Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Life after War

The ghettos built to house and surround the humans, until the invaders could decide what to do with us all were never meant to be a permanent solution.  The three decades of declining resources, medicine for health care, food, meant a dwindling population within.  And in the last years the alien sentries no longer came to check upon us.

When the invading aliens were wiped out by a variety of virus and bacteria, we, foolishly, assumed life would return to normal.   

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Is God on your side?

Preparing for war is a confused and tangled subject, for as humans think, they mean to keep the peace by preparing for war.  I believe it is rare that a country will buy materials of war and not be willing to use them.  And that is the problem.  Who wants to pay millions and millions of dollars for things they will never use?

I am not, at all, suggesting anything about motives.  I am not suggesting anything at all about the circumstances facing the government, or the rationale that is used by humans/governments for use of weapons.

I am saying that with all of the weapons available to a nation state it is rare to see them NOT use them.  More than 100 million people were slaughtered in the 20th century due to war, rebellion, and "police actions".   I've gotta say, over time I suggest that the country with the largest and most modern military is usually responsible for most of the damage and deaths.  And gather a war with many of those countries and the numbers sky rocket

Click images for clearer print...

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Systems of existence

I once worked during a summer at a factory that saw people doing the same thing, over and over, for 8 hours at a clip.  I was told that injuries happened when people fell asleep, or, tried to change the routine.  In other words, anything done to change the toil was a problem.  During the breaks the workers talked about how they loved or hated or loved and hated the job.  It was mindless, and anyone with intellect would be broken, or at least made to feel numb.  However, some people enjoy a lack of stimulation.  Others require constant stimulus or they lose focus upon their life.  The world is too much for others.  But the entirety of existence is both more than than one person can take in, and not nearly enough.  The reason I say this:  Human enterprise makes work and belief a purpose, and also destructive and creative at once. Ultimately humans have to find a new way of thought, a new way to live.  Why?  We have a world that is getting better and better.  With higher literacy rates, quick reductions in birth rate, more and more scientific mysteries solved, and space discovery on the short path to human curiosity being solved.  Right?

I don't think those are all false.  But I don't think the ultimate reality is based upon all of those factors in the positive growth of humanity.  There is a momentum of certain factors can are often perceived as the cause of betterment, but are not.  Likewise, many of the factors we attest to be necessary for victory or personal success aren't what they have seemed to be.  What factors are you saying we credit without them being so important?  Democracy.  Education.  Religion.  Each, when given sole credit for betterment, are elevated to a higher place in the hierarchy of what all humans need.

Democracy: We have, in nearly all democratic governments, a perception that this style of governance allows freedom more than any other.  There is a difference, of course, between practice and theory, no one would argue that any political systems doesn't have flaws.  However, even this acknowledgement doesn't go far enough.  In the few political states that have direct democracy, they are often unable to free themselves from the problems of the system.  Poverty, inequity, and the continuing pursuit of power by the bright, dull, and mentally without merit.

The opposite of democracy, autocratic leadership suggests that by the benevolent and well reasoned choices of the few, the concentration of power in the hands of few would allow for more efficient distribution of resources.  The theory of the "man upon the horse" has never quite been understood.  Most who argue that a Putin, Mao, Hitler, or Stalin were evil or criminals have to ignore the often successful aspects of autocratic states.  In the USSR people have often pointed to the excesses of purges, of the lack of freedom as defined by financial ability to act in one's own, of the governmental implementation of strict and unfair rules to gather resources from the private and contribute them to the public. There is a false crisis that communist states used/use to kill populations, such as the Holodomor famine, the Great Leap Forward, and other uses of power to ignore one population or kill that population were described by social scientists as being "unfortunate side-effects" of implementing large programs meant to modernize industry, revolutionize workers, and allow the government to reach greater financial harvests, in order to allow the state to grow.

We are often subject to the extremes of any system we encounter.  But the constant and relentless push forward of all lives suggest that we must find, somewhere or another, a higher goal than simple existence.  Albert Camus, a favorite author of mine, suggested that life is absurd and that the only purpose and value one might find comes in the application of the individual to make value and make purpose matters.  Sisyphus was forced to endlessly push a boulder up a hill, only at the end of the day to roll down and Sisyphus would start over, never to end the cycle.  Albert Camus, Nobel prize winner, said,  in order to understand the cycle, is to imagine that Sisyphus finds purpose in his labors, and in that, he is glad.

