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Friday, June 30, 2017

Thoughts on Stuff

I was asked if I believe in certain things.  I am not a pragmatist, nor am I a believer in the worst intentions of people.  I am an idealist, and I believe that you can just as rightly imagine the problem coming from ignorance or incompetence as malice.

I am not a believer in most conspiracy theories.  They exist and some rare times they are correct.  But most rely upon assumptions.  And by doing that they are rarely going to be correct.  Assumptions of a person's motives in the simplest events are often wrong, let alone the lattice work cobweb of accusations in conspiracy theories.  It is argued that it is too hard to keep everyone quiet, as a detriment to the possible conspiracies, but in that area I think it depends.  1) do the participants all know of their roles, 2) do they have an interest in speaking about their part of an event.  What I am saying is, you have people who are often duped and used, and they might well have no clue what just happened.  And, some people are guilty of crimes, why would they wish to acknowledge their guilt?


I do believe that the assassination of JFK was a conspiracy.  I am not sure who or why did it.  But I don't believe that one person did all that he was said to have done.  I am not sure, but I think there are UFOs and it makes sense that if they do exist that someone is preventing a wider understanding of them.    9/11 was a conspiracy but who it is and why, outside of the known facts, there is almost certainly more there than known.  I don't think it is the CIA or the Mossad, but I simply don't know enough to say.

Do I believe in Sasquatch or Yeti?  Sort of.  I think there is more than meets the eye, and if such creatures were intelligent they might well fear humans.  They might also be smarter than humans, and try to remain hidden.  When people point out how that if they existed humans would surely have found their corpses or habitats I tend to roll my eyes, because that assumes they are simply apelike.  I don't suggest that many of the images and film of them are real, but I do think something exists.


I do believe in Global warming but not, necessarily, human caused such.  I've seen charts and graphs like everyone else, but if you look at an extreme length timeline of temperature and CO2 you see a world far different than short term charts.


LINK

However, I am not a climatologist.  I am not a scientist.  I am not even someone who pays great attention to the weather.  I am simply saying, just as with history, some of your bias comes from who wraps the bow, and who tells the story.   I am not any sort of person who could tell.  But, I believe that if you accept that for the time we live in the temperature extremes of the last 30 years, we could experience a massive change of climate and temperature.  If we can fix the problems, why wouldn't we?

I believe in many things regarding miracles, Gods, and all, but I do not believe in a great number of things said to be related.   I think demons and devils, angels and similar beings might exist, but I have no idea.  I think Hell is a place in your mind.  So I believe Hell, for instance, but it is the emotional equivalent of passing into oblivion.  I believe that the after life exists, but beyond the religious views I have, I do not believe that we can prove or not prove it.  As such, we should not try proving or disproving god and beyond, since it comes from a point of, do you believe it or not.  I don't argue religious facts or points of debate.  It doesn't interest me.  But ghosts?  Not really.  A variety of different "miracles" are explainable.  I don't suggest I know which are real.   I have my own experiences however, so I am not attacking others, I am just saying calling something a miracle doesn't make it so.



And the question that I found most interesting is:  What do you foresee in the next 100 years?  I think it depends upon a lot of factors, but, here I go...

After wars fought over the shrinking natural resources of earth, humanity will attempt to colonize space.  If it works or not, humans will destroy life on earth with atomic weapons.  Life will then be dependent upon our ability to find a planet to restore our future.



And I say all that without any bias.  The United States might be a hero or villain.  Russia might be a bully or savior.  China might collapse in upon itself or take over leadership of the earth.  I am a watcher, I have no idea what human choices will be made.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Post July: Books I plan to read over the next 6 months


I read a lot.  But I've decided to combine my reading with a desire to read a selection of books in the genres I prefer.  Each book set is compiled of books I might or might not have read, but I have an interest in.  They are well considered by critics.  Each set is meant to expand my knowledge and appreciation, and as I read them as a group I will gain an awareness of the conventions of each genre, and the strengths and weaknesses of the stories, by being able to compare them.

