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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Arrogance, and the Obnoxious Fad that Passes for...

...wait for it...

...wait for it...

...you know where I'm going, right...

Religion.

Yep. I'm headed down a track that is sure to offend some of you, and start a whole new debate. I again have found myself in that position of having to defend my spirituality from someone who is not ready to admit that there's any "god" but their own.

I had a long, and interesting talk yesterday with not one, but two people. I will not use their names, because that's not necessary. But I received two points of view, and have reached my own conclusion about myself.

The first is a fellow who remembered me from several years ago. I'd come to write a piece about his workplace. A decent man, and I feel a good one, really I do. Hadn't seen him in a while, and he's back in town.

He wears his mask well.

The conversation turned to religion. I'll make no bones about what I think of Organized Religion. I defend to death your right to be what you will be, and are. But I draw the line when you use that "faith" to attack others.

I am sure he didn't mean it as such, but I was under attack.

When a person listens, but does not hear, and continually turns and twists words back through his own prism of belief, a tenuous one at best, and continues to attack you, what is that?

It is not the "faith" that a follower of Jesus should do, IMHO. Jesus (whom I now believe was not a real person, but a fabrication) did not walk about the world tub-thumping...but as Gandhi said in paraphrasing, "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."

I recall my Congregational upbringing, until I was 12. I remember sermons and a church led by two of the finest, kindest men I knew then, and find hard to match. Reverend Hazen, and the man who later replaced him, Reverend Fuqua. Two men who treated every single person with kindness, respect and decency. 

They did NOT attack with religion, they did NOT try to convert you, they did NOT make you feel inferior and try to make you one of them.

What the fuck happened?

Televangelism, electronic media, and a radical savagery of the faith, and it crosses all boundaries.

The discussion with this fellow reminded me of when I was 15. I was under attack by a teacher, and her fellow born-again haters. A hateful, thinly-veiled cynicism and disgust for all that were not like them.

You may be a Christian, but you are not Christian enough. Ever.

I recall feeling bullied, and attacked, and questioned. I wasn't already good enough as a human being for my own family, let alone this!

I am going to tell you what I am. I am Buddhist. I meditate to Kirtan, and I am a Pagan. Our people were here before Christ's creation as a character, and our people's ways were co-opted, borrowed and stolen.

And they have the nerve to try and wipe us off the map.

They have the nerve to massacre 18 million people in Central America, and wipe out the entire native population of Cuba, in the name of "God" of course.

I do not discount the massacre of a million Armenian Christians in the First World War. I do not discount the massacres during the wars in Bosnia. Nor the 13 million Hitler did to death...not just the Jews, but Cossacks, Krimchaks, Russians of all stripes, and those caught up in the occupied territories. Two million or more murdered during the regime of Pol Pot.

Not to say how many Stalin eliminated. Or Mao Tse-Tung wiped out.

And we see what the "Islamic State" is now doing in the Middle East.

What the fuck happened?

What happened to the Good Samaritan I learned of? What happened to the people who showed respect and kindness to others, regardless of what they looked like or where they came from?

When did faith get caught up in patriotism? 

This much I have learned: we cannot change other's minds. We cannot turn others who cling to views that they are fearful of losing. This fellow clearly had his prism, and all thing must pass through it.

I don't think, again, he meant harm. But he would not listen. To him, I am a terrible person, a lost soul, a creature destined for Hell (which does not exist).

And his own self-flagellation is bizarre. A sinner who will never be forgiven, no matter what. A life of existential suffering, and yet...oh yes, he'll be in the Good Land or whatever it's called.

But to suffer that whole way?

Suffering exists. But we do not have to die for it. We can make things better.

I am who I am. I am not perfect, as I'm human. I have tried, believe me I have tried not to hate. I don't believe in it. Hate is too strong, and hate kills.

I don't know of anyone who hates me. I don't know of anyone who despises me. I'm sure some don't like me, but that's fine. 

I do not profess to know great truths. "Jesus he knows me, and He knows I'm right...been talking to Jesus all my life." Genesis, the band...heehee.

No. 

I call bullshit.

I am Me.

I can trust myself to make the right choices.

I can trust myself to be as mindful as I can.

I take responsibility for this, and all things.

I do not agree with a lot of things, and I don't like a lot of things. I stand against a lot of things, especially the mad cults of Organized Religion. If you go there, it is your business and your decision. I do not say you're bad because of it. I hope it is right for you.

THIS is right for me.

There is One Race. The Human Race. We're it, folks.

Let's stop the hating. Let's stop killing. Let's stop feeling so fucking threatened by every little thing.

I'm gonna do my best. Here's hoping you can too.

We don't need to obsess or talk about IT all the time. To do that leads to the tunnel that you will never escape from.

This is a good world, but we each have to make it good. Stop looking for shit to stir. We can make this thing work, folks.

In my writing, I write what I want to see, not what others tell you you are supposed to see. Does that make sense? I hope so.

