How Does a Spiritual Person Deal with Normalized Insanity?

How Does a Spiritual Person Deal with Normalized Insanity?

A request was made for spiritual insight regarding the subject of transgenderism and anal sex being promoted and encouraged to young children in schools, and what our responsibilities are. This post is my response.

This is another consequence of cultural Marxism – an agenda to primarily destroy the American way and replace it with a communist system. Anything that is “normal” and good is maligned and criticized. (In fact, cultural Marxism was introduced with the actual name of Critical Theory.) Marriage, heterosexuality, actual genders, business (meaning capitalism,) logic, punishment for crime, personal responsibility, truth, liberty, etc. are all targets for destruction.

At the highest level, there is an intent to destroy the values that enable a society to exist. At the lowest levels, people may not even know of the agenda they serve. Some do, and these people openly call out for either communism, socialism, or anarchy. But they can also play a “useful idiot” role without even being aware of the meta-political agenda they’re serving. The foot soldiers act on emotion and super-charged feelings of right and wrong.

An example of this emotionalist-activist in action today is border resistance. Visualize a poor Mexican family standing at the border asking if they can please come to America and partake in the American dream. They are fleeing poverty, crime, political corruption, and daily violence. On an emotional level, it FEELS mean to deny them entrance. (Or even worse, to send them back home after finding them later.)

But rationally and logically, America cannot absorb the world’s poor and oppressed. We’ve taken in tens of millions already, but can we host several billion who would rather live here than where they are? Of course not. But this is not a consideration because it is not an emotional calculation. It’s one of logic, logistics, resources, geography, and so on.

The political agenda plays out socially and culturally, which comes down to individuals. They are being taught ultra-self-indulgence with zero responsibility. This has gone from “If it feels good, do it,” to “If I can’t have what I want, you’re oppressing me!”

Far from being “progressive,” people are adopting the mentality of unhappy, self-centered children. If you’ve ever seen a spoiled, poorly-behaved child being denied something he wants, and he repeats over and over the thing he desires without consideration of why he was denied, then you understand the mindset of crowds chanting in the streets. Mindless repetition of what they insist on having without regard for any facts whatsoever.

On a spiritual level, this entire scenario from top to bottom is in direct opposition to universal core elements of spiritual advancement. But under the guise of compassion, justice, and equality, it slips past the thought process and engages individuals who think they are being more spiritual, rather than less, and more good, rather than evil.

The worst genocides in history were perpetrated by communists, and yet, communism (under a variety of names) is still being sold as a means to utopia. Similarly, complete and utter self-indulgence is an obvious recipe for personal destruction, but it is being sold as your birthright. People are essentially taught that no personal challenge should be examined for the personal development one needs to overcome it and grow as a soul and a member of society. Instead, anything that gnaws at a person and minimizes their idea of personal contentment means that someone or something outside themselves needs to be identified, blamed, and ideally, eradicated. This is the opposite of growth. This is an embracing of the ego and all of its maleficent manifestations.

No self-help principles or religions on earth teach people to examine one’s desires and then indulge them to the point of violence against others. Not even Satanism does that. But this is what is happening. Anti-Responsibility. Others as Cause. Demands for goods or services without fair exchange. A central ruling authority to fairly disperse the fruits of your personal labors.

How has this become the norm? By dedicated, sustained efforts over a long period of time. Generally, this has been achieved by doing what the communists did in Russia – indoctrinating children. Specifically, there are many facets of the agenda, and sexuality is just one of them. Two Marxists named Antonio Gramsci and Georg Lukacs concluded that in order to convert Western societies over to communism, Christianity would have to be destroyed.

Lukacs introduced radical sex education programs in Russian schools in which they were taught atheism and promiscuity and urged to revolt against their parents, pastors, and various social norms. These same strategies were brought to American schools by among others, the NEA, ACLU, GLSEN, and GSA.

It isn’t a freak of nature or coincidence that 98% of teachers are leftists, or that many college professors are radical communists and Marxists, such as the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers. The rebellion against parents, religion, law-enforcement, government, family values, etc., that happened in the 1960s was not spontaneous. There were architects behind the division that manifested then and has expanded ever since into the hopeless situation we see today. Herbert Marcuse was one of the primary masterminds behind this intentional destruction of the social fabric of America as well as other Western countries.

