Monday, December 25, 2017

Recent Reads

I read numerous books for research purposes, and I do have a project ongoing that I need to make myself more familiar with.  Well, either that or I just love reading books about the ancient history of the peoples of the Mediterranean Sea.

Generally speaking some of the books I read succeed in terms of facts and scholarly, academic information, but do not entertain.  Some of them are highly entertaining, but have only a little academic worth.  The best make you love learning the event, culture, people while entertainingly telling the story in question.

Donald Kagan, Peter S. Wells, Adrian Goldsworthy, Victor Davis Hanson are so good at what they do.  The prose is constructed in ways that the reader is engaged, and the information is transferred well.

I have read a number of reviews of these works, and the reviewers come in two categories, high mind snooty academician, and someone who was confused and thinks these books are novels.  And then there are the people who don't like history but want to review it to shit upon it?  I get not liking something, I don't share that desire to poop on something because of it, but I absolutely understand that not every area of existence appeals to people.  Poetry, which I love doesn't appeal to even most people.  Unless you think Lyrics in music is a form of poetry, which I don't.

But Archilochus is amazing.

"Heart, my heart, so battered with misfortune far beyond your strength,
up, and face the men who hate us. Bare your chest to the assault
of the enemy, and fight them off. Stand fast among the beamlike spears.
Give no ground; and if you beat them, do not brag in open show,
nor, if they beat you, run home and lie down on your bed and cry.
Keep some measure in the joy you take in luck, and the degree you
give way to sorrow. All our life is up-and-down like this."  Archilochus

I get asked why History?  Why not science or philosophy, religious studies or any other discipline.  I have no choice in what moves me.  But I'd definitely suggest that part of why history appeals to me is the possibility to answer questions that I feel are important.  Without aiming at any group or viewpoint, I think most of history is accurate, but the people using history to support their wrong viewpoint should be punished.  When the supposed race of Aryans were said to be the original supermen, they'd been created by the group inserting them into history, and that is bad.  But when people say Cleopatra was black, when she was so clearly of Macedonian and Greek heritage, when people argue that the native Americans were indigenous to the Americas from the beginning, it makes me want to vomit.  Similarly, there are idiots on Youtube who give Top 10 list or something, using jet fighters footage in WWI, or tanks in the Civil War, these people should go snort Ajax, and scrub their brains with Comet.  They are utterly stupid.  Which isn't to say Black History cannot be proud of many things.  Nor, would an essay or documentary about war in the general sense need to have specific pics.  I think the idea that controlling the past allows empowerment in the present is somewhat valid, but not authentically so.  I have always said if you need to lie about a subject to make it work, it doesn't, actually, work.

"Let who will boast their courage in the field,
I find but little safety from my shield.
Nature's, not honour's, law we must obey:
This made me cast my useless shield away,
And by a prudent flight and cunning save
A life, which valour could not, from the grave.
A better buckler I can soon regain;
But who can get another life again?"   Archilochus

Thursday, December 7, 2017


I was asked by three people what my thoughts were about Trump's announcement of the recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.  I think it was done because Trump wants to lead and not follow, and that just because others didn't do what he has done doesn't mean he is in fact leading.  Going a step further, would I have done it if I had the power?  Nope.  With Jerusalem as a de facto capital there are far less immediate reasons to argue.

Why not do it?  It is a source of contention.  It plays, to me, as being a case of words meaning more than they really ought to mean, since people thereafter read into the motives and can fill in their own blank.  Doing that leads to conflict.

Also, I am never going to be in power, so we never have to worry about that.  (If I am in power, move to a different planet, something someone somewhere made a huge mistake).

Recent events

Some of the people who read my blogs and follow my Twitter and Facebook are aware that I was contacted by my birth family 4 months ago.  I had reached the age, nearly, of 54, and had not had any inquiries into my file at the archives of the adoption unit that I was adopted through to that point.

I was moved, as it seemed someone was interested in my fate after the change over from one parent to others.  I was also aware of the various reasons people seek their biological child after adoption.  Some are seeking to know the answer to a great mystery.  Some need to find their child because the DNA link, being a need for an organ, or marrow, or the like.  Some are simply curious, and others are wrought with sorrow since giving up the child.

In my case it was a desire to end a mystery and reunite.  The meeting went well.  I was able to speak to my biological mother, her husband (not my biological father) and a cousin.  And I found out that I have family, half siblings, and many cousins, nephews and nieces.  I am grateful for the new family. 