I believe in something a bit less exacting in purpose.  I believe that we are made of a creator, and in that creator's likeness.  We are meant to create, and we can create in many forms, art, procreation of life, labor in a good cause.  But, for most that central core of purpose doesn't exist because they've been told to abort their creations, destroy the creations of others, and hate failed attempts to create a purpose, that stain the memory thereafter.

There is a concept in various religions that sacrifice of an unblemished creation is the only way to achieve forgiveness.  It has been shown that there have been over 50 million aborted pregnancies since 1973 in the US.  None of those creations were able to become life.  But, I believe that they've become a sacrifice.  I do not aim blame anywhere, I believe abortion is a tragedy.

But I wonder, openly, if those creations were sacrifices, who was making that sacrifice, and what forgiveness are they given for?

The human population of this world has a great many obstacles before it.  There is starvation and obesity.  There is inequity between worker and leadership, in reward and opportunity.  There is hate and fear.  And we have a planet that has global environmental issues, from overtaxed lands being forced to grow more and more with toxic chemicals to cause greater yields, to global warming, to over population, to pollution, to continents of people who have no hope, jobs, or ability to escape their "fate".

Humanity has to look to a higher goal than simple existence.  War is not an answer.  Money is not an answer.  There has to be more to accomplish than existing.  We need more than pleasure, treasure, leisure and toil.

Painting by Salvador Dali, his estate copyright

Friday, May 11, 2018

Readers of my work ask me lots of questions

I was asked by four long time readers of my work to answer a great many questions.  They had made a list because reading my work they found themselves wondering how I might answer.  They said they wouldn't stop reading my work regardless of the answers, but they wondered because I am dark but believe in light, and they thought that was rather contradictory.

"Do you believe in..."

Politicians?  No. They have reasons to lie so you should not expect them not to do so.

An afterlife?  Yes, but other than believing that I have no idea what else.

Ghosts?  Not exactly.  But I believe that if there are many people who die tragically in a place their sorrow and pain might somehow echo in that place.

A benevolent God?  I do believe that God is good.  But, I am troubled by the evil let loose in a world he created.  I know you can blame humans for that evil, but if I were able to make everything from Atoms to Universes I would think you'd be able to prevent assholes and disasters.

Monsters?  Hitler, Stalin, Mao were human monsters.  But yeah, I've come to a place where I believe that there are some cryptids, particularly those in the deepest ocean.  And, yes, I think Sasquatch is real, but not most of the sightings. 

Euthanasia?  Geeze, you don't play fair do you?  I believe that death is your choice, if you are able to choose.  But legally doctors should be able to help those with terminal diseases choose how and when to say goodbye.  But it troubles me too.

Suicide? Yes, I believe in the right of an individual to choose their own death.

The Death Penalty? Yes. I do.  And I think it should be by guillotine, and not for any dramatic view, but because there is no question it will be one and done. 

Abortion?  I am a believer that it is morally the equivalent of killing.  But I also view it as the domain of the political state and since they have the ability to kill with the military, police and some other extreme events, they have the right to decide this one.  I also think leaving the choice in the hands of the person having it leaves the moral choice in the hands of the person doing it.  If it is banned by the government then it will be considered a right that is blocked by the big bad government, and people will have the thing done and feel morally righteous by it.

Death penalty for other crimes than murder?  Yes but, we can't go hog wild killing everyone for anything.  Multi rape and child molestation is an area I think needs far more extreme punishment, so that is the area I'd support more than jail time for.

"What is the best..."

Music?  I am a very big fan of Billy Corgan, of the Smashing Pumpkins and Zwan.  I listen to everything but Rap, but I like Motown so don't go assuming anything.

Book?  I love poetry by Ezra Pound.  I love Robert E. Howard's short stories.  And Albert Camus was the best ever.

Film?  My three favorite are Seven Samurai, Gladiator, and Amadeus

Game?  D&D, SWBounty Hunter on Game Cube, Pod Racer N64.

Social Media? 2005-2009

News channel I don't get cable, and I really don't trust most news.  So I don't really have any channel I follow.

Political Party?  Reform party or Green party in the past, but, mostly I vote but not happily.

Religion?  I am a Christian but consider most other religions as being valid, and while I am different in beliefs from those other faiths, I suspect God is big enough to figure out who is moral or righteous.

