Two Trees in a Field


There is an open field that I pass every day, to and from home.  It’s part of an historic plantation and is frequently the site of fairs and war reenactments.  Near the road, there are two trees.  One stands straight-backed and tall.  The other leans drunkenly away, nearly laying flat on the ground.  Their trunks are joined together in such a way that they seem to be one tree, if you ignore the difference in foliage.

I have had a few romantic notions about these trees for a couple of years, the most prominent of which is that they are dancing together.  Their lives pass so slowly, however, that they look frozen mid-dip to us scurrying humans.

This tableau always makes me a little sad in the winter.  The tall tree is an evergreen and the dipped tree is a deciduous.  At the height of winter, the dipped tree looks to be a dead tree clinging to a live one.

What does the evergreen think about those times?  Does she understand that her partner is sleeping?  Does the ebbing life of the deciduous slow to such a measure that she can no longer feel it?  Does she stand all winter wondering why he seems to be blinking for so long?

Does she stand all winter mourning over him?

And how immeasurably happy is she when spring comes and he blooms again?

Then this last winter, they cut him down.  I drove by and there were chunks of him piled around her base.  It knocked the breath out of me.  It dawned on me that to everyone else, the deciduous was sick.  He was a leech clinging precipitously to the life of the evergreen, weakening her or damaging her in ways I couldn’t see.

I pondered this for some time.  Why did this bother me so much?  It’s just a tree, right?  And clearly not a healthy one.  It was much better to put him out of his misery than allow him to continue being a burden.

But no, he was struggling to be alive and their relationship was something beautiful.

This is what it’s like living with and/or loving someone with a mental illness.  Sometimes they are blooming and you are so very, very happy.  This is the person you love, the one you grew up with or fell in love with or grew close to.  Maybe this time it will be spring forever and you can stop being afraid of winter.

And sometimes they aren’t.  And you don’t know what’s wrong or how to fix it.  Realistically, there is no fixing it.  There is nothing you can do but wait and pray for spring.  And pray that no one decides to cut them down.

It is a burden sometimes.  You want them to be normal and happy.  You don’t want to worry about them.  You don’t want to see or hear about their suffering.  And you’re tempted to ignore them, push them away so that you can’t be hurt by this person who can’t just be happy like everyone else.  And you feel guilty for that, of course.  There’s a tiny voice that just wants them to go away so it isn’t your problem.  Selfish you just wishes they would get better or disappear because feeling helpless and frightened is not fun.

And you deeply hate selfish you.  This is a person you love who is sick and hurting and needs you.  Shut up, selfish you.

The important thing, the most important thing, is that regardless of the season you have to be there.  You hold them up during the winter and when they wake up in spring, they wake up to you.  Your trunk may tire, your branches may break, but you cannot let them go.

And if people start telling you he’s sick, you can’t help him, he’s taking advantage, he’s faking it, he just wants attention, he’s using you, you’re better off without him, you tell them where to stick their axes.

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Regency Heroes – Solstice


This happens the Winter Solstice after Elinor is engaged to Sir Christopher.  I’m still working on cementing the plotlines and everything, but this scene was itching in my brain and had to be put down.  Let me know what you think!

 

Chp 2 – Solstice

The mask is stifling.  Each breath seems to make the next more difficult.  But he likes the power it gives him.  Anonymity, of course.  And an edge of something like magic.  It zings through his blood with every step he takes through the tame little country woods.  The wind slices through his great coat like bladed ice, giving him more reason to bless the mask that shields his tender skin from the brittle cold and curse the silly velvet costume he had donned for the Solstice Ball.  Stylish, yes.  Practical, no.  There is a chill seeping up through the souls of his tall hunting boots as they whisper over dead pine straw.  He ignores it, endeavoring to focus on the end of his task.  The knife is safe in its sheath, the blade steeping in deadly poison.  Soon enough, he could discard the suffocating mask and breathe in something besides his own fetid air.

Lily lounges at the base of her mother’s tree listening to stories.  In deference to her new white dress, there is a thick blanket acting as a barrier between nest of dirty roots and the delicate muslin.  In deference to the cold, Henry tends a fire a safe distance away.  Above them both shines a golden moon, which her father’s people call the Golden Cauldron and her mother’s call Odin’s Eye.  Or so the tree tells her.  She does not know if the voice she hears is truly her mother or if it is some wood sprite speaking for her.  No one else hears it.  The voice is sleepy now, this late in the year.  It murmurs softly, sometimes lost among sighing of branches and crackle of ice settling down the forest.  From it she learns all that her mother would have her know about her heritage.

Henry prefers to learn from books and his father’s library is extensive.  Normally, he would be there, peaceful among the dusty shelves.  But the Solstice celebrations are a disruption he can’t abide.  Other boys his age are running through the halls pretending to be knights and dragons and pirates.  Revelers of all ages invade the family home, drinking and singing and dancing at their leisure.  He simply can’t abide the noise saturating his private places.  The smell is even worse and permeates everything.  Smoke and sweat and wine and other odors for which he has no names.  It bothers his dogs as well, which is why the pack is settled around him and his little book.  Occasionally, he reads a passage to the bitch, Lady, as she appears to enjoy history as much as he does.

As far as they are from the festivities, music can still be heard drifting through the bare branches.  Mostly, though, it is quiet.  Just the crackling of the fire, the breathing of the dogs, and the creaking of a forest deeply asleep.  And then footsteps.  Clumsy, heavy boots breaking twigs and crushing dry leaves.  Then clouds pass over the moon, leaving the twins with distorting firelight for company.

The firelight is as reassuring as it is troubling.  It provides a beacon to guide him through the confounding woods, yet also indicates that his task might have an obstacle.  Still, his task must be completed tonight to give him any chance of success.  Even in the dead of winter, the Lady’s power is stronger than he expected.  That, he belatedly realizes, is the tingle of magic he feels fizzing through his nerves.  He is not welcome on these grounds.  She is trying to frighten him with the cold, so he stares at the hot flames and allows his body to instinctively fight toward the desired heat.

At the edge of the clearing, he pauses.  He can see the gate to path off to his right that must lead to the manor and the bright little fire near its dark arch.  The tree centered in the clearing is an oak, he thinks, never caring enough about plants to learn their names.  It towers over the faerie circle of dead grass, taller than the other trees in the woods by at least fifty feet.  He tries not to think of the branches as limbs reaching toward him and turns his gaze to the base of the trunk.

There is a corona of golden red among the roots.  It seems a trick of the firelight, until it moves.  A little girl sits up and stares directly at him with huge, dark eyes.  He can just make out her features in the shifting light, a pretty thing with smooth skin and large, auburn curls framing her round face.  Beneath the mask, he smiles.  She is a tad young for his tastes, but he can think of no better way to defile the sacred ground of the circle.

He focuses on her eyes, willing her to stay, to be unafraid.  There will be plenty of time to be afraid later, but he simply cannot have her running off like a scared bunny.  She fights him, standing up but unable or unwilling to run.  Her dress dances around her knees.  He almost laughs when she balls up her plump, dainty fists and hardens her face into a scowl.  She thinks she is safe here, silly thing.  That is a delusion of which he will happily relieve her.