I am going through my nearly completed works and trying to finish edits and writing.  There is not a dark undercurrent here, I am not hinting at any reason for the books not being finished.  I would suggest that it is really a blessing to have the works nearly done so that when I have the focus and time, I can finish them and have some distance from them so I can edit better than normal.  Both Marsha Nelson my proofer and Jason Moser my formatist are deeply appreciated in this endeavor.

What are the books about?  One is a collection of King Arthur setting prose short stories.  Another is a collection of poems about the Roman Republic and Empire.  And the two that are in other people's hands are titled LORE and MEMORIA.  Life is not easy, for many it is far too difficult, and my latest two books are investigations into basic questions of existence.

 Both LORE and Memoria are copyright Alex Ness 2017


My thyroid still doesn't work, and it causes problems with sleep, energy, depression, and more.  I recently also had some other issues that I would guess come from the related issues of the thyroid.  Being sick because you've been sick pretty well sucks.

Global Warming or Climate Change

People who tell me that Climate Change is a hoax are usually assholes.  They have an agenda and don't care about facts.  I'd say this but my experience is similar for both sides of the debate.  So, I am not going to discuss it in public any longer, not out of anger or worry, but out of a desire to continue to research without the influence of others.  Sadly if either paradigm is correct earth is going to be hostile in temperature and weather events.

Monday, November 6, 2017


(plural metamorphoses)

A transformation, such as that of magic or by sorcery

A noticeable change in character, appearance, function or condition.

(biology) A change in the form and often habits of an animal after the embryonic stage during normal development. (e.g. the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly or a tadpole into a frog.)

(pathology) A change in the structure of a specific body tissue. Usually degenerative.

This entry began with a very specific, perhaps briefly addressed goal of being in transformation from one state to another.  I am interested in this because I am personally going through it.  I've entered my later middle age.  I was never a man who exercised much, other than walking as a younger fellow because it broke me to pay money to take a bus when I could instead walk and get one more hamburger or one more comic book, or one more cd.

But I should have done so.  I should have exercised, because when I was young I had time and energy to do so, but chose instead to read, or watch movies, or do whatever the hell I found more interesting.  As a result, I've become unfit, perhaps even fat as hell over time, even though it doesn't altogether look as such.  I am 6'4" and 250lbs, which isn't so fat, but, it is fat enough that now my body has grown to become afflicted with Type Two Diabetes.   Adding this to thyroid dysfunction, and massive depression, I've entered a period of being unwell.  Perhaps, in fact, I've entered an end period to my life.

My flesh, however, is not my terminal state of being, but instead, a temporary one.  I existed in a form before being on earth, and will exist in a new form after this existence of flesh has moved on.  I might not matter more than dust in the cosmos, but I am eternal, as are all people.

"You grieve for those who should not be grieved for; yet you speak wise words.  Neither for the dead nor those not dead do the wise grieve.  Never was there a time when I did not exist nor you nor these lords of men.  Neither will there be a time when we shall not exist; we all exist from now on.  As the soul experiences in this body childhood, youth, and old age, so also it acquires another body; the sage in this is not deluded." Bhagavad Gita

And that takes me to another point of discussion, perhaps our earth is entering a transformation and metamorphoses.  Perhaps we are fools to think of the earth in any way as being permanent.

Observation of other planets in the solar system might suggest that we don't really understand anything but the hands in front of our eyes.  We become hyper focused upon the evidence in the light, but in the darkness we might in fact find the truth.

I've written, often, that I fear that we've entered a very bad place climatically speaking.  I don't know that I think humans are as responsible as others, because the concept that CO2 is pollution is garbage that sells well to people who are stupid.  Change is the sole constant in existence.  Anything that doesn't change is in a state of death.  In history every moment of time is seen in a context of events, and events mean change.  Even when things seem to be in stasis they are able to be analyzed in the context of how it has changed.  If an empire falls, it is not because empires fall, it is because there are factors that cause the empire to not function as well as prior.

Some of how we view things is good or bad, but only in the context of that being in our own mind.  For example, over population can be seen via people per square mile, or carbon footprint, or starvations or deaths versus births.  But some of that is artificial, numbers and statistics that have meaning only in the data comparisons.  For example?  China is heavily populated, and, has been for many many years.  But it could instead be viewed as being so populated because the culture and physical nature of that nation can support it.  Some view every new life above death as a tremendous deficit for the world, but others, such as Julian Simon believed that every new life meant potential for greater innovation and potential for adding to the world's corporate intellect.  So why do millions live in Bangladesh?  Perhaps it is an example of human capital being able to be produced.  Who knows, perhaps our solutions will come from minds raised in countries with too many mouths to feed, in the view of the western mind.  Some people see the world as a a crisis ever happening, others see it as a system that changes, adjusts, and has both positive and negative contributions from humans. 