So how does a spiritual being deal with this unfolding catastrophe? What does one do when insanity and evil appear to have become the norm? The first thing to do is gain perspective and take comfort in knowing that tens of millions of people reject this. Transgender individuals for example are only 0.003 percent of the population. From watching the news, one would assume that there untold millions of them in America. In the same way that the vast majority of educators are socialists, whether they admit it or even know it, the same is true for the majority of mainstream media. That means not just the news media, but the entertainment media. This does not mean that such people are aware of Marxism/communism and have knowingly embraced it. They are largely just uneducated and do not realize that they are useful idiots. They are unwittingly aiding and abetting a political agenda that is bent on destroying the greatest country in the world. (You have to wonder, if America is the bastion of evil and white supremacy that leftists claim it is, then why does everyone under the sun want to come here?)

Because leftist ideas are pervasive in our news, movies, and music, etc., the impression is created that this way of thinking (or not thinking) has taken over. But the recent presidential election in the U.S. tells us something important. One candidate who railed against this anti-liberty insanity was able to win the election despite having many characteristics that the average person does not find appealing, and despite having a 24-hour hate campaign waged against him by the most powerful opinion-makers in the world for a year and a half leading up to the election. In the past, one minor scandal was all it took to end a presidential campaign. And yet this candidate withstood a tsunami of scandalous allegations, most of which were fabricated, or wrested from the threads of reality and made into a gross caricature that was literally unbelievable. As Ted Cruz said early on, the media made Donald Trump out to be a “cartoon villain” from the very beginning.

The reason Trump was able to win, despite being accused of just about every despicable thing you can imagine (which millions still believe to be true about him via the scientific method of inquiry known as “tribal knowledge”) was because so many people are adamantly against this communistic takeover of America. Most of them probably don’t know that’s what it is, or have never heard of cultural Marxism, but ironically, they know how it feels. And the feeling is wrong.

Knowing you’re not alone, and that not everyone is buying into this is evil is the first step to confronting it. Take some comfort in that. Another step, if you’re so inclined, is to learn more about what and who are behind this effort. The main thing to do though is what you’ve always done as a spiritual person: maintain your convictions and live your life true to your beliefs and knowledge about what is good and right.

If you had friends in your youth who encouraged you to steal a car with them and go joyriding, you either participated and regretted it because you knew it was wrong, or you resisted the peer pressure from the get-go and may have eventually lost criminally inclined friends.

You may have heard that there is no physical bliss comparable to shooting up heroin. Maybe you tried it. Or maybe you rejected the idea of it because you know that more awareness and more control over yourself is your goal, not less. If your friends don’t agree, they eventually end up not being your friends.

Core principles define us. They determine who we befriend, who we love, who we marry, and how we raise our children. Unfortunately in modern times, layers of morality and spirituality are being stripped down to the core. In the past, a friend might have revealed his great fortune at discovering that he could get away with stealing large sums of money from his employer. Socially, one might not feel comfortable censuring their friend’s revelation – but the feeling is there in the gut that this is wrong, and this affects the affinity for this individual, and over time, a distance is created until the friendship either dissolves, or is maintained artificially.

But now, instead of a social façade that keeps us from knowing the moral core of our friends and family, we have an immediate revelation of where one stands on a multitude of issues, and the reaction is typically immediate when one merely voices where they stand in regard to the president. All of the complexities of morality, ethics, politics, and even spirituality are blurred into one side or the other. For or against. Left or right. Hate or love. A simplistic judgment system is employed on the spot. “Oh, you’re one of them.” It’s not accurate, intelligent, or reliable, but the litmus test is real today.

The person who is primarily engaged in spiritual matters is in a uniquely unfortunate position. Practitioners of new thought, metaphysics, light work, past lives therapy, and so on, are most likely to find themselves vastly out-numbered in this artificial political division. This is mainly due to the fact that conservatives are generally believers of some sort of Christian-based theology, and it is those who’ve rejected Christianity who have discovered other forms of spirituality or alternative religious instruction. So the person who has rejected confining religious dogma in pursuit of spiritual truth and has actually spiritually evolved, understanding that they are ultimately responsible for their physical and spiritual life and fate is not likely to be found in either political camp. They are likely to have boundless love and compassion for humanity as those on the left believe that they do, while also embracing principles of truth, honesty, family values, and personal responsibility, as those on the right at least pay lip-service to. Those on a spiritual path usually do not find a perfect home in any political camp. Politics is the making of policy for massive groups of people, while spiritual enlightenment is a solitary pursuit. There is no enlightened political party. There are only enlightened individuals.