But no, best not to get ahead of himself.  His task must be completed first.  Then he could play.  The knife is an unaccustomed weight in his hand, yet the mask revels in how it fits perfectly in his gloved hand.  Each stride puts him more into the mask; strong, dark, deadly, and filled with righteous purpose unmatched in the daylight world.  A half a dozen steps to the tree, staring down the witch-child and glorying in this new persona.  The blade rises just as the clouds recede and a dark shape leaps over the fire, latching razors into his forearm and bowling him over the twisted roots of the tree.

The monster growls and slathers over his arm, shaking its blunt black head as he tries to scramble away.  The pain initially paralyzes him, but then fury sears through his panic and his right fist slams into the hound’s head.  The bitch doesn’t release, so he imagines dark river weeds and still deep waters.  The dog begins choking almost instantly and his knife hand is free.  The girl is screaming, dogs are baying, and his arm is bleeding badly.  With a final spiteful look at his would-be victim, he plunges the knife into the base of the tree and bolts for the woods.  He is miles away before he abandons the mask, dropping it into a swift river by the road and riding away on a stolen horse.

Nanny is the first to make it to the clearing.  She had kept her distance from the celebrations, especially the bonfire (which in other times would traditionally been built around someone of her profession) and so had heard the dogs and Lily’s screams.  Her calls alert Sir John and the village men stumble upon the scene only moments after her, all brandishing the weapons of farmhands.  By that point, she has quieted Lily who is crying and clinging to the base of the tree.  Henry kneels nearby staring blankly at the trees the demon had disappeared into and holding Lady in his lap.  It takes a resounding slap from his father to wake him back up to the world.

“Henry, lad, do something about the dogs,” Sir John shouts over the howling.  Henry gives a brief whistle and the hounds are quiet, though they still prowl the edge of the clearing.  “What happened?”

At first, the boy can say nothing, but once he focuses on his father’s face, sees the fear in his eyes, he finds his voice.  “There was a demon.  Kelpie, I think.  Came out of the woods for Lily.  Lady,” his voice wavers and tears leak down his reddened cheeks.  “It had a knife and Lady attacked, to protect her.”  He had been stroking the fur of the dog and here he compulsively holds her closer to his chest.  “It shook her off and then, then it stabbed Mum and ran off to the woods.  They wanted to chase him, but I was scared he would come back so I made them stay.  Did I do alright, Father?”

Sir John realizes Henry was referencing the dogs and is at once pleased and angry with his son.  The dogs might have chased down the brute, but the thought of the demon circling back for his unprotected children froze his chest.  “You did exactly right, Henry.”  He cradles the boy as he weeps and then sees the dagger protruding from the trunk of the tree.  “Martin, take Henry to his rooms.  Susan, you take Elinor and Lily.  I need to speak with Nanny.  You are all to stay in your rooms.  Mr. Oakley, make sure none of our guests has disappeared, will you?”  He would not believe this sort of attack came from his village, but it would be foolish not to be sure.

It took time to clear the area.  Lily did not was to leave the tree and Henry would not relinquish Lady until Sir John had sworn to bury her properly.  The servants swiftly led the children away and the butler, Mr. Oakley, enlisted some of the village gentlemen to search the park before making an inventory of the party guests.  Then Sir John had to organize a watch of his men on the house and send word to the council members of the incident.  Sir Christopher had come up with the rest of the outdoor revelers and the other two Seats join them soon after bearing lamps and heavy cloaks.  It is getting late, but some things can not for daylight.

“No one touch the knife,” Nanny says when all have assembled.  “It’s poisoned.”

“Are you sure?” asks Lady Teine, her red sash the only color among the black and white party clothes.  She is the also the only person in the group unaffected by the chill.

Nanny decides that the woman is not being deliberately rude and answers, “I can smell it.  And the tree sickens already.  Would have been more effective ‘ad he stabbed her heart, but a nick would do with that black magic.”  She spits the words and Lord Gaoth snorts, but chooses not to contradict the witch.  Magic is merely peasant superstition, after all.

“Sir Christopher, Henry called it a Kelpie,” Sir John says before anything derisive can be said.  Normally, he would laugh at words like magic along with his comrade, yet the events of the evening make him less sure of its being nonsense.

Sir Christopher, examining Lady, starts at being addressed.  “Oh?  Yes, they’re quite a bother.  Or they were according to the old texts.  Haven’t seen one in my time.”  Seeing the blank stares of the others, he clarifies, “Horse-type demon.  Said to invite riders on its back and then dive immediately into the river and drown them.  Modern theory says they were probably beast-gifted, either someone controlling a horse or making a good illusion.  The drowning is likely a wives’ tale to scare children away from rivers.”

“So not likely an actual demon, then,” sneers Lady Teine.  With a snap of her wrist, she opens her lace fan and irritably whips it to cool her face.  “I saw several horse masks at the ball.”

“It was a masquerade, my lady,” Sir John says patiently.  “An interloper might have easily snuck in amongst the guests.  It needn’t have been a gifted man at all.”

“The dog drowned,” Sir Christopher says quietly.  He presses gently on the chest of the body and a pool of water dribbles out of the mouth.  A powerful odor wafts up from the pool, that of decay and fetid darkness.

Lady Teine fans herself harder and covers her nose.  “What is that stench?”

“Swamp water,” Sir Christopher says, standing and brushing off his knees.  “A water-gifted did this.”

“Aye,” grunts Nanny.  “He came to kill the Lady.  Only reason to bring a poison blade to this place.  No way of knowin’ the twins were here.  Shoulda been down at the ball.  And he weren’t a guest or you woulda known ‘im,” she gestures at the four gifted before her.  Four Seats to balance the power and protect the land.  Earth was the weak link, with the Lady’s death and Lily being too young for the power.  And the attacker knew it.  It was only her continued link to the land through the tree that kept the balance.  Now that was gone.  The tree would be a husk by the dawn.

“I certainly would have known a water-gifted among the guests,” Sir Christopher sighs.  “And if I meet this one, I will know him by the stench he leaves here.  You have my word, Sir John, I will seek out this monster.”

“We all will,” Sir John affirms.  A cursory search around the circle gives no further clues and the search parties return empty-handed.  With nothing else to do, the four Seats and the witch file out of the circle, Lady carried gently by Sir John.  He locks the gate to the clearing behind him.

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Movie Review: Batman v Superman


We went to see Batman v Superman Friday night.  No, it did not live up to the hype, but let’s be honest:  NO MOVIE COULD HAVE.  We had 2 YEARS of teasers and trailers and set photos and rumors and fan theories.  They made a bigger deal about this movie than the new Star Wars (except in merchandising, where Disney is KING).  And while Star Wars was wonderful, BvS had no chance.  Most of the plot was already known and without story to keep it going, the movie had to rely on action.  Frankly, I’m getting tired of “Batman who Beats Up Criminals with His Bare Fists and Broods Over His Computer While Alfred Serves Tea and Snide Remarks.”  You know what DC stands for?  Detective Comics.  Not Action Comics.  I know the market has been flooded with Sherlock, but Batman is the Sherlock of comics.  So maybe a few less fancy toys/cars/suits and “Batman’s P90X Workout Video” and more detectoring!   On a scale of Catwoman to Dark Knight, I place this film well above Green Lantern, but about even with the Director’s Cut of Daredevil (which was made to focus more of crime solving than sexually charged teeter totter fights).