It might be that it just requires a different way of looking at things.  Or we are doomed, what the hell do I know?


I've decided to discuss what I've been reading lately and listening to, since I no longer do so on my blog Poplitiko which is now mostly comics.

I've been reading and enjoying Vampire Hunter D, with fantastic art from Yoshitaka Amano.

I have been preparing to help teach my son how to play the very excellent game, Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls.  I played the original version of it through a number of editions, and solitaire adventures.  I really like what by Ken St Andre,‎ Liz Danforth,‎ Jim "Bear" Peters,‎ Steve Crompton have done with the game system and creative work.   I wanted to get this so that when my beloved boy leaves for further education experiences he will have a system to use that is easy, fun, and worth an investment of time.

I listen to the Christian metal HOLY BLOOD, as I do feel moved by it.  It isn't for everyone, but reading the lyrics are likely a way to enter a certain metal frenzy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


I love cooking shows.  And no, it isn't because I am fat.

I grew up with a mother who fed her family but without anything special, really, except for holidays.  And even then, you were happy, and full, but you really weren't wowed.  

But I spent a few summers with my Uncle Leo and Auntie Joan, who believed in living well.  I never ate so well so often.  And during the days off in those summers, Uncle Leo (who typically was the one who cooked) and I watched oodles of cooking shows on PBS.  Jeffrey Smith, the Frugal Gourmet, Lydia Bastianich, Jacques and daughter Claudine Pepin, and I am sure others... And those summers allowed me to see a world beyond cooking for the eatin', and instead, cooking to bless others with the fruit of your efforts/labors.

I have to say, while I watched lots of chefs, the best of the best were those who cooked in ways that made the watcher of the shows able to use the same foods and experiment beyond that.

I make ribs, boiled softly in beer, and covered with a glaze.

I have made wild rice turkey stuffing, with morrel mushrooms, with venison.

And I've cooked uber amounts of food, using wildly unusual combinations.

Yeah, I can cook.  But it is solely because, a genius encouraged me.  My Uncle Leo knew how to love and support others.  I miss him, so very much.

Monday, October 30, 2017

More Answers: Political, Personal, Religious and Careers


I've worked over the last 15 years writing at my desk, researching, selling, promoting my stuff easily more than 60 hours each week.  I have numerous works in stages of completion, and my poetry blog nears 2000 poems in 10 years.  I write, I write every day.  I haven't become burnt out.  I haven't encountered difficulties with ideas or worth ethic.  But, I am going through something that has robbed me of my ability to write in the prolific and efficient fashion of the past.  Why...?

My Thyroid

My Thyroid was nuked when I had lymphoma, and received chemo and radiation to kill that cancer.  The Thyroid stopped working, and only exists to torment me.  My doctor and I have been dealing with it, trying to keep in mind it might have cancer, and we cannot ignore it, it won't just go away.  But my life has been on a roller coaster for 3 months now, no sleep for days, sleep forever, hungry and getting fat, no appetite and filled with nervous energy... This is a shitty thing to have, and, while cancer nearly killed me, a staph infection during treatment almost killed me, and all the time and energy nearly made me want to be dead, but, this thyroid, while not deadly, not "throbbing in pain", feels in more control of my life than anything else I've experienced.  I am becoming a zombie.

My New Family

And, while I've gone through things, endured, persevered, and dealt with PTSD, I've generally dealt with it all.  Writing helped express it, helped me deal with the pain.  But, I've lived in a fog of grieving and sorrow.  I recently learned that I have family that I was not allowed to know, due to laws regarding adoption.  And as an adopted child, I had legacies of pain to deal with.  Now, when I finally do deal with the reunion with biological families, perhaps I will heal.  But, I want to say, it hasn't happened yet, because of the growing, crawling, frustrating health crap.


I received a number of interesting questions this last week, and some rather disturbing emails as well.  The questions made up for the disturbing images in a couple of the emails.  But I really am not interested in nude pics, especially of men.  I can look at myself and be disappointed if I wanted to do that.

"If you could choose who runs for President of the US next who would you choose, since you are so confident you know best..."

I am not so much in agreement that I am confident about knowing best, but, I think that question is interesting enough to consider more than a quick reply.

These choices are in my opinion the best opportunity for success, not a personal choice.  I'd vote for any various people, not a party.

Let us assume Mr Trump decides to not run for reelection in 2020.  While I don't have a clue what he would do, it is better to start clean here...

