Sunday, July 5, 2015

I, Immigrant and a tale from the past

As an immigrant-child growing up here in Michigan, I was always struck by the more nativist teachers I was taught by and I especially remember one who would only allow me access to the local college library if I would listen to her anti-immigrant tirades. I was a well-behaved (if a little sensitive) student then and I thought nothing more than to listen and be with my books and not make much trouble (which is a chant of all well-behaved immigrants). In some ways I felt sorry for her—was there a touch of loneliness in that diatribe?—and this empathy of mine allowed me to take the verbal assaults and finger wagging she dished out.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Moral Courage

Recent events have me rethinking my stance, rethinking even my views on how I react to certain moods of my fellow world citizens, especially when geopolitics arises, and rethink how I view myself with regard to courage and knowledge.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Heart is a Bloody Protagonist

The average heart beats 2,869,776,000 times in a life time. Give or take. I’m aware that at least 1 billion of these heart beats are forever gone for me. The story of I, the story of any human, is one which should include this bloody protagonist and its trials and tribulations. It doesn’t. Not usually. On a daily basis, unless it troubles us, we ignore it. A lesson for life, that. 

Monday, June 29, 2015

Quick note: something in the air.

One more note on something's in the air: Jade Helm. [1] And so it goes. Chomsky has spoken about similar levels of paranoia and the symptom of outlandish conspiracy theories that come about because people have a healthy distrust for the government, and yet they refuse to combine this critical analysis (or perhaps I'm being too generous, perhaps it's only a heuristic) to other forms of informations, though even I admit that it's hard to discern such matters. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

Thoughts on Batman movies and the world as it is.

If one reads up on the recent golden age of TV (I’m not so sure about that, but it is better than that which came before), they also hear about the handful of somewhat serious movies. Of course, the prattle in the mainstream media focuses on the big movies, trying to tie in why something not as superficial as most movies did so well. Where they err is when they make some claim that a certain movie is deep. One such series is the Batman series. Heath Ledger’s performance aside, I’m of the thought that the entire series is a little overrated. This alone is worthy of a thesis level expose, but I have neither the time nor the inclination for that. I will say that, like most Americans, I was very entertained by the movies (again, Heath’s performance must rank amongst the best performances by a villain that I have ever seen), but to stretch that into some idle talk about how deep they were, how they spoke to the war on terror (they might have, but only with a sophomoric understanding of the matter). 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Artist and the Art

In every man woman and child there lies an artist. For some it's a lifetime of obsession. For others, it's something they find when they're doing something else which they don't particularly like (if you're doing something you do like, then that usually absorbs your passions, something vital for an artist). Vonnegut says that we should all at least do something artful at some point in our lives. I agree. Perhaps when the robots take over, they will allow us this much. 

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Radio Silence and the Summer Solstice

Once again, radio silence has been the order of the day. There has been, on my part, a spate of editing. Not only for earlier works, but for the latest novel I’ve completed (and which is turning out to be one of the hardest books to edit, to say nothing of the journey to the first draft). In addition, there have been some shorts, many shorts, in fact, which I’ve been trying, in a departure from what I created before. My first shorts were always snapshots of some life of some story that was told in the normal narrative fashion. And my main focus were my novels. More than ten in all. No easy feat, I assure you that, even though many merely required the rearranging of countless notes and ideas. Free moments from my time in the Army turned into stories a long time coming. And of course, these longer stories were the ones that managed to pay the bills. Well, almost.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Freckles as Stars

As an atheist, I’d like to think that I’m not superstitious. There are lapses, however, that test one’s willpower. It was a woman who taught me different.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Inverse of Godwin's Law

Godwin's Law was introduced in the 90s when numerous conflicts on the internet would degenerate into accusations of people being Nazis or Hitler (closeted or otherwise). Indeed this was and still is a problem; and such ad-hominem attacks tend to deplete any argument or debate.

Monday, June 1, 2015

More on Algo

Today, there has been some news about the ephemeral Algo. There is talk that his fractal stories, the little fame it bought him, as all resulted in a cottage industry of sorts. Indeed, word is that he’s even started a factory of story-tellers to make this fractal world possible. He’s (or she’s) run afoul of labor laws and the factory could possibly be on a semi-truck, somehow avoiding laws for now (or I’ve even heard about a boat out in international waters). Since Algo has included Twitter in his world, there's a warrant out for his arrest, having had his own War of Worlds moment on Twitter that sent thousands of stock indices across the world crashing.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A nation of Billion/3

Also possibly titled: a billion/3 memes and something like a zeitgeist; how to look at history.

I had an odd but somewhat invigorating conversation on the internet a few months ago. That it still stuck with me is a testament to its strength. We were trying to talk about what happened in the 80s for a specific act concerning President Reagan; I forget what exactly and it’s not important. What was important was what the people then were thinking, as well as the major and minor political players of the moment. The other person lived through it, while I did not. I presumed to tell him what the polls more or less indicated about the time and the official statements from the major players. He pointed out that he was there and that things weren’t as clear cut as the simplistic sample I took would indicate. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Algo and the Tale of the King's Tattoos

There are plenty of rumors circulating about Algo and the possibility of him tattooing his own skin to write out his stories. These horrid attacks on his personality, and possibly his psychology, are baseless. As are the accompanying rumors that he’s doing so in a manner that would speak of his madness or his fractal/branching stories. Well, I took the time to ask Algo and he told me the following...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Concertina Wire

I never really knew barbed wire until my first deployment to Iraq. Then I grew quite intimate with it, came to know that it was not barbed wire, stupid, but concertina wire. This wire wasn’t your great great grandfather’s barbed wire with its weak barb and only two sharp ends—thorns, really—but a winged blade created to splice and stab anything in its vicinity.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Back from dealing with paperwork

Well, dear reader, once again I've been gone for too long. This time, it was the bureaucracy of my newly adopted state which kept me from updating. Thing is, to get any small matter accomplished these days results in facing off against a hundred different people who all seem caught in some algorithm designed for the insane. And no matter how well intentioned these people are, no matter how many times they smile, there's still the matter of them having to deal with the laws, some  of which contradict others. And there I am, hustling from one office to another, knowing I'm in the right (using a metric of right and wrong from my childhood—a mistake, I know), yet with the creeping sense that I will be punished for some mistake I'm not aware of. It's enough to want to throw up your hands and join the Tea Party [1]

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Just Writing Things

The Library

I love libraries and I especially love public libraries. You probably can’t imagine my joy when, as a child, I entered a library and was told that I could check out as many books as I wanted. I was certain that they were fools and proceeded to check out more books than I could've ever read. This habit plagues me to the day, by the way; I've more books than I could possibly read in my remaining life (and books I want to read, at that), and yet I still buy more and more books. Why is this? Some sort of addiction? Consumerism gone wrong (or possibly a self-righteous kind)?

But I digress. My love affair with libraries continued on in college where I would wander those infinite stacks looking for some book which would highlight some long unknown fact (or still the disquiet inside). I did find a few good books to read, though I'd much less success with my secondary aim of finding a female student for the much touted “intimacy in the stacks": a tradition that apparently all other students were vigorously abiding by as a study break.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Something in the air

There’s something in the air these days. I’m not talking about the plethora of grassroots movements all aimed against the organized/age-old iniquities of the day; the result of which might be a more focused anger aimed at these halls of powers and their iniquities. This, of course, is a welcome change to the parade of hagiographies we see on the left and right of the mainstream media when they talk about the halls of power (except, apparently, when a sex scandal is involved).