And you want to know the scariest thing about this assessment?  Ben Affleck did an amazing job.  In fact, all the actors were great.  I wasn’t sure about Eisenberg as Luthor, and he did go a bit deep-endy with the psychoses, but I was pleasantly surprised.  And Gal Gadot WAS Wonder Woman to her core, despite being in only a few scenes.  Henry Cavill’s only real drawback is that he is too damn confident and attractive as Clark Kent.

The problems came with a disjointed story structure and (I’m sorry Hans Zimmer) a truly awful score.  It was actually distracting.  The music is supposed to draw you into the film, not jar you out of the moment.  Mostly, though, the storyline sucked.  They tried to put too much into this film, especially considering all the introspective asides they slid in there.  Yes, they’re trying to set up the next movie, BUT CAN WE PLEASE STOP MAKING MOVIES TO SET UP SEQUELS?!?  Have we heard about not counting chickens before they hatch?  You make the first movie right, then you start thinking about sequels.

I’ve said this before and it bears repeating.  DC needs to stop competing with Marvel in the cinema.  They were too slow to catch on to the innovations Marvel brought to the party.  Like the bonus scenes at the end of movies that can set up the next movie WITHOUT INTERRUPTING THE MOVIE YOU JUST WATCHED.  Or doing origin films to build up to group films that branch off into more individual films.  Or (with the exception of Spiderman) rebooting the same characters over and over again.  I’m not saying Marvel is without flaws (cough cough Fantastic Four: all of them).  I’m just saying they adapted faster to the market and learned from their mistakes.

If DC really wants to make a mark, they should take their heroes back to their origins.  And I don’t mean yet another reboot.  I mean, period cinema.  Think about it.  Every time they bump up the time period for Superman to land on Earth, it becomes less and less reasonable that no one would have noticed.  At this point, he’s hitting Smallville in the middle of the Cold War.  We were already freaked out about Sputnik blinking away in the atmosphere and an effing space ship plows into a field without a single military/government official checking it out?  Not to mention how much harder it is to adopt a kid you find in a field.  But that kind of stuff is reasonable back in the 30s, especially around the Depression when there were all sorts of parent-less children popping up.  Let’s also keep in mind that with face recognition software, Superman’s secret identity would be almost impossible to keep.

And that’s just Superman’s side of it.  It would be really refreshing to see a Batman movie that isn’t geared toward gear.  Yes, as a vigilante, he’s a showman with the cape and the car and the smoke packs.  But that’s become all he is now.

dpioS77

That’s why Bruce Wayne is supposed to trump Tony Stark.  Except the movies have conveniently failed to illustrate the last three items on the list.  Because Batman is a super hero and super hero movies are synonymous with action movies.  Apparently, no one wants to watch a movie about a Sherlock Holmes who also kicks ass (wait, there was that one…or two…).  At least, not if he’s wearing a cape and mask.

So DC, I recommend you take your hero tropes and put them back in the nostalgic past where they don’t need to get in a shoving match with Marvel over who can senselessly destroy more sets.

And in other news, I am an awful person.  I giggled through the entire opening scene depicting the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne.  But it’s not my fault.  It’s casting’s fault.

“So who should we try to get for Bruce’s Dad?”

“An actor who doesn’t mind dying in the opening scene?”

“So…Sean Bean?”

“No, too obvious.  He dies in everything.”

“Jeffrey Dean Morgan?”

“PERFECT.  Get his agent on the phone ASAP.”

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Jeffrey Dean Morgan.  The American Sean Bean.

 

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Twain and Zombies


My favorite Mark Twain novel is A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.  If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.  It’s the most sci-fi Twain ever gets, as it involves time travel and sciencing the sh*t out of Medieval England.  Of course, there are some flaws in the basic plot concepts.  The Yankee in question is struck on the head and wakes up in 6th century Britain.  Even if we ignore the glaring change in location on the part of the protagonist, there are other factors to consider.  For instance, there is more and more evidence that King Arthur’s fabled court never existed at all; if it did, it was under and entirely different reality than the romanticized versions that survive into the modern day.  Also, the fact that the Medieval characters speak modern English is unlikely.  They’d still likely be speaking Old English, which is a lot closer to German than what we speak now.  Or they’d be speaking Gaelic or Welsh dialects, depending on location.

All this is besides the point since this is a fictionalization of the time period based on common literary sources at the time of its inception.

What matters (and is truly the core of this ramble) is that an ordinary man from 1889 gets mystically transported back to Camelot and not only survives, but supplants Merlin and drags the kingdom into the almost-20th century.  For a few years, anyway.  There have been many modern adaptations of this story in film and on stage.  The most recent seem to focus on how ridiculous the Medieval knights are and seem to forget that the Yankee survived through ingenuity and practical skill sets.  I mean, the protagonists escapes death in his first few days by remembering when the solar eclipse was going to be.  In Britain.  In the 6th century.  That type of stuff is not common knowledge any more.  He also knew how to fix a well, set up an electrical grid, and establish a telegram system.  Do you know how to do any of that?  Realistically, a person sent back to that time from now would be dead in a matter of days.  And not just because of the rampant disease.  The guy knows the ingredients list of fireworks, for goodness’ sake.  In the last battle, he sets up an electrified fence and machine guns.

No, this is not a rant about how much we suck as people now thanks to advanced technology.  This is actually about the zombie apocalypse.

See, zombie apocalypse happens now, we face global destruction and the collapse of civilization.  The survivors in the extreme cases (like TWD), learn to survive without things we take for granted (electricity, running water, Google).  They also have to acquire skills like growing food, first aid care, and basic carpentry.  The strongest survivors tend to be the ones who echo the lifestyles of people from the late 19th century or earlier.

If the zombie apocalypse struck in Twain’s day, I don’t know if anyone would notice.  Except for the zombies walking around.  Oh no, we no longer have electricity.  Well, we only got that last week, so no loss.  No running water?  I guess we’ll have to keep using the outhouse and mock our neighbors who got them new fangled crappers.  Ah, the telegraph system is down!  How will we communicate with everyone?  Well, everyone I know lives here, so…

Sure, big government would fall apart.  But on the whole, I think the Reconstruction Era Americans would thrive against zombies.  At least it would be a cause to bring unity back to a nation recently torn apart by civil war.

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Obligatuesday to Impromptuesday


All the planned parts of today sucked.  Not in any actual way, but just in the way that living as an adult usually does.  We’ve all had those days.

When I got home from work, I mentioned my sushi craving and Buddy mentioned how he likes to enable (and he needed to buy new shoes).  So new shoes and sushi happened.  And because we had sushi, we had to have Coldstone.  The unplanned part of the day went swimmingly.

On the drive home, I started wondering about modern versions of Hell.

For People Who Spend All Their Time on Their Phone:

You are at a live performance of your favorite band in the largest stadium in the world.  Then you find out that due to impending hearing issues, the band can no longer play at full stadium volume.  Fortunately, the first 10 rows will be able to hear the whole thing fine.  Everyone else, including you, can live stream it on their phones.  But the reception is iffy and everyone has different quality phones, so all around you is the cacophony of buffering videos all out of step with each other.  The tickets are non-refundable.

For People Who Can’t Follow Simple Traffic Laws:

You are stuck behind a slow person in the right lane, so switch to the left lane.  And get stuck behind a person driving even slower.  You can’t get back into the right lane because there are too many cars going too fast.  Then the interstate widens by a lane, so you quickly get into the left lane.  And get stuck behind a person driving even slower.  Bonus: If you stay in the right lane, there is construction that closes the right lane and no one will let you in.