With only a bit of hangover from the previous administration, I think Mike Pence could win. As  the many who remain neutral to Trump but are not Democrats might be willing to still give the finger to the establishment with an ardent values oriented hardliner.  I think Trump's approval rates will never be higher than a certain amount, but I definitely think that despite his personal values being rather eclectic compared to the average democrat voter, a great many non-typical voters saw the Obama/Clinton potential as being too extreme.  If they do think that, Pence could scoop up both the GOP regulars as well as the off grid white worker sorts.

I think the Democrats will try to run further to the left.  Elizabeth Warren is a name I hear often.  I do not think that she'd win.  And since I am aiming here at suggesting the best candidate, you would need a number of factors.  After Trump people might respond well to a populist to the center left.  They might prefer a candidate who is less ardently reimagining America as they are comfortable being American and raising the question of how do we make everyone heard, without further political "solutions" that fail?  I'd suggest Jim Webb, former Navy Secretary, former Virginia Senator, who left the 2016 Democrat race because he was being ignored and drowned out by the Clinton and Sanders press.  However, if he'd stayed in, maybe Trump would have beat him, but, going here 2020 instead, he can be the populist he is, with real life administration experience, talented, bright, and without any clear flaws.  But what I believe is that the Democrats will choose an idealogue, and by doing that they'll once again miss the point.

And since I am a person who thinks America really needs to push for third party involvement, I'll offer two candidates I'd prefer, and one who could win who I might respect, but I do not like him.

Winona LaDuke from the Green perspective.  She has a life time record of major activism, honest representation of those she advocates for, and is a debater who can kick major ass.

Mark Cuban, NBA owner, investor, Billionaire, loudmouth... would be a great Libertarian, and by having a set ideals, opinions formed by thought and intuition, and life success, he'd be a better version of Trump, IMHO.

Jesse Ventura from the libertarian/reform vein.  He would be party less, but, he proved in Minnesota that someone with name recognition, a bright enough mind, debate ability, a strong set of ideas and goals, and an attitude towards the mainstream that could only be perceived as antagonistic, can win.  He neutralized Norm Coleman, the GOP candidate, by stealing the role of moderate values, business smart.  He neutralized Skip Humphrey, (son of Hubert H. Humphrey) by simply being loud, unafraid, and interesting.  I really REALLY liked Skip Humphrey, and much like when those in power assumed Clinton the obvious winner, he was the mainstream candidate, and by the end of the election, he was schnockered and came in 3rd.  Ventura governed relatively well, but isn't well remembered, because he was a bully.  But, so was/is Trump...

I do not, at all, like Ventura.  But, he'd be fucking hard to beat, if he ran, and if he ran from start to end, rather than coming in at a late date.

I doubt any will run, but that is the risk of telling others what I think.

"OK We know you support gays, you made that pretty fucking clear, what about transgender people?  And why do you think there seem so many more now?"

I believe, and have since first reading about Gender Dysphoria in 5th grade, that it is a situation that is caused by crossing of various wires.  It isn't a personal choice, it comes from your brain having not developed or over developed a trait for the other gender.  As such, I think it is a medical condition, and by virtue of that, I try to have respect, appreciation and acceptance of such people.  It sure as hell can't be easy.  So, based on your question I'd assume you think it is a choice people can make.  I don't think so at all.  Now, this isn't to say some range of inclination isn't involved, I am sure some people experience far higher degrees of gender identity issues.

And why are there more now?  Well this is another question that seems to be assuming things.  As a percentage I have no idea if there are more people with the issue now than ever before.  I do think with more acceptance of gays and more surgical and medical treatments people might actually not have to hide that they have this.  If so, people are more open about it because it exists and there are new ways to make life better.  Or that's what I assume.

I just try, for my own sense of kindness, to assume anyone with any mental or emotional issue has something going on that is far worse than you can imagine, if you've never experienced it yourself.  And while I have brain disorders, and, I have depression, I don't think having illness is a good thing and I don't think we are, by virtue of our health, intellect, emotional stability or gender stability, better or worse than other people.  I think if you are evil that makes you worse.  If you are good that makes you better.  So, stop labeling others, and try to be good.

"When you talked about Global Climate issues, are you suggesting you actually think the anti science nuts could be or actually are right?"