The answer of how to deal with the horrors of cultural Marxism as a spiritual person is mainly to keep doing what you’ve been doing, particular when it comes to the manifestations of evil. Identify it, understand it, resist it, and personally avoid it as much as possible. Where you feel inspired to educate and inspire, and can safely do so, without threat of physical harm, or the loss of your income (both of which are tactics and targets by rabid activists,) then do what you can.

It’s a challenging time for us, and a heart-breaking time. But keep in mind that evil has manifested in many ways throughout history. You can read in the daily news about children whose lives have been ruined by people with no cultural/political position whatsoever. Some people are just evil or corrupted beyond salvation. The difficult challenge we face today is seeing forms of evil becoming normalized, promoted, and required. This feels like a new development, but it’s really just a blatant example of a progression that has been going on for some time. It’s just darker, and shocking because it’s happening in the open, and otherwise good people are ignorantly supporting it.

One important thing to maintain is your ability to look at things from a viewpoint of love. Realize that many people who are engaged in destructive practices actually believe they are doing what’s right. Most of them are not evil themselves. If a man hated religion and wanted the local church destroyed, he could spread a rumor that the priest was a cannibal with dead bodies in the basement freezer. Those who rally to burn down the church are not necessarily evil. Those who adopt the propaganda of cultural Marxism largely do so out of suppressed pain from their own past and their psychological impairment and a yearning for internal peace and happiness. The sad truth is, they’ve latched on to the rumor that the local cannibal-priest is the source of their unhappiness. And now they believe that burning a church full of people will make the village a better place and restore their happiness.

So do what you’ve always done. Resist ignorance, and group-think, and propaganda, while trying to spread light and love in your circles of influence where and when you can. Know that you can’t stop the harm that is done to innocent children in America by the official adoption of insanity just as you can’t save the lives of children in African villages. But also remember that all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. In a time when it appears that there is an abundance of young souls in young bodies, it’s vital to be a living example of higher principles, just as a parent should be for their young children.  Unruly children hate rules, but your love for them requires that you enforce them. Fortunately, you’re not on earth to win a popularity contest. (Unless you’re a celebrity, in which case, congratulations, now use your tremendous and unwarranted influence for something important.)

All you can do is exercise your power and influence when and where you can. Stand for truth and beauty as you are able. Be careful and aware of your speech and your actions. And remember that you probably chose to be here at this specific time for the spiritual needs of yourself and your groups. Your purpose and your path may take on new dimensions, but haven’t changed. And while being extra empathetic is more difficult now in this culture and in this battle than ever before, your presence, strength, wisdom, and light warrior aspects are needed now more than ever.

You are here for a reason. Stay on point. Gather your resources. Find and embrace your soul companions. And keep doing the right thing.


Gassing the Children

Mainstream news sources are telling us that Bashar al-Assad recently decided to kill children with sarin gas. I can’t imagine anyone stupid enough to think that Assad or one of his generals said, “Now that we’re winning the war, let’s gas some children,” and so they did.

What isn’t being reported is any information that would put anything about this situation in context. Syria is still engaged in a civil war. The area where people died from exposure to chemical weapons is enemy territory.

In a worst-case scenario, gas was used to attack the al-Nusra forces in Khan Shaykhun, and the children were collateral damage. But even that doesn’t make sense. After taking control of Aleppo, what reason would Assad have to use gas against the rebels in Khan Shaykhun?

The only thing that does make sense is exactly what Russia and Syria are saying. Yes, they bombed their enemies in that area, but they hit a chemical weapons stockpile they didn’t know was there, and that shouldn’t have been there. The collateral damage from the attack on an enemy stronghold was far worse than they had reason to expect. But no matter what happened, they certainly did not set out to simply “attack children” as the U.S. news media would apparently have you believe.

After the gas attack in Ghouta in 2013, which the Syrian government also said they didn’t do, and would never do, they agreed to turn over all chemical weapons in their possession. But what about those not in their possession because they were in enemy-controlled areas?

In 2013, Russia said the Ghouta (and other) gas attacks were a false flag operation by anti-Assad forces designed to get outside countries involved in the conflict. But no one could prove that Assad was behind the attacks then, and Obama took no action.

Look what’s happening now. We have “evidence” that planes took off from the Shayrat Airbase and dropped bombs on Khan Shaykhun. That’s it. And that doesn’t prove that those planes dropped gas, while it does fit the claim of Syria that they unknowingly bombed a chemical stockpile. So far, we can only speculate and guess at what actually happened. When speculating, we should strive for a theory that actually makes sense.