Also, if you lived in the Hampton Roads Area there will be an accident at the HRBT which forces you to reroute to MMBT.  Where there is another accident.  But it’s okay because the HRBT is cleared now.  Oh, no it’s not.  There was another accident.  And if you try to take the JRB, it will always be opening for a stream of cruise liners ferrying all the people you ever hated in High School.  Waving happily.

For People Who Post Clickbait:

You will try to watch a video on YouTube.  But you can’t ever get to the video because there are non-stop ads.  You can’t skip the ads.

For People Who Lie On Online Profiles:

You can never finish the eHarmony questionnaire.  Ever.

For People Who Overshare on Social Media:

Every time you try to send a text, you send a dick pic to your grandmother.  Even if you don’t have a dick.  Every text you receive will say “You have multimedia waiting to download.”  It will never download.

For People Who Are Rude to Retail/Service Employees:

You will work retail on Black Friday.  Every day.  Everyone will be rude to you.

For People Who Steal Credit Cards/Identities:

You are on the phone trying to fix something (cancel a magazine subscription, change your name on a record, update your address, etc.).  There is an exhaustive menu that includes none of the options you need, so you select the option to speak to a representative.  But it takes you to another menu to try to narrow what department you need to speak to.  Every time you ask for a person, it takes you to another menu.  When you finally get through to a person, regular business hours are over so no one answers.  This happens every day, regardless of what menu options you choose.

Racist/Bigoted Conspiracy Theorists:

You were right.

For People I Don’t Like:

It’s your day off, the only day you get to sleep in and relax.  But someone rings your doorbell at 6:00am to sell you aluminum siding or windows or security systems or lawn care or meat from a van or magazines.  If you don’t answer, the next visitor will be a Jehovah’s Witness.

Anyone else have something?  Share your special modern Hell in the comments.

(Credit for half of these go to Buddy as well as the words Obligatuesday and Impromptuesday.)

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Thursday? Again?


Well, not for another 6 minutes.

I now have 4 hats for sale on Etsy, which is probably too many.  But I like making them and it delays the time when I should try making another purse.  Which involves measuring and cutting and sewing, all things not nearly as natural to me as crochet.

I’ve averaged 3 workouts a week so far.  I missed a week last month due to migraines and work schedules, but doing 3 plus a weekend jaunt is at least a step in the right direction.  Buddy wants to do weight lifting on the weekends, which I’m all for (except for the going-to-the-gym part, necessary but yuck).  Turns out, weight lifting helps burn fat better than cardio.  Makes sense, but puts the lie to half a dozen years of Army thinking.

I haven’t been writing, or thinking of writing this week.  I’m gonna knuckle down to some research, though.  When writing a historical-ish story, one needs to know a little bit more about the time period than what one gleans from Jane Austen novels and period films.  Also, when creating a semi-alternate universe, one needs to build the roots of the present in a fictional past that is plausible.  So in order to write about super humans in 1800’s England, I have to look back to other formative time periods, like the Protestant Reformation.  And I also need to brush up on the Napoleonic Wars (most of what I know comes from Alexandre Dumas and some fantasy novels).

This is actually good news because I will finally get to use something I learned in college.  RESEARCH.

Bollocks.  Now it’s Friday.

 

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The Race Problem


We need to talk about race.  Because we have a race problem in this country.

That’s actually a load of crap.  We don’t have a race problem.  Race doesn’t exist.  It is simply a variation in the amount of melanin in the skin.  Race has no more effect on a person than eye color or hair color or flat feet.  That’s genetics, and while science is not certain how much genes effect personality, most agree that we don’t make complete carbon copies of ourselves merely through genetic contributions.

The problems we face are cultural.

Travel to a new country.  Good.  Now look around and get shocked by the weirdness around you.  Train stations in Japan are clean.  Space bubbles are significantly reduced in South Korea.  English food is awful.  The French are rude.  The languages are different, the food is different, hand gestures, common courtesy, all vary from place to place.  What doesn’t reliably vary?  Race.  A black German is still going to speak German and ride the reliable public transit systems and drink German beer.  He’ll wear German clothes and have an opinion about politics and have behavioral traits which are deeply entrenched in his environment.  Being black doesn’t change the fact that he grew up in the country, learned the traditions and history, and has developed an identity in an environment completely different than someone of the same skin tone living in Africa or America or Asia.

A long time ago, mankind was born and had a hankering for travel.  As he travelled, he evolved to fit his environment.  This is why we all look different.  People from cold climates are pasty because they don’t see the sun ever and people from warm climates are dark because that protects them from cancer.  Simple.  And because there was no internet, he didn’t keep in touch with his old relatives.  So after a few millennia, he didn’t recognize his own species and thought he was meeting new animals which he of course thought himself superior to.  And then he defeated his enemy using superior technology and enslaved him.  This happened a lot throughout history.  Like, A LOT.  I mean, it’s pretty much the same story throughout human civilization from the Sumerians all the way to modern history.  The immorality of slavery has only really been recognized by the majority of the first world for only two hundred years, if that.

Well, a new world is “discovered,” and people are sent to colonize it.  The funny thing about these people is the presumption that they were superior to every other variation of humanity.  They were more civilized, culturally and technologically.  Or so history tells us.  I guess.  It seems more likely that they were just better at popping out babies in high enough numbers that a third of the population could die of plague and they were still over crowded.  Over crowding leads to technological advancement as a means of providing for a population that couldn’t be supported otherwise.  Anyway, a bunch of people show up with fancy weapons and deadly germs.  Some of them sex up the locals which is why the lands conquered by the Spanish early on are still mostly brown in skin tone.  Further north, the conquerors were not so eager to plant seeds.  See, the northern Europeans were never conquered by the Ottoman Empire, so they could still feel superior to brown people.  Plus, there are religious factors in this.  The Spanish and French and Portuguese were nominally Catholic, which advocated conversion through procreation.  The English, Germans, and Dutch leaned harder toward Protestantism (with varying levels of crazy).  For most that meant doing the opposite of decadent Catholics, as hard as possible.

These are all factors, among all kinds of other things that I am not qualified to speak on, which lead to much of North America remaining pale in skin tone.  Cultural differences clashed and instead of mingling with the natives, the natives found themselves evicted from their lands before the concept of land ownership was even a thing for them.  And this misunderstanding between two tribes (the Europeans and the Natives), baffled both sides.  Europeans say, Hey, that idiot sold me this land for a handful of crappy beads.  Natives say, Hey, that idiot gave me shiny beads because he thought I owned the land.  Have you heard of the countless people who were scammed into buying the Brooklyn Bridge upon coming to America?  Same deal.  The only reason the trope of stupid savage stuck over stupid pale face is because stupid pale face had bigger numbers, bigger guns, and small pox.  (Ask me some time about my theory concerning the US/Native relations and how they could have been fixed.)

Again, the differences between the two tribes were cultural.  However, humans are visual beings.  Strong visual acuity is how we survived the jungle when every other species was still being tricked by the camouflage of apex predators.  We conflate visual patterns with behavioral patterns.  Orange stripes mean something is trying to eat me.  Brown skin means someone is obviously a dumb savage who needs to be civilized.