No, I don't, I said that I believe that there are solid arguments for both sides.  I defy you to show how Patrick Moore, a climate scientist is a nut, anti science, or even from the right.  I defy you similarly to show that Judith Curry is any of those things.  These people are remarkably intelligent, well spoken, and simply believe that the term "settled" science is malarky.  Despite watching hours and hours of documentaries about climate, despite reading thousands of pages of dry as hell climate research documents, despite making myself aware of all of the factors involved, all I can say is that those on the anti science side are of a certain breed, and they have nothing to do with the intelligent skeptics.  They might end up the same place in the end, but it has nothing to do with being anti science or nuts. 

And let me say, as I've said many times, Global warming would be a disaster, but if we did go in the other direction due to the solar minimum, or a volcano blew up, or whatever, Ice Ages KILL.  We do not live in the warmest era by any means.  We do not have more CO2 in the air now than other eras, by any means.  The temps and catastrophes caused by it all might well mean we are screwed, but screwed is less worse than the Gulf stream slowing or stopping causing the Arctic to freeze over more solid than you can imagine, and the Northern hemisphere entering into Ice age, or the globe entering into a 30 year cold.  It shows in all of the records that by solar energy causing weather, we might be entering a very dangerous period.  So, if you think we'll be roasted alive, ok, I think we could.  Or if you think about it and decide whoa, Ice Age? That dude is right?  Well fine.  I think we lose whichever direction it goes.  That is LOSE.  Big time loss.

"Who killed JFK?"

As we now know, 5% of the JFK files were released and at least those were nothing.  But, one avenue of inquiry is to ask who was aggrieved towards the president and who benefited from the assassination.

There are an unsurprisingly many groups or interests...

Cubans who blamed him for the Bay of Pigs fiasco, both pro and anti Castro Cubans had reason to be pissed.

A variety of organized crime branches felt that the Kennedys utilized their services to bring voters into various tight margin cities to win, and then JFK turned around set Robert Kennedy as AG to go to war and wipe them out.  To some it sounded much like the Nazi Night of Long Knives.  (I have my doubts).

An insider group, formed of rogue agents or directly ordered agents of FBI/CIA and military ex members or members who wanted, for whatever reason, wars like Vietnam to continue, and to grow.  This group might have included people much higher up than simple players on the ground.

Then there are the lone wolf assassins, angry men, and lunatics. There are a lot of assholes out there. 

Cubans didn't do it. I just can't see that, even considering The Bay of Pigs.

I could see organized crime doing it, but I also would assume if they had RFK prior to his murder in 1968 would have rooted out the culprits.  And without that, when he had lots of power to do so, I think it wasn't them.

The insider group doing it for whatever reason makes sense to me, and the beneficiary would be LBJ.  He got the job, he got the power he wanted.

But, one thing about lone wolf and nuts, you can't place them in a category very well.  Who can read a mind?

Overall I think there is a lot to be said for the insiders, and I don't know the exacts of who, but the answers are out there.

"If you were to be forever after stranded on a desert island, and you were the only male, and there were five women, none of whom were your wife, who would  you choose to be with you?"

Obviously, from the naive question and assumptions, this questioner is not married, nor betrothed or affianced.  I assume here, myself, that what you are asking, is, what five women do I find the most attractive because I'll be able to then be having tons and tons of sex with them.  I like women, I like a number of beautiful women, and the variety of women is quite high.  I love and am attracted to my wife, a beautiful redhead with a, well, buxom build.  But what I love most about her is her kindness and dedication to children, and what I find sexiest about her is how smart she is.  I know you wanted a run down of people I'd be happy to boink, but, there is so much more than boinking in life.

And, I've made hundreds of mistakes, and I am deeply flawed, but I would never want to be with anyone but my wife.  I might find lots of women attractive, but that is just how humans are made.

"What do you mean, you like Myspace more than Facebook?  Why?  What is so wrong with FB?" 

I like everyone on my Facebook, and some on Twitter, (lots more organizations and companies, and people selling shit over on twitter)... But I find Facebook to be intrusive, I despise many of its policies... and I just find it less fun.  The policies that I have found pathetic and stupid are the anal assault upon any form of nudity, whether it is breast feeding or whatever, while linking, often, to trending individuals who were naked or some damn thing.  I am a fan of nudity on women, men not so much, and I am no prude.  I just think FB acts like a hyper moral judgmental ass, when it in fact benefits from links and ads that are quite adult.  Kind of a double standard there.  Over on myspace I met lots and lots of people from across the world, and liked some of them.  On FB I meet mostly people I know, and so, outside of a few gems, it is more a message board than social media.

"I like History too, with all of your degrees and higher education why aren't you a teacher of it?"

Been there, failed at that.

