reaching, here.)

Suggested marketing slogans...

Kill vermin and noxious weeds in a biodegradable, economical
and asthetically pleasing manner!

The brown stuff that DOESN'T smell bad.

Smear it on the windshields of Black Helicopters and Limos and 
MIB sunglasses!

Promotes Intestinal Fortitude!

Makes your engine run smoother and more fuel efficient!

Elvis sez:  "Eat GRAVY and you, too, can be a Perfect Being."

(or: Gray-V -- Gray Vanquishing something?)

(Has nano-bots in it that increase lifespan, intelligence, make your
turds firmer, etc.  Self-replicating:  just buy the culture and voila!
you are a GRAVY supplier!)

Of Myths and Fables

Because parents think truth will spoil childhood
They conspire in kindly untruth
We get Christmas presents from Santa
And siblings delivered by the stork

Some cling to these puzzling stories
preserving them long beyond youth
But for most the comfort of fables
is destroyed by the passage of years

At some point in our lives, if we're lucky
comes humility balancing fear
and we learn to learn from our children

So that each generation makes progress
on a journey through daylight and darkness
Toward a truth more amazing than myth
And a past even older than God.

Marie Struthers

(you go, Mom!)