"Why do you care if..."

People immigrate to the US?

I believe America is a country built by immigrants, however they arrived to the country.  So, I'd suggest that there is no reason not to let people immigrate. But I absolutely believe in limits, because if 980 million people live in the US, the hope for a better life would not be found here.

People smoke pot recreationally? I don't.

People live together without being married? I don't assume other people live by the same ethics and morals that I do, and therefore, while there are benefits of marriage, I think people will do whatever they will do.

People don't like poetry? It is a matter of taste, I have zero fucks to give about that.

People do not go to college or other education beyond high school?  I think people should pursue lives that satisfy them.  Some will reach Ph'd level educations and want more, and some will find high school far more than they need to figure out the rest of their life.  I think going to college when you are ready to go is more important than going immediately. 


There any hope?  Not really. I think this world is going to die in a variety of ways.  Look up Guy McPherson on Youtube, read the Bible chapter Revelation of John, and then figure out why I am so negative on this.

Does Fairness exist? Despite my previous mentioned lack of hope I believe in some ways there is more fairness than there was 150 years ago.  I am not sure it matters but... yeah.

There any Justice? So long as we assume that the US is always right, that capitalism is the only way, that the world owes us respect, no.  I think people are better than systems with justice, but, even then, childhoods are filled with bullies who rarely pay the cost for what they've done.

Does Equality exist?  No, but, I am not sure you'd get what I mean by that alone.  I think equality in respect is the only thing you can do yourself, because all other forms of Equality require stealing from the freedom of others to enforce.  Blame my reading of Isaiah Berlin for that.

Is Homosexuality a mental disorder?  Not that I know of.

Is Transgenderism a form of abuse and mutilation?  No.

Is HIV the cause of AIDS? I don't know, and anything I say would not reflect a scientific answer.  I am a poet, not a fucking oncologist or physicist.

Are UFOs real, and if so, where do they come from?  This one kind of depends on what I've experienced, and as such I am not the best one to ask.  I believe in lots of things, and suspect there is intelligent life beyond earth, but what the hell do I know?

Is there global climate change?  Sure.  Not even 96% of skeptics think it is not.  Is it man-made is a different question and hell if I know about that one.


Was your worst pain?  My mom dying.

Was the closest you came to dying? Staph infection during chemo.

Do you wish for your son to become in his future? Happy.

Is your favorite color? Black or Hunter's Green

Is your most desired wish? No one dies of disease or starvation

Are your favorite TV shows?  Based on how it moved me, NYPD Blue


Do you write so many broken heart poems, are you?  I am usually depressed, but there are millions of reasons for that.

Why are you always sick, does it affect your work?  I became sedentary as a writer, but I was never inclined to exercise or eat right.


If you could live your life over what would you do again, and what would you do your best never to do?

I might have never gone immediately to university, because I think I wasn't ready.  I'd try to become spiritually and mentally healed before getting married, as many issues my wife and I have had comes from that.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Faces of Sorrow and Suffering

(All images are believed to be in public domain, and should they not be fair use is suggested.)

 “Don’t grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form.” Rumi

We humans have a body that is relatively long lived.  We grow and change as we age, and gather wisdom, and knowledge.  There are many unique developments in our existence, some due to personality, some due to familial legacies, and some happen as a result of chance and opportunity.  We are, however, likely to share a number of experiences in common.  We experience joy, love, hope, and humor, we experience fear, pain, hurt and sorrow.  As such I am fascinated by how we all react, or not, to the commonly experienced feelings.  And I think, it is important too, to acknowledge that not all of these feelings, emotions, are welcome.  But they happen none the less.

How we respond to such events and feelings helps to define us.  

"If there is a meaning in life at all, then there must be a meaning in suffering. Suffering is an ineradicable part of life, even as fate and death." Viktor Frankl

“The darker the night, the brighter the stars,The deeper the grief, the closer is God!” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Only people who are capable of loving strongly can also suffer great sorrow, but this same necessity of loving serves to counteract their grief and heals them.”  Leo Tolstoy

“It's so curious: one can resist tears and 'behave' very well in the hardest hours of grief. But then someone makes you a friendly sign behind a window, or one notices that a flower that was in bud only yesterday has suddenly blossomed, or a letter slips from a drawer... and everything collapses.”  Colette

"Now this is the noble truth of suffering: birth is suffering, aging is suffering, illness is suffering, death is suffering; union with what is displeasing is suffering; separation from what is pleasing is suffering; not to get what one wants is suffering; in brief, the five aggregates subject to clinging are suffering.