I love history, have read a gajillion books, and have an interest in many areas of history, but, I am insular and thereby unwilling to go to the nth degree to get people to learn what I teach.

I am a person who appreciates that others like the same field of interest, but, I can only teach through my poetry and other writing.  It made me a smarter, wiser, more comprehensively moral person to know the past.  But I failed as an in class instructor, not directly but by my own standards. And I failed in a more important aspect of teaching that isn't about the subject matter.  I am a gentle, forgiving kind person.  But when I teach I am not patient.  I assume too much, and get depressed with each further proof that I failed to teach what I meant to teach.

I have had students tell me thank you, that they now understood concepts they'd never understood before.  I was told that while history is kind of boring, I made them laugh and engaged the class in ways they never had considered possible.  So, I tried.  I really tried.  But in the end, the specific areas of interest I have in history are not taught by junior instructors, nor at all at smaller, two year centers.  And I have no desire to get a Ph.D.  I loved my master's experience, and love NDSU, Fargo, and North Dakota.  But it'd kill me to go further.

"What books are upcoming from you?"

I am reluctant to post images of works in progress.  I have had too many disappointments of announcing works that do not happen.

But, I have this in progress


Friday, October 20, 2017

Email answers

I get email inquiries all of the time.  Most of the time the email senders are polite, complimentary, gentle.  I am flawed, not a great writer, not a great poet, so I appreciate the tone there.

Other times they call me names, accuse me of sucking.  I've been told that I should "just post" the email contents and mock the emailers by name.  I think that might cause fewer people to read my work, or essays, or that it might in fact make the future emails worse, as well as lead to people getting excited by sending hate mail and seeing if I respond.

"Poets don’t draw. They unravel their handwriting 
and then tie it up again, but differently."  Jean Cocteau

From one:

"You are no Christian if you support Gay marriage."

I am a Christian, yes.  But I am also an American.  And my belief about the issue first is that we are equal.  Equal people deserve equal treatment under our law.  We've a past that shows our racism (slavery and the bloody treatment of American Indians), our inequity regarding enforcement of laws, when our choices were wrong (Interment of the Japanese Americans for instance), and I believe the treatment of the LGBTI community by the US government has been egregious.  My political views flow from my religious beliefs, not vice versa.  But I do vote and support political policies that are aimed at equal treatment under the law.

Religiously speaking, I am aware that homosexuality is considered sin by believers of Christianity, modern Islam, and various other religious forms of belief.  I believe that you can make a case for that being based upon the scriptures.  But I do not.  I think it is an artifact of homophobia.  I do not know more than God.  I do not necessarily know more than any of the God inspired writers of the bible.  But I do know that illness was said to be caused by Demons.  And women were scolded and told to cover their hair and not be seated with men.  I do not condemn others who follow this, but I think it is a remnant of ancient bigotry, not living word of a god.

I believe in a god who is composed of love and seeks our worship.  That isn't hate.

From another person:

"Your work is fine, I am not writing about that, but, I want to know why you don't write about a greater diversity of subjects?  Are you fixated?  Why all of the death stuff?"

That is, actually, about my work.  I am not saying that to be a shit, just saying it is.   As any creative artist, I write what is upon my heart, and what I am focused upon.  So, I guess all the death stuff arises from my experience, fears, hopes and observations.  I am by no means afraid to die, instead, I am of the mind that there are very few entirely common events humans share.  We are born, live, love, hate and die.  The contents of those experiences means, to me, that death should be fully examined as much as we celebrate everything else.  Death to me is not a finality.  So for me, I am saying I am fascinated by much more than the content of what we know.

Another person said:

"You are white, male, and enjoy privilege of those aspects of being human.  Why do you think anyone should listen to you, or anything you do, or with any white males similar to you."

I think that is bullshit.   Hating me or my work for my ethnicity or gender seems wrong, doesn't it?  Maybe I am wrong, enlighten me how hating others for ethnic background or gender is a good thing?

A last one:

"Why haven't you run any contests lately?"

I stopped running them through my blogs.  I have had a few happen on my facebook page.  I am not really happy with the results of the blog contests of the past.  In the past numerous people used me, and tried by flattery to get free stuff from me.  I learned too that giving away stuff makes you seem like a sucker.  And it doesn't lead to the person buying more later.   This is not aimed at anyone, especially recent winners over on the Facebook.  I was just stupid, in the past, to think that by sharing my work people would then buy it.  What they did was say oh great, now I DON'T have to buy his thing.