And when Europe started exploring the world because they were out of room (since plagues were no longer effective and the apex predators were reduced to fancy throw rugs), they went out to explore the world.  New worlds were discovered, Yay new resources!  New people were discovered, Yay new work forces!

What I’m getting at is that the European tribe spread out, killing and enslaving all other tribes in order to keep resources for itself and become stronger.  And when they had conquered everything, they set up trade systems that moved these new resources where they were most needed.  And some of those resources were people.

Somewhere about this time, the Enlightenment happened.  Cultural revolution all around.  Mankind wants to be great again, like the Ancient Greeks and Romans.  Up until this time, slavery was just a thing that happened.  It wasn’t right or wrong, it was the natural order of things.  Yeah, it sucks for the slaves, but they lost.  So, you know, they get it.  But then the winners effed up.  They got greedy.  They made slavery a permanent condition.  It wasn’t something you could work your way out of any more.  And somewhere along the way, they stopped viewing it as the winners and losers.  Morality started wedging into the argument.  The Enlightenment made it really difficult for those “superior” thinkers to look at slaves and not see people.  In order to remain the good guys, the narrative had to change.

People were slaves because of their culture, which was too uncivilized to survive without a benevolent overseer.  People were slaves because they were evolved to be so, otherwise why would they be so good at manual labor?  People were slaves because God wanted them to be.  That’s how he punished the Hebrews, after all.  And eventually, we get to where the people who are slaves are not really people.

Millions of people are ferried across the ocean and forced into a 400-year breeding program that privileges strength, durability, coordination, and loyalty (though not to the overseers).

The slaves were treated as subhuman, as alien, and as pets.  Above all, they were treated as separate.  There was a strict cultural divide between the slaves and the rest of the population.  So instead of being a part of the community, valued and respected as a cog in the machine that kept everything running, they were foreigners.  And you might be wondering why a slave would ever be valued and respected.  My answer is a long history of slave revolts.  Sure, you can crucify seventy of them along the road to Rome, but then you still have to get more slaves.  In working societies, slaves were considered property and property was highly valued.  In the societies that failed, human property was disregarded as less valuable than rarer commodities, like livestock and gold.  An overabundance of supply, you could say.  Which leads to devaluation.  Unfortunately, while devaluation of those other commodities is an economic inconvenience, when a large population of human beings become expendable, they respond like people rather than livestock.  Abuse an animal and you’ll get kicked or bit.  Abuse a tribe of people and they forget their place.  Horses don’t have the opposable thumbs required to slit your throat in the middle of the night.

THIS IS WHY WE HAVE A RACE PROBLEM.  The conflation of race and culture, the complete separation of the slave “tribe” from the rest of the nation, and a massive superiority complex all contributed to the development of a culture that is alien to the majority (which is only the majority because of a ridiculous preference for sexual partners with a fear of sunlight and a penchant for freckles and skin cancer).  The division of tribes created cultures born out of completely different roots.  Again, my world traveler analogy.  You are about to travel to a foreign country, but first you brush up on the culture (if you aren’t a typical American) so that you don’t commit a social faux pas accidentally.  Some perfectly normal hand gestures here are serious insults in other countries.  Or you just show up, talk loudly so everyone is sure to understand you, and act offended when the waiter spits in your wine because in his country you called his wife the c-word.

Oh, but the slaves were freed so long ago, why haven’t the cultures integrated?

Um, yeah, they effed that up, too.

Congratulations!  You are the last in a long line of people who have known nothing but hard labor and subjugation.  You have no formal education, speak a dialect that is both distinctive and nearly indecipherable to the privileged elite, and you are still considered a lesser species by a majority of the people around you.  But you’re free now, so get off my land and start working for a living.  Did I mention that you will be reviled because your freedom is a daily reminder that we lost and thousands of our sons spilled their blood for nothing?

Former slaves stuck together for safety.  Because all the high-minded laws didn’t stop the lynching, burnings, rape, and systematic abuse.  Not to mention the fact that freeing the slaves didn’t give them rights.  They were still foreigners.  So the cultures continued to diverge to this impasse we still have.

Black people aren’t getting shot because they are black.  People are getting shot because their skin tone has been conflated with behavioral patterns attributed to a specific culture.  Instead of learning about and accepting that culture as part of the rich heritage of this country, it has been branded as violent, uncivilized, uneducated, and inferior.  Why?  See above.

Skin tone is incidental in culture.  Granted, having a specific skin tone means someone can automatically claim a specific culture.  When I embarrass myself on the dance floor or tell corny jokes, it’s because I’m white.  When I enjoy a wide variety of ethnic foods, know all the words to a rap song, or like big butts and am unable to lie about it, I don’t suddenly stop being white.  But somehow a person who exhibits traits too divergent from the dominant culture isn’t authentically black (or Asian or Hispanic, etc.).  You’ve heard the terms: Oreo, Twinkie, Coconut, Wigger.  These are oddities because their appearance no longer fits with the cultural expectation.  And in converse, a person who is most certainly divorced from a culture can still claim it if their skin tone is applicable.  Think of any politician who has tried to claim street cred.  I understand the struggle this community because I am (brown or whatever), even though my privileged upbringing took me completely out of the environment that defines your culture.  Vote for me because I am also a minority, though I clearly haven’t suffered the same way you have or I would be where you are looking at a political candidate spewing the same nonsense I am now.

Or in another line, I can’t believe that guy’s a star quarterback because he is black, and while dark-skinned people dominate athletics in this country (possibly due to that horrendous breeding program I mentioned earlier), traditionally their leadership skills are undervalued since the black culture is so obviously inferior to more civilized peoples.  And a woman who is unbelievably rich, supremely popular, and highly influential in the highest social circles can still legitimately claim a deeply felt connection to poor, undereducated, underemployed, and systematically underprivileged people because she is “black.”

Does this make sense to anyone?

I’m tired of hearing “White cop kills black person.”  Police officer kills a person.

This is not an All Lives Matter thing.  It’s called Black Lives Matter because skin tone is still the dominating influencer of prejudice.  It is assumed that a darker skinned person will have behavioral traits that are considered undesirable by the people in power.  Which is dumb.  African American Vernacular English is symptomatic of lower intelligence, right?  Actually, no.  Embracing and learning cultural differences is how we grow as a people.  That means we stop seeing cops as the enemy so they stop seeing us as threats.  Because when you are in a hostile environment, you’re going to be edgy, which leads to more violence than anything.  That’s the visual conflation again.  A uniformed person is an enemy because they’re plotting against us, watching us so they can catch us doing wrong.  They’re supposed to be protectors, not bullies.

Please.  This isn’t a white vs black thing.  This is a dominant elitists vs the systematically disenfranchised.

So stop.  Stop claiming that black people are stirring up trouble.  That they’re all on welfare and drugs.  Stop telling them that they should straighten their hair to fit in.  Stop telling them that they need to act white in order to be taken seriously.  Stop claiming that full lips are only attractive on white women.  Stop using genetics to justify superiority.  Read To Kill a Mockingbird for clear examples of how skin tone doesn’t dictate the moral superiority of anyone.