Click on each image, as it contains a much larger image. 



Why these books?  I like the Cyberpunk, and believe it is, more than any prior time, a vision of the future.  I very much appreciate the Cthulhu Mythos.  Both the writers of it, and the wide offerings of it as horror entertain me, and make me want to evoke such darkness.  I am a historian, and reading historical books in the area of my highest interest gives me a deeper ability to understand the context of any event.  Also, I believe humans resort to war much too quickly.  Learning the causes of military action from the deepest past allows insight into future acts.




Reading the epic poetry of the past allows me to grow as a poet, and, it deeply moves me.  Poetry was the language of the past, and it will return to such vitality.  The works of King Arthur myth and legend are an area of literature and entertainment that moves me, makes me wish to write my own, and allows me some context in my poetic works in the same area.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

My July Reading List

I try to make a dent in my reading list when I am taking breaks from writing.  It doesn't really have to follow a pattern but often it does.

This July I am going to reread Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Le Morte D'Arthur,  Edmund Spenser's Poetry, Beowulf A verse translation, and Idylls of the King, Alfred, Lord Tennyson.  I have them in Norton Critical editions and they deserve to be poured over for their depth.  I'd love to find a copy of Idylls of the King in the same format but alas I haven't.

I love the stories of Arthur of medieval Europe and of heroism.  That they are written in poetic form makes it all the more interesting to me.


I am reading the Dark Sun novels by Troy Denning.  I find his writing to be high quality, and the Dark Sun universe to be of a nature that brings out the best of heroic fantasy.  In this series you get a powerful view of the drastic, dangerous, desert world, that is as large a foe as any of the living beings.


I love Robert E. Howard's poetry.  It is better than his prose, and I am very happy to say, I love his prose.


I've been a fan of Mike Grell's Warlord for decades.  These two books I look forward to reading, like few others.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A D&D gaming session that used numerous other sources than "fantasy"

Long ago I had no homework to do.  I had written all of my class notes.  I was alone for Christmas break my wife had gone to Canada for Christmas.  I didn't want to do nothing and I was not interested in reading more I'd just read about 20  books the previous semester.  So I wanted to relax.

I'd met four or five people over time during my grad school career and knew that they were RPGers.

I decided to finally take them up on their requests to play with me.  It was probably a mistake, as I didn't altogether think it would work and it didn't.  But I created a world using numerous sources and 3 different games to create a workable game.  The concept was of an adventurer group from a D&D fantasy through a time well where an alien craft had landed.  There were cowboys, aliens and fantasy warriors.   The sources I used were from a vast cauldron of apocalyptic settings.  They were: Planet of the Apes, Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind, Kamandi and quite a few more I can't remember due to time having passed.

The adventurer team could have had a great time.  They were all bright funny interesting people.  But all they'd ever done was try killing things.  And as a DM I was prone to create discovery and investigation events.  The two different styles proved a bad marriage.   Adventurers versus Apes with guns versus Cowboys meant that the lethal gunfire made the brave adventurers bleed and die quickly.  However it was still fun and I could have enjoyed it more if the fellows had just even once wanted to solve a mystery or try to understand the events they were involved in.  But all they wanted was to kill.


I used the rules of Boot Hill and Gamma World to bring all of the levels of technology to the same system.  Guns, lasers, swords, and middle fingers all came to be realized in a same system. 

The reason I am bringing this up is that I've heard from various people that D&D is a rigid system and isn't a good one to use for anything but low levels dungeons.  It isn't about the system.  It is about what you do with it.

Creating a setting as a totally alien part of the adventure rather than being a prize to be won is important in my experience to bring the adventure into a place where players can tell their own story but within the confines of a glorious new world.  Using direct sources for such a thing is fun and brings out the best in players, who are more than ROLL players.

I should say, having a power oriented group of fantasy characters get attacked and beaten by Apes with machine guns was still notably fun.  I just hate that they did things that led them to such an end.