"Je parvins à faire s'évanouir dans mon esprit toute l'espérance humaine."
"I found I could extinguish all human hope from my soul." 
Arthur Rimbaud


I have been very sick.  My thyroid has made a mockery of sleep and hunger, and because the thyroid isn't completely dead, it goes too high in hormone, or too low.  As such, I am either buzzed and my left hand shakes, and I don't sleep, or sleep is all I want to do, I eat and get fat, and feel like I am exhausted.  I also believe that the thyroid has contributed to my being depressed.  I've had numerous great things happen over the years, and I am not looking at my lot in life as being cursed or anything similar.  I am broken both physically and emotionally, probably from a number of things.


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Celtic, King Arthur
Comics and comic book related
Fantasy, Horror and True Crime
History based
Mythic and epic

"Li rois d'Engleterre et li sien, qui s'en venoient tout singlant, regardent et voient devers l'Escluse si grant quantité de vaissiaus que des mas ce sambloient droitement uns bos."

"As the English sailed forward, they looked towards Sluys and saw such a huge number of ships that their masts resembled a forest."   Jean Froissart

Monday, October 16, 2017

Who What Where and Huh?

I was invited by a person who I'd say is an acquaintance, to espouse my full beliefs, religious and political, due to my saying I have an otherwise impossible to label set of beliefs.  It is one thing, they said, to be a Christian, or Republican, but saying you have many different beliefs doesn't say anything, really.

I agree.  It is kind of easy to self label without explaining what those convenient labels actually mean.

I am generally reluctant to lay it out, since the world of the internet and my being published, I try to avoid being specific.  One, people who things like opinions against you.  Two, even when well expressed, we live in a world fully divided without nuance, regarding political expression. Three, I spent a helluva lot of money over the years to develop my views, and spilling it out in a way that does not lead to greater understanding seems to me to be trivializing those views.

My formal religious views began with Lutheran baptism, Methodist confirmation, Pentecostal rebirth, Mennonite community, and finally, returning home to Lutheranism.  I respect most forms of Christian expression, even those that do not agree with views I hold.

The only sects/denominations I do not accept are those who I believe quark the meaning of the words in the bible.  If you present a document but alter it, that is, removing certain words to create a different meaning, I am not there for that.

My religious faith was informed by a great amount of detailed investigation.  I read, repeatedly, from ancient works and modern commentaries, of the major faiths.  Mostly I avoided people who digest and explained the religious works.  I read scholarly works from many religious minds.  My faith was also informed by people like Soren Kierkegaard, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka, Friedrich Nietzsche, and a wide variety of books by Japanese novelists, that were for me more educational than entertainment.

I dug deeply into how people intake knowledge and apply it to their life actions.  In this area of life I found Zen Buddhism, Christian Existentialism, and Moral Nihilism to be areas of pursuit.  I admire people who know what they believe and act accordingly, but, I adore people who dig into concepts and apply them practically and explain that so that others can benefit.  With Albert Camus Interpreting Greek Myth "The Myth of Sisyphus" powerfully moved me.  One must imagine that through his endless labors are how Sisyphus gives meaning to his existence.  He becomes happy by embracing that which he struggles to create.

So, what do I believe in?

I believe that belief is only thought unless acted upon.  Thought is certainly fine.  But you demonstrate your interpretation of belief by doing.  We cannot know what something tastes like, except to taste it.  We cannot do something, but by doing it.

Belief isn't so much easy to understand as it is to live.  I believe you have to apply beliefs for them to be real.  Otherwise they become fleeting thoughts, comforting fantasies.

I believe in a creator God.  I believe that that god sent a new voice to the earth, in the form of a child of that god, in the person of Jesus Christ.  To commune with God one must know Christ.

I believe in a God who is one that loves most of all.   Love isn't all pretty pink balloons every one is happy.  Love is commitment.  Love is hope.  Love is faith.  And Love is many more things, because as one of our human chief needs, it is complex, and more than a simple emotion.  And it is more than happiness. Discipline is love, as is moral correction.

1 Corinthians 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

My political beliefs flow from my religious beliefs.   I believe that there are political realities that make being an idealist nearly impossible.  How can I measure which candidate is moral or, as the case has been recently, less evil than the other?  People in politics can be quite charming, and, that makes a problem appear.  Do we have the ability to see a politician's motives, and reasons prior to their acts?

I vote for people.  If I cannot vote for someone I do not vote.  I do not vote against.

Things I believe in are all found on a continuum.  I believe in things personally, but consider the world one that is not moved by the faith I have.  So, to vote, to choose, I try to make the world a better place.  But, of course, that is rarely the end result.