There’s a ridiculous propaganda line being repeated endlessly: “Assad attacked and killed his own people.” Out of any context whatsoever, this says absolutely nothing sensible. The exact same thing could be said of Abraham Lincoln. It makes as much as sense as saying that Trump is Hitler. It’s an outrageous claim, with zero evidence, designed to evoke a visceral emotional reaction. And it’s working. Incidentally, the same people who hate Trump and give voice to the Hitlerian accusations are leading the cheer that Assad gassed children.

Now that Trump attacked the Shayrat Airbase, pissing off the Russians, how does that fit with the narrative that Russia installed Trump has president and everything he does is for the benefit of the Russians? Will the most extreme anti-Trump crowd now claim that Putin, Assad, and Trump planned this entire scenario to just to prove he’s not really Putin’s puppet? The Trump-Russia narrative doesn’t work anymore without a theory like this. And if someone does propose this theory, that would mean that Trump was equally guilty of gassing the children. And if Trump is Hitler™ he’d have no problem with that. Right?

Will the craziest of the anti-Trumpers go that far to keep the narrative alive and working? Would Trump and Putin go so far as to have a naval stand-off, which appears to be happening now as Russia sends a warship to confront our ships that were used to attack Shayrat Airbase?

Consider this: Hillary was in favor of military action in Syria. She and others wanted to go against Russia, creating a no-fly zone that would involve shooting down Russian fighter jets that crossed into Syrian airspace. Now that Trump has taken military action in Syria, many of Trumps former critics are praising him.

(Conspiracy theorists should take note that this gas attack has wiped Susan Rice and her guilt/lies about Trump surveillance from the news. Remember Monica Lewinsky and Clinton bombing Iraq when evidence came out that he was lying? Makes a person wonder.)

We can theorize anything, but what we need are facts. Images of children foaming at the mouth and dying are powerful and evocative, but we need to know not just that they died, but how, and by whose hand. Unfortunately, everyone is talking, but no one is looking for facts or anything that makes sense. CNN tells us that witnesses saw “chemical bombs dropped from the air.” Could the average Syrian citizen actually identify the exact type of bomb that is falling from a plane? Could you?

Trump’s supporters are upset with his actions, and his critics are pleased. That alone gives me reason to question what we’re being told. We have no interests in Syria, and no reason to go to war with Russia or anyone else over Syria. I liked Trump’s position that we should work with Russia to eradicate ISIS in the area, and provide safe havens for refugees. And that’s it. Trump’s opposition wanted us to be more militarily involved in Syria, and militarily at odds with Russia. That’s what is happening now.

If you’ve noticed a lot of fake news, outright lies, and propaganda from the mainstream news outlets, you shouldn’t suddenly assume that everything those same discredited sources are telling you now. The same pundits who normally shriek, “Where’s the evidence?” for anything Trump claims, from the size of inauguration crowds to being illegally wiretapped, are now quite content to praise actions that could lead to us being at war with Russia, without any evidence.

The Confederate Flag: Should We Get Rid of It?

Guest blog from an old friend, J.J. Johnson.


Okay, so what’s wrong with me? If I watch enough news, I should be out there with my black brethren yelling, screaming, and looking to burn every free waving set of Stars and Bars I run across. So what’s wrong? Shouldn’t I be offended as well?

In a way, yes. I am. And here’s why:

I had ancestors who fought on both sides of that war – which was anything but civil.


Yes, in Northern Mississippi in fact. Cousin against cousin. One man trying to protect what was his, and one who escaped slavery only to be drafted into taking his cousin’s land away. This little fact, along with all the arguments about Southern Heritage, Southern Pride, and Remembering the Gentlemen who died in that war gets lost in all the noise about why it’s so “insensitive.”

And I am just fed up with it.

More than that, I’m fed up with the yellow bellied white guys who don’t have the guts to fight back on the issue. I know, no one wants to get labeled the “R” word. To politicians, it’s a label that’s worse than being called a liar, an adulterer or a draft dodger. And heaven knows, you white guys in the public sector better not even bring it up at work, or in public. There’s a civil rights lawsuit with your name on it. Yet, I know how many of you – especially you folks south of the Mason-Dixon Line must feel right now.

Wanna fight back?

Hold my coat for a minute.

Where were these protests against OUR Confederate battle flag for the last 135 years? Why are these black people allowing themselves to be manipulated by the media and their left-wing, so-called black leadership? Whenever I hear a black person talk about this flag issue, I ask them the same questions. Do you know how long that flag has been flying over those state capitals? Haven’t you seen them there before? The answer from most blacks I talk to out west is, “Who cares?”

