A writer just trying to make sense of a world on fire and maybe write some worthwhile fiction.
Police, Soldiers, and Lawyers Oh My
As a freshman college student, I might’ve had a ‘thin blue line’ sticker on my laptop, except that it was 2012 and policing hadn’t yet become such a controversial issue. I was a cookie cutter conservative at the time and had yet to own my beliefs. Politics seemed so horribly partisan back then but was tame compared to today. Now, almost a decade later, I can’t say that I am very supportive of the police. I mean yeah, I hope they catch the ‘bad guys’ and put them in jail and I hope there is minimal loss of life in that process, for both the police and the presumed criminals… I say “presumed” because the American justice system enshrines “innocent until proven guilty” as key to justice.
Corporations are not your friend. (Despite what they post on social media.)
Our new woke corporate overlords love to talk about human rights, and voting rights, and rights this and rights that, but for some reason their words ring hollow. Perhaps it’s because it feels like they are pandering to an activist class in the United States that is completely blind to the plight of the world, which by the way is not getting better about any rights. (Australia certainly doesn’t have a right to protest as seen below.)
Writing as Craft, Craft as Work
Writing is powerful. It breathes life into imagination. Fully-formed nations have sprung into existence from the strokes of a pen. It strengthens the mind as lifting weights strengthens the body. With writing we pour our souls onto the page and search the text for flickers of hope or depths of despair. Writing is a calling, a craft, an art! And work.
Why I Love Vocal's Challenges
Vocal challenges have been a major boon to my writing. I haven’t won a single one I’ve entered. I can’t even say that I’ve produced my best writing for them. Honestly, most, if not all, of my entries have been mediocre - and that’s okay. No, I’m thankful to Vocal’s Challenges for four reasons that have nothing to do with winning them.
How bad would you have to screw up to lose your job? In today’s world we have seen some innocent actions lead to firings. One person, who worked for Marriot, was fired for liking a tweet that pissed off China. Generally, I feel like pissing off a country running literal concentration camps is good. Let’s say you totaled a company vehicle? Would that get your fired?
Crossroads of Insanity
I set out to write something kind today—I wanted to make a point, but gently. A nudge of persuasion and a sprinkle of controversy. But I realized I was dissembling and dancing around my real concern—which is really more than a ‘concern.’ It is a fear – the sort of fear that you dwell on at midnight when your spouse is asleep, and the world is quiet.
Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
The greatest fantasy world is undoubtedly Lord of The Rings. J.R.R. Tolkien created a masterpiece, out of a language and a children’s story. He wrote at a time when the world was changing faster than anyone could measure and created a timeless epic. Our understanding of modern fantasy is all based on the foundation he laid, line by line. To his credit, that foundation was a mix of a great many old legends, along with fresh inspiration. He created new languages for his story and a cosmology that is more complete than some world religions. Shadows of his influence permeate every nook and cranny of fantasy.
Disunity of the Highest Order
I watched President Biden’s speech on additional COVID measures on September 9th and boy do I have thoughts. It’s like somebody in the White House back in July received a cheat code for how to lose the House and probably the Senate in 2022 and then the Presidency in 2024. Between Afghanistan and this speech, I find it very hard to see a 2022 election where Democrats are not hammered. If you didn’t catch the speech or see the outrage, then here are the six main points at this link.
The Radicalization of American Politics
Governing the nation hardly seems the priority of our elected officials anymore. Now, it seems the priority is either to win, or to look good losing. The good of the country is now perfectly aligned with the good of their party. But it extends past our politicians into our own lives. Despite having access to more information, more viewpoints than ever before, we build our own echo chambers and rarely leave. Funnily enough, I have never heard anyone suggest our political landscape is healthy. Every election, there is a smaller area of middle ground that is safe to debate. Our political beliefs are becoming more polarized on all issues, no matter their importance. At the same time, politics is becoming less accessible to those not involved while becoming more formative in the identity of those who are involved.
Social Media: A Double-Edged Sword
Would I be a different person if social media didn’t exist, if I hadn’t grown up in the era of Facebook? How different would our world be without likes or retweets? I’m not sure, but I can fantasize about healthier politics, less conspiracies, more quality time with friends and family. But I’ve also seen the amazing accomplishments of social media. I’ve watched a friend’s GoFundMe for a heart surgery meet all its goals in hours. Social media has enabled more people than ever to chase their dreams and make a living doing something borderline ridiculous because it brings joy to their fans. Kudos to them! But social media also connects some of the worst people, the worst communities with each other. It functions as a public square but is not regulated as one. It has given a few corporations incredible power and deep pockets with zero accountability.
Click. Click. Click. “C’mon Internet, don’t fail me now,” Son said urgently. He needed a to figure out a Mother’s Day gift. He supposed it was early to be looking, but he liked to do things early. His dad had laughed and shook his head when Son did his assignments the night after they were assigned. Dad swore he had never done an assignment a day early in his entire school career, including college. Son thought that sounded incredibly stressful. Besides, it was fun to complete tasks. But now that he was almost 12, a homemade card wouldn’t cut it. Son wished he was an adult; they always had money to buy what they wanted. Most of his ideas were far beyond what he had saved up out of his allowance.
Aftermath of the Apocalypse: A Journal
Day 81 I decided to stay in my Aunt and Uncle’s house another couple days. It is out of the way and all the locks still work. It doesn’t even look like it was looted so that might mean the area is not too dangerous. I slept well last night due to pure exhaustion. I’ve been so hyped up on finding my Aunt and Uncle and going back to Maine. But now that they aren’t here, I just feel so worn out.