NOW...that all said, let me tell you about the second person.

Without going to deeply into it, this individual talked to me in an interview about her life, her career, her family, and what she loves doing. We are artists in our own way, and our own right.

This person, younger than me, showed incredible poise, maturity and sense of place. It has nothing to do with religion, and posing, and hiding behind something.

She was There.

Doing what she loved, and knowing the fulfillment to herself, and to others. Not about money. Not about fame. Not about anything but doing what is right for HER.

In her, I see how the madness can end.

I was reminded of why I write, and why I do the things I do. It is right for me.

Be right for you, and don't let others browbeat you, attack you, piss on you. You cannot change them, and you do not need to change for anyone.

Be YOU.

YOU is what is right for you. Change when you need to, and accept the inevitability that it does happen.

I change when I will, not when others dictate it to me.

I go where I will, not when others tell me to.

"An' it harm none, do what ye will."

My sense of place has been restored. I don't know if any of this makes sense, and I'm sure some of you will be stunned by this. 

I hate no one. I have malice toward none. I don't blindly love everyone, but I really hope that as we go on, we can be what we will be, but try and respect the differences.

And the similarities. 

We are all one...we're all we've got, folks.

Peace, Out.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Motivation, Madness, the Number 20 and "Drifters"

Greetings once more, blogworld...this is the first time in a while that I have time to write something other than what I am working on, and that is partly due to the inability to get in gear at a time when I must absolutely do it.

Where have I been? Back on the road again for GeoTraffic.com -- after the layoff, I was called back in. Restructuring has gone on, and I am back in action for them. Needless to say, glad to have it, and I think we might just make a significant step in the near future. Gotta be optimistic.

Busy doing my other jobs...Radio PA part of this week, which means getting out of bed at about 1:30 in the morning. Not much different than Geo, because the morning shift for me means getting up at 3:30. And the travel, and all the other stuff.

Writing...okay, recently I hammered out after several false starts a manuscript called, "Night Dawn."

https://www.behance.net/gallery/19966397/Night-Dawn-Chapter-5-Excerpt

It is potentially a young adult novel about one person's struggle through a critical period of teenage life, rife with numerous issues...most of which I experienced myself. Long way to go before that's ready. I had to get it out of me.

20.

I am not completely sure what counts as full and finished...but I may have 20 manuscripts or books written. 

20.

I can't remember if that number includes the horrific sci-fi novel I wrote in the 90's. But...since 2007, that's what I have been doing.

20.

So...what of "Parasite Girls?"

Forgive me, but I am going to say something that needs to be said. If I had a nickel for every single person who told me they were going to buy or download my book...I'd have a very big bag of nickels.

To those who have, THANK YOU. I am appreciative and respectful that you laid your money down for me. I hope the book is worth it to you, and that you at least enjoyed it. I hope you also let others know it was good.

The past year has been a year of learning what NOT to do. I have learned quite a bit about promotion on the fly, and I am going to have to use a very different set of tactics when I get the next one out there.

And yes, the next one, "Drifters: Tales of the Southern Cross" has potential for more than one book, but that's too far down the road. 

https://www.behance.net/gallery/14840009/Drifters-Chapter-9-The-Lonely-Ocean

There is a rough cut of it. I will be editing this fall, Mitch Bentley will be working up his magic for a cover, and I aim to publish again by Amazon.com -- I am not impressed with Smashwords and its lack of action, so I may not go with them for the ebook thing.

This is more of what I write, the young adult world, a bit of fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, travel, and yes, madness. I'm good at the latter.

I am also endeavoring to get another work, "A Moment in the Sun" a read from publishers or agents. This one is young adult/adult fiction...crosses over. Friends have told me this one has something more to it. 

I have to go all out for this...this is what I enjoy doing and what I want to do. The aim has been and still is, to get some of my work out there, get that built up, and then hope by the right time, someone will notice that, "Hey, this guy has something good."

I think I do, anyway.

One thing I've noticed--you still need a big name behind you, you still need a real deal publisher or you will not get much notice. I don't care what anyone says...we all can't get a "Colbert Bump," as a colleague suggested I go for, or have some self-serving twit on TV or wherever touching themselves over you. Doesn't work.

A band can make their own records and tour...but you still have to have support behind the scenes.

I am if anything, a stubborn SOB. I don't quit, even when my better judgment says I should.

So yeah...it's a battle. But one that I approach with the idea that at the end of the day, I'm still alive. So I haven't lost.

The one thing I wish I could get is about a month or two where I didn't have to chase money and could seriously map out what I need to do, beyond the writing. So far, I think a lot about it; not much more. 

It will get done when the time is right. Anyway, I need to hit the pool, and get ready for round two of my workday.

Round 3 is at 3:30 am, or as my colleague Tim Lambert says, "Oh-Dark-30."

Check out what I got on Behance...ask me questions, I'll have answers.

Peace, Out.