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Only a father because I have a son

People who miss their fathers on this day are in some ways fortunate.  There are people who had difficult childhoods, adult-hoods, or otherwise.  But for me this day has changed in meaning.  I miss my dad, but not often, I remember him well.  I am, however, a father to my son.  My son doesn't buy me a card, he doesn't, even, remember the date usually.  I was gifted in life by his presence in my life. 

"Never fret for an only son, the idea of failure will never occur to him."
George Bernard Shaw

I became whole when I was made a father.  I didn't expect to have children, I feared the future, but my wife made me realize, there are powers greater than me, and the world might be better for our child's presence.  My son could change the world.

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection."
Sigmund Freud


As a father my heart grew in many ways, and love him.  Whatever things life gave or took away from me, having my son in my life made it exponentially better.


Friday, June 16, 2017

6 Questions about my Christianity

An email writer sent me a list of questions about my saying I am a Christian.  Among other question are some that are more personal and less about doctrine or dogma.  The questions I will answer to the best of my abilities, but, and this is an important but, I don't represent any form of Christianity, I do not claim to know more than any other believer, and I am flawed as possible as a human.  I am not an example for others to follow.

If God is everywhere, where is his presence?  Why can't I see him?

I am not altogether sure why you can't see "him" but I know when I see or feel the presence of God.  I have experienced hearing God's voice, and I have experienced feeling God's presence near me.  I think it happens when you have a direct answer to prayer.  I have felt the presence when I would sing with others songs of praise.  I have felt God near me when I've experienced joy, in the presence of loved ones, and when I am moved by the love others show me.  I am not altogether an outdoors person, I don't camp, I don't fish, I don't hunt, plant gardens, cut down trees.  But there have been times when I was so moved by nature I knew God was responsible.  Do I see God or God's face?  No.  But I am able to feel and see his hand in the magnificence of nature, the power of love and family, and I see proof of God in the miracles I've seen.  But if I only felt or saw God's presence in miracles I would suggest that I would not have as strong of faith as I do.  

Do you agree with the belief in Jesus is the sole manner of entering Heaven?

Yes and no.  I believe in the Bible.  I follow the directions and teachings found in the book.  I believe that God sent Jesus to earth to offer humans a chance to commune with God.  By Christ's dying, we are no longer Hell bound.  I believe that my sin blocks my path to Heaven, but Christ's blood is the perfect sacrifice.

But...

I do not look at other faith's and condemn them to Hell.  That isn't my job.  I also don't know all of God's plans, abilities, more than knowing I what I believe.  My hope is that God's mercy is large enough to be embraced by all people of faith.  I am not the final judge and I refuse to make myself sick with worry for people of other faith.  I am not saying I do not care, I am saying, I trust God enough to know that I don't know the answer.



Is there a Hell?

I am not a believer in Hell as a place with fire and torment.  Instead I believe in Oblivion.  I believe that being disconnected forever is Hell.  But, I do not know.  I do read the bible and see hell there, but I think it is a metaphysical reality, not a physical or inevitable reality.

Do you see yourself going to Heaven?

I am not the most positive of people, and some of that is from my being an INFJ, and having PTSD.  So to be very honest, while I believe in God, and I believe I am following the rules, I know that I am dirty and full of sin.  I've done terrible things in my life.  And I regret them.  And I have repented of them.  But I am certain of one thing regarding entry into Heaven, God will have mercy upon whoever God has mercy upon.  I have a faith that never burns out because I feel like I have live up to the legacy and destiny I have chosen.


Are Homosexuals going to Hell?  Can they be Christians?  

I think of God as being just.  Whatever the bible says about God's view of homosexuality, I believe he is about both Justice and Love.  I think if God is real, there is justice.  If God isn't real, then it all will be lost in the end of matter.  Therefore, I think humans are wrong and God is right.  So Homosexuals can find God.  

Will God punish people who do not sin, but do not, also, believe in God?    