Stop.  Playing.  The.  Race.  Card.  You are not your skin tone.  You are a beautiful person.  And if someone treats you differently because of your skin tone, it’s because they’re an idiot.  The fact that I bear the physical markers of a tribe that lived in a dark cold place for several thousand years doesn’t mean I’m going to be the ideal candidate for a white collar job.  Seriously, that would be such a bad thing for me.  Those rare times I reveal that I don’t have rhythm, I can blame my ballet training, which heavily discouraged my learning to get jiggy with it.  Corny jokes and bland dialect are both gifts of my Midwestern upbringing.  And the reason I’m not getting a “tribal” tattoo any time soon has less to do with me not wanting to look like a pretentious white douchebag and more the fact that my tribes were more into blue face paint (but also that other part).

And hey, stop simplifying the complexity of human behavior down to juvenile stereotypes.  I’m just getting tired of the whole conflict.  I know it is difficult to overcome the behavioral programming, but seriously this is the only way we can get right with God.  Love your neighbor.  Not your black neighbor or your white neighbor or your Christian neighbor.  Not only the neighbor who lives next to you or the neighbors on your street or the neighbors who vote for the same guys or the neighbors who like the same teams or wear the same clothes or speak the same language or WHATEVER.  Love your neighbor.  Got it?

Good.  I feel a little better now.

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So it’s been a week…


Last week did not start off well.  Sunday night I developed a migraine that I clocked at a level 8 in pain.  Sensitivity to light, unable to concentrate on anything, unable to sleep, and eventually nausea and vomiting.  Yeah.  I tend to get migraines once a week on average.  So maybe I go three weeks with nothing and start thinking I’m getting the hang of this.  Then I get a bad one that goes away for a day and then comes back for two.  Or I get little ones if I didn’t hydrate enough after a workout that can be killed by drugs if I catch them early enough.  But Sunday to Monday was rough and it pretty much ruined the whole week.

I didn’t sleep much that night, but when I did sleep, which is something.  And I felt better the rest of the day, though not at my peak performance.  The problem with the really bad ones is that I have to tread carefully afterwards.  I’m careful about what I eat, for instance, keeping it to simple foods that are low in sugar and salt.  And I stay away from aggravators, like coffee or greasy foods.  It also means that I drink more water and I don’t even think about exercise until my system feels strong again.  So no working out Monday.  And actually, no working out the rest of the week.

Part of that was my work schedule, which was a little full.  And as much as I tell myself I can fit in a workout after work,  I have yet to finish a 5-hr shift standing up and felt the overwhelming need to go for a 4-mi walk or spend an hour on body combat.  And the whole waking up in the morning for a workout thing just doesn’t work for me.  That’s not to say it won’t ever work for me.  Just that it hasn’t since I left the Army.

The other part of my no-workout-week is that it was a down week for me.  I get ups and downs like everyone.  Last week was a down.  No energy, no motivation, no drive.  An overwhelming sense of blah when I got home.  I had nothing to write about because it would have been day after day of “I didn’t feel like it so I didn’t.”

Then this weekend hit.  I got to do some things that really turned my energy around.  I finally saw Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.  I loved it.  However, I was very disappointed in Matt Smith’s performance.  He is the first and only actor to have ever portrayed Mr. Collins in such a way that I didn’t loathe the smarmy pillock.  I felt sorry for him and found him quite funny and unintentionally cute.  To be fair, they did cut most of his absolutely revolting marriage proposal and quite a few of his other offensive behaviors (I believe in the PPZ book, he is a gluttonous pig, and he’s certainly more focused on tallying up his inheritance in the original novel).  I had a lot of fun seeing it with some of my old school friends who could appreciate it as people who have definitely read the original, whether they enjoyed it or not.

Buddy and I did not go for a walk this weekend, or last weekend.  Last weekend, we were busy and lazy.  This weekend, we got up too late on Saturday and it was too bloody cold Sunday morning.  (We did not celebrate Valentine’s Day because we don’t celebrate fake holidays and I have a special place for that one in the deep recesses of my cold, dead heart.  We did go out for dinner, but that was only because we didn’t feel like cooking.)  Monday there was snow on the ground.  SNOW.  And it was raining.  We did go and see Deadpool Monday morning at the IMAX.  It was impeccable.  The action sequences were fantastic, the dialogue was witty, and Ryan Reynolds is a master.  A lot of people can play a smart ass.  He’s been playing the same kind of character since Van Wilder.  However, his brand of smart ass is clearly covering for his pain and Reynolds knows exactly when to let the act slip.  It’s remarkable how much he can portray, even when he is strapped down to a table or his face is mostly obscured by prosthetic makeup.  THIS is the comic book movie we needed.  It’s what movies like The Punisher should have led us to.

Yesterday, I had a dental appt to get some crowns put on over the root canal molars.  Hooray.  On the plus side, the fact that the two teeth they were working on were essentially dead inside meant they didn’t have to numb me, so I didn’t spend half the day feeling like a stroke victim.  I spent a good part of the afternoon training with the education director at the store to be her assistant, which should be interesting.  I’ll get to up my work hours without feeling like I’m stealing hours from my coworkers who might need the money more than I need the relief in boredom.

And when I got home, I changed into workout clothes and went to try out the Les Mills On Demand free trial I got in a fit of optimism last week.  There’s an app for it, but not for our TV, so I have to do screen mirroring with my phone because the internet browser on the TV is just awful.  I decided to do a quick 20-min workout since it was nearly 7.  And proceeded to get my ass handed to me.  It was a high intensity workout, exactly the kind of crap that I used to hate in the Army.  You know what I’m talking about, probably.  It’s the type of thing your friend who is really into exercise gets you to do because it’s “for every level of fitness,” but when the instructor gets started you just freeze like a deer in the headlights because even the modified exercises scare the crap out of you.  They tell you to go at your own pace, but your pace makes you feel like you’re in one of those prescription drugs commercials where the world is passing you by because you haven’t asked your doctor about the miracle drug that will cure your emphysema provided it doesn’t kill you first.  Also, you look dumb doing the moves and feel dumb and self-conscious and just want to quit because this is STUPID and EMBARRASSING.  But Buddy was watching and being encouraging so instead of crying, I finished the video with several modifications of my own (including an entire track of EFF THIS NOISE).  And today I am in a lot of pain.  But I did yoga to stretch out.  I might have to do yoga tomorrow.  And the next day.

Buddy even convinced me not to give up on the high intensity workout entirely.  It is good to break up your exercise sometimes with things like that.  It’s easy to get into a rut or get complacent.  In order to continue progressing, you change things up.  This is actually why fad diets seem to work.  You shock your system and lose a ton of weight, but then your body adjusts and the weight comes back.  A good diet might start with a shock, like limiting the types of foods you eat to only non-carbs.  Ideally, though, it should work you back to a healthy balanced diet over time.  Because your body actually needs carbs, just not in the amounts you’re used to, maybe.  For me, I’m going to stick to my Body Combat.  But I promise to toss in the high intensity workout every once in a while.  Especially if I getting cocky.

I forgot to mention that I’ve developed a cold this week, which would normally limit my capacity to function as an adult.  I may not have changed out of pjs today (yoga is pj friendly, right?).  And I mostly napped on the couch and crocheted and drank copious amounts of tea.  But I don’t feel like I wasted the day.  I managed to make my appointment for an oil change and verify how much my crowns are going to cost AND I emptied out the dishwasher.  And I’m writing.  So, pretty successful when we do the numbers.