Now this is the noble truth of the origin of suffering: it is this craving which leads to re-becoming, accompanied by delight and lust, seeking delight here and there; that is, craving for sensual pleasures, craving for becoming, craving for disbecoming.

Now this is the noble truth of the cessation of suffering: it is the remainderless fading away and cessation of that same craving, the giving up and relinquishing of it, freedom from it, non-reliance on it.

Now this is the noble truth of the way leading to the cessation of suffering: it is this noble eightfold path; that is, right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration." Gautama Buddha

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Stupid Questions

After reading my comments about the removal of the Civil War South leader statues on Facebook or Twitter, an emailer/person asked me a few stupid questions.  I am in fact of the belief that the person was stupid, but it could be his ideologies were blinding his mind.

But to consider and to answer his questions...

Do you like Black people?  

Only someone who is racist would think they could like or dislike an entire ethnic group.  I resist the term race because DNA suggests we are very very close to the same, ethnic group to ethnic group.  So to answer, yes I do, no I don't and perhaps a little of one and some of the other.  You just don't have a broad enough experience, no matter how many of one group you meet to say anything.  On the other hand, if you said, do you like Christians, do you like Libertarians, do you like Nazis, you are talking about people who are in a group because of their BELIEFS.  It does mean you can thereby make general comments, and you can judge that group, because some beliefs are not good beliefs.  Not all beliefs or ideas are equal.

Do you think the Confederates were evil?  

This is a stupid question because the cause those in the Confederacy's forces fought for is mixed between local defenders, people who were drawn into the war, and people who believed that slavery was so endemic to the South that forbidding it would destroy it.  Additionally, I don't even think people who are unable to see beyond their region's ideologies are necessarily evil nearly so much as being unquestioning in their thinking.  Slavery is wrong.  Those Confederates who fought due to this belief, and to keep it as part of the South were evil.  The rest I'd have to take on a case by case basis.

Do you think Blacks today prove that they need to be kept separate from Whites? 

I don't believe that people separated in time prove the past or the present wrong or right.  The concept of slavery is wrong.  Keeping anyone slave for use is wrong.  No wiggle room.  This question to me  suggests that while Blacks behaved in the past due to laws and extra legal means to keep them from being equal.  Whatever the rate of crime today, Blacks are not to blame for their being kept as slaves, no racial/ethnic group should ever be held as such, and anything argued to keep them in a subordinate position to Whites or any other non Black group is false. And separation of peoples is not moral. 

Why are people wanting to take down the statues?  Are they "snowflakes"?  

I believe that a lot of the people wanting to remove the statues are not true believers in the action so much as opportunists doing something to shock the people the acts are bound to offend.  That doesn't mean the cause is right, wrong, or too nuanced to discuss.  Many of the statue opponents are not altogether well informed.  Some argue that the statues were put up directly to remind the Blacks in the region that Whites went to war to keep them in their place.  Others don't altogether dispute the first reason, but argue that Southern nationalism is aimed at a tiered society, and that the top tier would not include black people.  Those who argue that the statues celebrate history and nothing more might be ignorant, or could desire simply to remember the dead and mark the place in time when the South fought the North.

I don't care if people want to remove the statues so much as want them to do it for the reasons that matter.  As a historian I am aware of the fact that most in the Civil War were not activists about the causes they served.  I think most who want to remove the statues are flawed in their outlook, but, that doesn't mean they are wrong.  I would suggest that we create a park to house the statues so that it requires a direct action to go see them, and that they aren't prominently set upon state capitols or anything similar.  Going to Southern Heritage Park or some thing like that, would not make one a racist, but it would probably include such, but this sort of park would make the concept of the statues simply a memory of a moment of time. 

I don't actually think Snowflakes is a term that is accurate for those who believe in removal of statues.  I actually think some are righteous, some are full of shit, and some are along for the ride.  That is a definition that could be for any group of humans.

Sadly the issues of statue removal, racism and inequality in America are often more about opportunism than true movements.  A question to ask, for instance, would be, for all of America's racism, why weren't these acts done when a person of color held the head office of US politics?