I do not know.  I do know that it has been said that no human can be sinless, and only Christ was without sin.   I really do not know.  Again, I am not God, and I am content that God is just.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Recent ideas and experiences


EARLY SUMMER THOUGHTS

I've been dealing with a bad back lately.  People give advice, and I know there are ways to get it fixed.  I am however not comfortable with Chiropractic adjustments, and I don't think doctors will heal me either.  Of the many issues I have, this one is possibly going to be the one that crushes my will and spirit.

People often inquire if I am still depressed.  I am not.  I am, however, aware of my sins, flaws, and fears, so the future does seem scary.



FUTURE WORKS

I have four books in various stages of completion.  When these books are done I might well stop writing for print.  It costs too much in terms of my health and soul to keep writing 80 hours a week.  I am not going to ever stop writing poetry.



EMAIL ANGER

I've recently received a great many emails.  It isn't that I am not grateful to be thought of, or considered a source for answers, but a number of the emails were not kind, or gentle.  They were accusatory.  Here are some of the snippets.

"Christianity is stupid, and so are you" 

Thanks for that.  If I am stupid I guess I can't respond.  I am not offended by much, and I am ok with different ideas.  I have many Atheist friends, people from Islam, people from Buddhism, people from Hindu beliefs.  I am not an universalist.  I am not sure, however, of the cosmic forces that people become aware of.  I believe in Jesus.  I accept that others do not. 


"You are an ugly pussy.  Go back to your fag kingdom." 

 Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so if you find me ugly I concede you are right.  I'll remember it next time I look in the mirror.    Ugly doesn't hurt my feelings.  And frankly, enough people disagree that that I am ok with the odd person thinking otherwise.

"You deserved cancer"

How very generous.  I have received many emails from this person, none are reprintable, because they are all at this level of conversation.   No one deserves a disease. 

"You are a shitty poet"

Again, just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is taste a thing that is unable, usually, to be separated from the holder of said taste.   If I am a shitty poet, I still need to be what I am.

If in doubt check this out ------> LINK TO MY SHITTY POETRY

Check this out too------------> LINK  TO MY PUBLISHED WORKS

Je ne regrette pas la douleur, car il m'a fait plus forte

I have indeed suffered recently, but it allowed me to see the gifts others gave to me with a grateful heart, and hope.  I am not a emotion whore, but to others it seems so.  It is about the way humans feel about emotions.  I am not ashamed of mine.



Saturday, June 10, 2017

My Crusade

I am a Christian.  But I am a Christian in a world with people who are cynical.  I do not try to argue what I believe, but I used to do so.  I am more wise than I was, and maturity allows me to understand the world better.  I try very much to live by a code of ethics, and morals.  By this I try to create a living witness to my beliefs.

Any powerfully held belief, whether it is aimed at God, Science, Politics, or some other Philosophy should result in life results.  That is, I believe that if you are authentic in your belief, it should be visible in what you do, and act like in life.  I think it proves your belief when you live it.

That isn't a boast.  I think whatever you choose to do in life, is your thing.  I used to argue with people regarding my beliefs because I felt it was my duty, and my mission to tell everyone what my "truth" was/is.   But over time I became aware that you cannot argue someone into belief, you can only bruise and wound others.

And, I'd argue, the same is true with politics today.  I have had people scream at me.  I've been called a Nazi for being unwilling to agree to a person's beliefs.  I also have been called a Commie for similar reasons.  And, the truth is, people really don't want to know what you believe, that just want you to agree with them.  I consider myself a warrior, but one of waging war upon the lies that modernity promotes.  So, will I take my fight to individuals?  No.

I don't believe people have to be converted, they have to be loved.  I believe that Jesus said Love your Neighbor as yourself. *

(Matthew 22:36-40New International Version (NIV)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”)



I am not self agrandizing.  I am trying to explain why I do not agree with your political views.  My views are not political.  I do not hold any views that fit any paradigm or any political party's platform.  I believe in a sort of libertarian view, that is, let people do whatever it is that within limits is ok.  Abortion to me is murder, but, the state sanctions murder in other ways.  Since I am not living in a Theocracy, I am compelled to give Caesar what is Caesar's and accept that.  Some will take issue with my term murder to describe Abortion. I believe that the state allows the death penalty.  The state allows military actions that kill civilians, innocents, and others. So for me, allowing abortion places the moral decision in the hands of the woman.  If you make moral decisions for people, when they make a choice that is against that decision by government, they will consider their view of it  not as right or wrong, but as a form of righteous opposition. 