I know I didn’t write at all last week, but I was working on something.  I’m building more of a foundation for my Regency Heroes stories, which involves going back to at least the Protestant Reformation.  That’s not when super humans first appeared, since my story is based on these people being present throughout all of human history.  But it is an important time period because it represents a shift in the public opinion toward them.  The Roman Catholic Church turns against them leading to mass extinction of gifted people in Catholic territories.  This stance is yet another in a long list of grievances that Reformers have against the Church.  Anyway, it’s been an interesting intellectual exercise.  More to come once I’ve done some actual research.

I am now eleven minutes late for bed.  Good night and wish me luck for this week.

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Please don’t read this


I can’t sleep.  I’m angry.  About politics.  And when I’m angry about politics and can’t sleep and decide to write about it, I really don’t want you to read it.  Because you will learn things about me that I don’t want you to know.  So please don’t read this.  I just need to rant for a bit and I’m going to say some blatantly rude things, probably swear a lot, and definitely disappoint some of you.

Are you gone?  Good.

Before I say anything, let me illuminate you to an aspect of my character that you may not know.  I am a pessimist and, in general, a misanthrope.  I really and truly hate people.  A person is great.  A person I can talk to, discuss things logically, agree to disagree, or even agree to agree.  A person I can tailor my subject to or adjust my language for.  A person is a human being I can connect with and recognize as a fellow person.

People are noise and madness and stupidity.  They are simple ideas shouted out until nothing else can be heard.  People are inane catchphrases used to infantilize complex social problems.  People are Us and Them, not Me and You.  People are faggots and bitches and niggers and crackers and wetbacks and wops and micks and pinkos and ragheads and retards and squaws and rednecks and kikes.  Did I forget anyone?

But we don’t use those words anymore.  It’s not politically correct.

Let’s dissect that phrase.  Correct means right, yes?  And Political comes from the Latin politicus, which means “civil, of the state, relating to civil polity” according to wiktionary.org.  It just means being polite to everyone.

NO IT MEANS YOU ARE MUZZLING ME AND INFRINGING ON MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

The connotation of political correctness has come to mean not saying anything that might offend people who might be important enough that their vote makes a difference to you.  It means that politicians don’t say anything without talking to a board of advisors first.  They don’t make any statements or take any stances on anything without first doing half a dozen polls and town hall meetings and waiting until essentially everyone else on the planet has already said it first.

This muzzling of politicians is not political correctness.  This is actually a phenomenon called sucking up to the people who might get you your six figure paycheck for the rest of your life.  Politicians can’t say anything because whatever they say, however obscure or offhand or even in jest, will be scrutinized ten ways to Sunday by the media, social and otherwise.  There will be video sound bytes of that person contradicting themselves twenty years ago.  There will be mountains of proof that they are actually untrustworthy hypocrites.  The Obamas were criticized for having fried chicken on vacation because the First Lady had been the champion for healthier lifestyles for American children for the past eight years.  And having fried chicken on vacation made her FULL OF SHIT.  This level of scrutiny is NON-STOP.  All day, everyday, there are cameras and microphones in their faces.  There are people who spend their entire day following the social media accounts of people they despise in the hopes of finding ANYTHING to call them out on.  Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert made highly successful careers out of mocking the people who spend their entire days scrutinizing the tiniest actions of politicians by doing the exact same thing but as a joke.

It is kind of funny how people are so tired of “political correctness” when we are the ones who propagate it.  The politicians only do it because it works.

Surprisingly, though, people are sick of being lied to.  Which, in case you were wondering, is NOT polite and therefore not correct.  This attitude is so obvious among the common man that even politicians picked up on it, which is frankly a miracle.

The answer is (apparently) OUTSIDERS who aren’t politically correct.  (A political outsider is someone who hasn’t been corrupted by the system and yet still knows how government works.  An outsider in this reference is merely someone without any experience in the job field they are seeking to find employment.)  And strangely, the so-called “outsiders” aren’t outside anything except their depth.  They are still independently wealthy elites who have no actual concept of what life for a normal person entails.  On the plus side, being independently wealthy means that they aren’t beholden to shareholders, so to speak.  They don’t have to make deals with corporations and lobbyists to raise the monumental funds required to apply for a job that should be the one career option available to anyone in this country, according to our kindergarten teachers.  Funny thing is, that amount of wealth is also referred to as “fuck you” money, because it means you are beholden to no one.  Yes, even the voters.  What I’m trying to say is TRUMP DOESN’T GIVE A FLYING FUCK ABOUT YOU.  None of them do.  You are a means to an end and not even that.  At the end of the day, your vote doesn’t count for shit.  If you’re lucky, the people who make the vote for you in the Electoral College will pick the same person you did.  Or we’ll have another miraculous incident where the popular vote doesn’t match the vote that counts and oh well, isn’t that weird?

Every fucking election cycle it’s like this.  People get really fucking hyped about their candidate.  They post memes on social media that glorify their guy or demonize the other guy.  They cover their cars with bumper stickers to show their support.  They argue about how their guy is going to save this country and the other guy is the Antichrist.  And they wear their “I voted” stickers with pride as if it makes a difference.  It’s depressing.  The worst part is, this is the biggest scam in the entire political system.  They convince us that our voice matters.

I’d like to point out that the “most powerful man in the world job” that all these suits are trying for is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Congratulations, you’re the president of the richest nation in the world.  You made a lot of promises to get here and you’re going to spend the next two years arguing fruitlessly with the House and the Senate for all those changes you wanted to happen before giving that up because it is already time for you to start campaigning for reelection.  Oh, you’ve been reelected!  Congratulations!  You still can’t do shit because a few hundred people who have been running this government for most of your life don’t like you.  That’s the real joke.  It doesn’t matter who sits in that chair.  Our forefathers didn’t want dictators so they balanced one person against 535 people on one side and 9 judges on the other.  Sanders wants to give us free college and healthcare.  Yeah, not gonna happen.  Trump wants to bomb the Middle East to embers.  Good luck.  I don’t know what the other candidates want or say they want.  But I’ll say it again, just for clarity.  IT DOESN’T MATTER.  Hillary probably just wants us to like her.  And we won’t because she stayed with her philandering husband and she reminds us of our nagging wives and there’s something wrong with her emails.  And Ted Cruz is Canadian.  CANADIAN.

Sorry, I got off topic.  We were talking about political correctness.  The highest praise for Trump appears to be that he isn’t politically correct, which is absolutely true.  It is also why this aspect of his personality is the most highly maligned by his critics.  You see, when you make bigoted remarks, which are any phrases that insult an entire section of the human race based solely on one factor, such as your race, gender, cultural background, or nation of origin, you are not being politically correct.  You are being a bigot.  And what is scary as that the praise for such statements, for his honesty, is based on the phrase “he’s saying what I’ve been thinking but have been too oppressed to say.”  His supporters aren’t blind to his bigotry.  They share it on some level or another.  And I don’t mean to say that they are all evil or anything.  They see a complex problem and give it a simple solution.  Illegal immigration?  Build a wall.  Terrorist attacks.  Ban Muslims.  It’s all so simple, but no one wants to say it for fear of offending people.