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Word F√ck, Pornography, and Modern Society

I am a Christian but I am not saying that to introduce you to a Christian article.  I am saying it to make certain people know where I am coming from via my point of view.  

I swear.  Many people do.  But many people who are Christians believe that hearing a Christian swearing is such a bad thing that it keeps non-Christians in disbelief or darkness.  Frankly, I think some words have power, and they have a purpose.  I try not to swear around certain people, but I've given the finger while driving more times than I can count, and I swear in conversations, but, I only rarely do in my poetry.  My poetry is meant to exist after I am gone, so, I really am uncomfortable to use it there, unless, it needs use.

The band UNDEROATH was considered by many to be a Christian group, despite perhaps not fitting that description well, formerly had a mixed audience of Christians and Non-Christians.  When the lead singer who isn't evangelical in his personal Christian life and outlook wanted to make music that wasn't Christian in outlook and when the band used the term Fuck in a song, many many fans turned enemy, and Christians took great umbrage towards the use of that word.  Christian music, more so than me by far, has an agenda of trying to be, or at least appearing morally perfect to its fans.  The former fans fled to a safer place online and for their music.

But the thing is, drummer and occasional lead singer, Aaron Gillespie, a talented singer, musician, writer of songs, and performer chose following the end of his marriage for reasons of his own, to actually be honest.  That is, he still believed in God/Christ/Morals but refused to function, as an artist, as a person who called himself a Christian artist.  He chose to be honest but people assumed the reverse.  They assumed he had cheated upon his wife, began using drugs, ate children, killed Christ, and more.  The world, however, had accepted him and the music as being music. Christians rejected his new work, and assumed it had changed for the same reasons he'd been divorced. It was the reverse.  His Christian music had in fact been created and sold while his life was painful and things perhaps not so Christian happened. 

Judgment is so very easy.  We all do it, some more harshly than others.

So being so open here, I swear and do stupid bad things, am I following up the beginning of the piece here with a confession?  Not so much.  As a reviewer I have never ever wanted to review anything with a heavy sexual content and especially sexual tone.  It wasn't that I think pornography is evil, I think sex is great, but I do have some issues with it.  For example, pornography isn't about me expressing love to the woman I am married to.  Even if I watch porn and think of my beautiful wife it will be tainted.  Have I never watched or looked at porn?  Hell no.  I have failed many times morally, many times in many different ways.  But, I believe viewing porn for a certain quick purpose, and being done with that is better than cheating upon a loved one with someone else.  That is, however, the issue I have with porn, it isn't like anything else.  If you read a book you read it, think on it, move creatively in your mind.  When you watch porn you focus upon another person's sexual features.  You do it utilitarian like, and when you are done it might linger, but, if you are honest, let us just say, porn becomes very boring after a certain point.  And as such, it is more like tool to achieve a result.  Art, film, books, games, and all sorts of creative works might utilize some aspects of sexuality, but if they are only accessible as porn, that art has failed. 

Again, I am not telling you you are wrong for watching or reading it, it isn't the point.  One point is this, there is a concept called Idolatry and what it is about is enjoying the created more than appreciating the creator.  By not thinking about the source of sex, a union of passion, love perhaps, given to us to reproduce lives, we make it tawdry, dirty, and cheap.  I am a flawed, ugly, vulgar person.  I make mistakes and as a Christian I fail.  But saying fuck is a very small flaw, compared to things like murder, hate, jealousy, and others. 

Lastly there is a study of the evolution of empires, from new, to old, and it comes in stages.  Go read the theory, and come back if you would.  The discussion about stages of empire are germane to this discussion because in the end point of empires the people and government focus upon things that give them pleasure.  Constant wars, Disparity between those in wealth and poverty, Food, Violence as entertainment, Sex, Opulence, Affluence, Games, and Entertainment.  (Bread and Circuses, to be specific).  We are a fat, affluent people, we watched UFC, we go to war, we watch pornography, and we think of wealth and the acquisition of it as the path to happiness.

It is wise to think of our world, as we pursue our lives, but in the end we make pleasure an end result that we pursue, rather than lives towards enlightenment or betterment.  We have become addicted to the fruits of wealth, while we lose our way towards a high place for culture.

We are not all fat, of course, but you can with joy replace whatever you use instead of food to make yourself happy.

2 Timothy 3:1 -5

1But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.