I was asked why I am opposed to abortion morally but not legally.  I do not impose my views upon society.  As I mentioned prior, I believe that you do not convince others when you argue.  Also, I am aware that due to the circumstances of my origins in my birth mother's womb, I would not be allowed to exist in years since Abortion became legal.  Why do I say this?  I was conceived as a result of violent rape.  I was carried to term by a woman who had said at one point, I wish I could have an abortion.  I am living evidence that lives are extinguished by abortion.  Some might suggest I am brain dead.  They are welcome to their views.


I do not say any of this trying to convince you.  I am instead suggesting that if you look at my views, or anyone's views, they are born of complicated, detailed, intricate mental experiences.  What other people believe does affect me.  But, as a person who seeks God, and spiritual cleanliness, I am required to live by a different standard.


Christ said I am not of this world. When I accepted that I needed forgiveness, and that I had to respond to my understanding of God, I was choosing to be different than other humans.  I was choosing to live by a standard others would not wish to follow.  That isn't my concern.  My concern is being the Christian I believe I must be.

I am entirely flawed.  I am weak.  I am foolish.  I am tired and ready to let the waves of sadness overwhelm me.  Life is a fatal disease.  But I have to make the best of the time my flesh has.  It is as simple as this. 


Friday, June 2, 2017

Ramblings and responses to questions

I want to know why it is that when I play a note on the piano it sounds dull and boring, but when Van Cliburn did it was magic?  Why do people who all use the same language, when writing, not create or write the same?  What is it that makes the note or the word in the hands of one, not the same when it is in the hands of others?  I realize people have different talents, but, my issue is not with amount of talent or kind, instead I am suggesting, the note or word is available to everyone.  Why is it better with one than another?  How do some people capture lightning?

Of the worlds that fantasy and science fiction have imagined, I still am content where I am.  I don't want to go to Hoth, or Earthsea, or Middle Earth.  The neutral zone of Star Trek holds no interest for me.  Why is it that we think we must leave to find happiness?  To me I realize that it isn't finding what you want, but being happy with what you have is the key.  If you love what you have you won't desire and constantly be hungry.

I have been told, repeatedly, from Democrats that I voted for Trump by voting 3rd party.  I've never been told by a Republican that my vote should have gone anywhere.  I think people have a right to be disappointed, but blame is something that belongs only upon the candidates or those who fucked the process during the campaign.  I know that this will only encourage more crap, but the fact is, I am not willing to vote according to my fear or how others will vote.  If I choose to follow the crowd, I am lost in its midst.


Another person told me that if I want to make money in the creative world I have to create what others like.  That I should do research and when I find out what they like, do a story in that genre/format.  Nope.  I am unable to do this, only being able to create what is in my noggin.



Someone suggested that I am gay suggesting I was because I like cats.  They aren't correct.  And frankly, I like poetry and bubble baths, and that doesn't make me gay either.  It means I like sex with women (so far just one, my wife) and have a variety of interests.  Guess what? Gay means you are attracted to the same sex.  It has nothing to do with pet ownership.


I was asked "What books do I recommend for humor?"  I have 3.

Jed the Dead by Alan Dean Foster made me chuckle throughout.  It features a dead alien, and a person who finds the body, and takes Jed wherever they go.  And what exactly does dead mean for an alien?

Hexbreaker by Mike Baron and Bill Reinhold featured the character Badger going to a tournament of champions, in martial arts.  The characters are delightful, and the humor is present throughout the story.

Mad Amos by Alan Dean Foster is a fantastical collection of stories.  The character Mad Amos is bigger than life, and he meets dragons, unicorns, and other crazy things.  It is a lovely work, in every sort of way.