I believe that Abortion is wrong, but, a consequence of modernity's loss of love in the equation of existence.  Therefore, I see it as a sort of mercy killing, and state sanctioned. How can that be state sanctioned?  The government allows killing.  It sends people into battle for ideas and raw power that are not life affirming.  The military kills.  Police kill.  And, so do we kill by formal execution and trial, criminals convicted of particularly vile crimes.  I believe that our government's involvement in the environment is done for safety, but more so, for the future.  I do not believe it does a good job, but I see a role for the government in that way.

As a creative artist, who is by no means famous, important or all that interesting, I still know people who want to know my views, on so many different subjects.  I know it sounds cliche but, to know my heart best, read my poetry.  It is that simple.


“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”  Albert Camus 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Where are you Theseus?

Child of a king without issue.  Aegeas longed for a child to carry his kingship.  Spawned in a dream, a liason with the gods.  After knowing his child would arrive, he returned home, leaving seeds to grow, and prove his blood.  Those seeds were artifacts of the father's legacy and then hidden, covered by a massive boulder.  Should they be found, the lineage will be revealed.

Tasks assigned to test the hero. Each task measured the heart of the hero within.  A violent world begets a violent hero.    Is the world we have now a maze?  If so, who is the beast of that labyrinth?  And who, who will become Theseus, and save us, and save the Athenian youth?

We wait for a hero.  Our world is afire.  No one can be seen upon the horizon approaching.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

I still don't know.

Back to Global Climate Change and Global Warming questions...

As a father I have fretted over my condemning my son to death because I helped bring him into the world.  I find myself gathering more and more information, to no end.  Having no conclusion to the questions I have is like pouring gasoline on a fire.  It burns, without a way to quench it.  

I do not know enough to decide what I believe.  Both sides of the climate debate depict a world in crisis, one where C02 warming leads to disaster and extinction, the other where the upcoming solar minimum launches a newly frozen planet, human extinction, and loss of most of the world to glaciation and devastation.  I've become neutralized.  I have searched and searched for information.  I've devoted myself to researching the subject.  This isn't a piece to debate or argue the points each side makes.  I think most of the information on either side is based upon solid arguments.

Growing up I thought the world would be overpopulated to the point of disaster and extinction by the year 2000.  When people in my class in grade school talked about how old would we be when the year 2000 arrives.  I never believed I'd see it.  Again, this isn't to say either side is wrong, it doesn't matter.  Either direction is death. Beyond the videos that speak towards global climate change and warming, I recommend that people watch Guy McPherson, Patrick Moore, and works that take the information and translate it for the layman.   We hear data expressed, we see charts, but few of these scientists go forward and explain beyond the actual life impacts of such things.

So I ask this, if we have no time left for our species, what is the best thing we can do?  If you are on anti depressants should you quit?  If you have a terminal disease should you fight it?  If you have tons of things should you give them away and walk about the earth in a peripatetic fashion?  What is the answer to certain doom?

In responding to the end I am paralyzed by numerous health issues and anxiety issues. But I can respond to doom.  If there is nothing left, what can we do to find some sort of redemption?  I am trying to raise the flags of warning.  We all have to see our fragility on this world, and the temporary nature of existence here.

We do not have any promise that life will be good.  We only have the promises we make with existence.  I trust God, but, that isn't all.  I trust myself.

I am not saying this as a Christian alone.  The Bible has promises for being faithful, following the ethical and moral codes.  But that isn't why this needs to be understood.  If you are trying to make this world a better place that is not being done for the afterlife rewards, right?  If you are being moral and caring for others, you have contributed to world.  We don't, currently, show love to each other.  We need to do so.  We need to before the world ends.  This isn't religion, specifically, it is being kind, loving.

2 Corinthians 4:18  "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

Mercy, kindness, generosity, charity, hope, acceptance must become our goals. 

I stop and stare, how little we can change the momentum of the industrialized world.  There is nothing we can do alone.  All we can do is make the world better for others, and by doing so, we make it better for everyone.

From the Bhagavad Gita

“For the soul, there is never birth nor death.
Nor, having once been, does he ever cease to be.
He is unborn, eternal, ever-existing, undying and primeval.
He is not slain when the body is slain.”

Or become a warlord and rule a portion of the desert wasteland that used to be earth.

But if you choose not to be a warlord, tell your family and your friends that you love them.  Take risks if you must, but if there is no time left, don't assume tomorrow will happen.  Don't take chances on letting this life expire without those you love knowing that you do.

Take a risk and be true, be honest, be hopeful.  That is, other than our beliefs, is all we can be.