Remember that phenomenon where politicians say what the voters want to hear in order to get elected?  And how that has come to mean being politically correct?  Trump is actually more politically correct than every other politician in the race, by that definition.  He’s saying exactly what the people want to hear.  Just watch him pander to the Evangelists by misreading the Bible.  It’s embarrassing, but he need their votes.  And yes, half the nation is appalled by what he says.  But those aren’t the people at his rallies.  And when you’re in a crowd of 10,000 people then you are no longer a person.  You are People.  The answers are simple.  The enemy is clear.  The heroes wear capes.  And you don’t have to see the PERSON anymore.  And it can’t be wrong if all these people are with you.

Oh, but at least he’s honest, right?  He doesn’t hide who he really is.

And that’s it, is it?  That’s all we need from a man that’s going to represent our country to the world?  And if who he really was turned out to be a transvestite, would you still praise him?  He’s not, but what exactly are you praising here?  That he doesn’t feel any shame over racist or sexist remarks?  No shame.  No remorse.  Nothing.  That’s just who he is.  Oh, so he’s that embarrassing uncle who’s always telling the lynching jokes and thinks women are asking for it.  Or that buddy who thinks that since you deployed to Iraq, that you might like his latest towelhead conspiracy.

And doesn’t honest mean more than just blurting out the first thing that pops into your head?  Doesn’t it include admitting your mistakes?

Do you understand that there’s a difference between refraining from saying things because their unpopular and refraining from saying things because their FUCKING OFFENSIVE?  Why is it offensive?  Usually because it is a gross generalization that isn’t true.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim.  For instance.

My rebuttal: EVERY MASS SHOOTING IN THIS COUNTRY FOR THE LAST TWENTY YEARS, with maybe two or three exceptions.  The IRA.  Neo-Nazis.  And, if you ask any devout Muslim, anyone who uses the Quran to justify terrorism.  (I do not want to hear about the violence inherent in the Quran unless you want to hear about the entirety of Leviticus.)

Mexicans are rapists and thieves.  White people are entitled and racist.  Women are too emotional to be in positions of authority.  Gays are going to hell.  Hipsters are just yuppies with beards.  Southerners are all Bible-thumping lunatics.  People on welfare are lazy.  People with mental illnesses are weak.  Politicians lie.  Bikers are thugs.  Foreigners hate us because they’re jealous.

Not all men are rapists, but all rapists are men.  FALSE.

Not all bigots are Trump supporters, but all Trump supporters are bigots.  FALSE.

Not all dogs are pets, but all pets are dogs.  FALSE.

See?  I can do false equivalencies, too.

I’ve also heard it said that Trump has strong leadership characteristics.  He could be a benevolent dictator.

From what I’ve seen, leadership is not a skill required of any candidates.  And what people call leadership, the brash, forceful attitude that says, “I’m in charge, do what I say,” is exactly the kind of behavior that abusive relationships are built upon.

Why do women date assholes?  Well, they confuse the blustering behavior with self-confidence.  And the problem with blustering is that it is covering a fragile ego that needs to abuse others to maintain its superiority.

We have a man who debases instead of debates.  He insults rather than answering criticism.  He calls people names and refuses to play by the rules and complains that it’s not fair because they cheated.  He blames others for his failings.  Someone else wrote that tweet.  They stole the vote from me.  The moderator was mean to me.  The critics are all stupid.  They’re all liars and just jealous.  This is not leadership.  This is the guy you date because he tells you no one else will have you.  And when your friends say to leave him, he says they’re all whores and cows and fat pigs.  And when he beats you, he says it’s your fault because you made him angry.

Army Analogy:  I was taught many acronyms, but this one is true.  LDRSHIP.

  • Loyalty
  • Duty
  • Respect
  • Selfless Service
  • Honor
  • Integrity
  • Personal Courage
When you talk about leadership qualities, that is what you should mean.  Leadership isn’t yelling the loudest.  It isn’t belittling those beneath you.  It isn’t making promises you know you can’t keep.  It isn’t sitting there in your thousand dollar suit and telling me I was lucky I wasn’t raped in the military because that’s simply what happens when men and women work together.  It isn’t being my friend until I turn my back.  It isn’t talking about strong Christian values right before you tell the poor and hungry to look somewhere else for handouts.
There is no fixing this mess, the broken system, the corrupt politics, the infighting and bickering and complete inability to work.  No amount of money or bombs or glossy photographs will fix this.  Your reality TV circus, with the debates and the mudslinging and all the bullshit, won’t mean anything this time next year.
What do I want?  I want corporations to be corporations, not people.  I want the billions wasted in campaigning every year to go toward bettering our school systems and health systems.  I want people with mental illnesses to be treated, not marginalized.  I want a system that works instead of a mill for bureaucracy and greed.  I want power without corruption.  I want political correctness to mean being respectful instead of being muzzled.  I want people to be treated like PERSONS.
It bothers me a great deal that there are people out there who can look a person in the eye and decide they aren’t a person.  That they are a monster or an animal or an object.
I want the anger and the helplessness to go away.  I want to be rich like they are so I can stop worrying everyday.  That’s what they don’t have.  Nagging anxiety and self doubt.  At the end of the day, a pricey car repair or an ER visit won’t deplete their savings.  A surprise pregnancy won’t derail plans for higher education or a nicer house or a better job.  Despite all the money that goes into campaigning, none of them are going bankrupt because it’s not like they’re spending their own money.  If they fail to get the nomination, they’ll still be rich.  In fact, for some of them, all the attention they get now will only make them richer.  How exactly do they understand about making a living out of $7.50/hr when they can waste billions to not get a job?
All this is why I don’t vote.  So, by someone’s logic, I shouldn’t complain since I don’t do anything to change the system.  By participating in the system.  Which is rigged so that nothing I do can change the system unless it is a change the system already wants to make.
The problem with this subject for me is that there is no catharsis in discussing it.  Sometimes, writing it out makes me feel better.  But politics, the whole messy subject, just makes me feel defeated and angry.  It’s an awful cycle.  And I can’t seem to claw my way out of it.  It’s 4:30, I’ve written 2600 words, and I’m still not sleepy.

 

 

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15AM00000052011 · 05:06

Humorous Tidbits


You’ve seen that meme with Boromir.

Boromeme

From now on, this is called a Boromeme.

Also, any time I see Potters Rd, I’ll say it like Draco Malfoy.

I’ve been considering getting a tattoo recently.  Nothing big or anything.  Just a little something on my back that I won’t have to look at when it stops being pretty.  The downside of this plan is that I know how addicting tattoos can be.  I have many friends and family members who got one little tat and ended up going back for more repeatedly.  I started joking about going so far as to get sleeves and Samoan trousers and all other sorts of nonsense.  When you live on a Pacific island like Hawaii for a while, you’ll get introduced to the rich and beautiful Polynesian culture, which includes the intricate tattoos worn by the different tribes.  Go to a luau and many of the male dancers will be covered head to foot in traditional tats.  I decided to call the leg tats Samoan trousers the other day, because I usually saw them on the Samoans at church and I had just been talking about tattoo “sleeves.”

Important note:  If you call them Samoan trousers, you are an ignorant white devil and should not be getting them permanently inked into your pasty, soulless skin.

I think that’s all I have for humor right now.  I didn’t do anything today except sleep in, have coffee with a friend, begin another purse, and take a nap.  Also, I shared a Chocolate Chocolate Chip mini Bundt cake with Buddy after dinner.  Kind of makes me wish I had an excuse for wasting this day, especially after having such a long talk with everyone about healthy eating and exercise yesterday.  Starting again tomorrow.

 

 

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