Not good enough for the National Association for the Advancement of Career Politicians (NAACP). Not good enough for these modern-day “Plantation Pimps” who can’t find any other juvenile criminals to fight for so now they retaliate by “dissing” a great hunk of American culture. This is ONLY being done to pander to black voters this political season. You see, back in 1992, folks just decided to burn down Los Angeles while liberal politicians mailed gasoline to the rioters. This time, let’s burn down a heritage, instead.

I hope some black person is reading this right now and is fuming. You should be. If you think the Confederate flag is insulting to you, you are being used, or as we say in the hood, you bein’ played – for a fool. By who? Not by those evil conservatives, but by the liberal white man. The ones who’ll take your votes, then tell you you’re not good enough to make it on your own.

But there is no sense giving you the same argument many of the Southern Ladies and Gentlemen are trying to give now. You don’t want to hear them, anyway.

confed_battleLet’s talk about “insensitivity,” shall we?

If you don’t mind, some of us with southern roots are going to find every Vietnamese American citizen in this country, bus them to Washington, D.C. and protest to have the Vietnam Memorial removed from the park. Why stop there? On the way to Washington, we might as well grab every citizen with German or Japanese ancestors. With enough noise, we can get rid of that World War II Memorial, too. After all, these people all had relatives who were killed by the men and women America honors at those Memorials. You liberal, nothing-else-better-to-do black folks wouldn’t mind, would you?

Yes. Let that sink in real good. That’s what you’re doing to these good people of the South. You are DESECRATING THEIR MEMORIAL. Check that – OUR Memorial.

What ever happened to Diversity? Tolerance? Must be a one sided thing. Don’t give me that “Symbol of Slavery” bull****. If that were the case, turn in all those 1, 20, 50, and 100 dollar bills. The faces on these bills are of men who were leaders when many blacks were slaves. But let’s get down and dirty, shall we?

The worst riot in American history was not in Los Angeles. It was in New York, back in 1863. You see, there were a bunch of people who, like during Vietnam, didn’t want be conscripted (read: drafted) to serve in an unjust war. Talk to your President about that. Over 1200 people died in just two days. Most when President Lincoln sent federal troops in to put down the “rebellion”. Oh, by the way, 83 blacks were lynched in those two days – right there in The Big Apple. So, which flag do you really want taken down?

But since we’re all told to boycott, will those leftist, black elected leaders in South Carolina boycott the Statehouse while its in session? I doubt it. Will they avoid buying goods in their own state? Doubt it. Our forefathers who wrote the Constitution gave all of us a way to deal with a state’s policies we didn’t like. That’s what the South was fighting for. It was not about slavery. If that were the case, we’d be bombing China right now, and we would not accept license plates made with prison labor right here in the good ol’ USA.

Oh. What’s the black population percentage in prison these days, anyway?

The multicultural extremists can’t call me racist, but in the black socialist community, they have even uglier words for people who refuse to live on that “plantation”, such as me. Just ask Clarence Thomas.

So let that flag wave proudly as a monument to the last army in this country that actually fought for the Constitution. I am proud to have ancestors who fought with them. And for those people who don’t want their state to fly the stars and bars, here a solution that’s much easier than protesting.


There’s a term for it. It’s called “white flight.”

J.J. Johnson – Proud Black American

The Cereal Saga

Excerpted from: Ascending Bastard: An Autobiography

The Cereal Saga

The first place we lived where I actually knew the name of our street, was Kearn Street. I was six or seven when we moved there.  Prior to this, we lived not far away where I have a few scattered memories of coming home from school and watching Speed Racer on channel 52, which was a UHF channel. My older sister Linda once fell backwards in a kitchen chair, hit her arm on an electrical plug and got shocked. My little sister was caught eating dog food out of the bowl on the kitchen floor. A pro-wrestler who was bald with a mustache lived across the street and had a huge flag pole.

It seems strange to me that I have these few random memories, but then I have one prolonged memory of a time when my parents went on vacation to Tijuana and my sister and I stayed with our next-door neighbors while they were away.

The first morning we were there, we had cereal for breakfast. For whatever reason, I did not eat all of my cereal. I may not have been hungry, or maybe I didn’t like it that much since it wasn’t what I normally had. All I know is that not finishing my cereal was not an option. The lady (and mother of the children there) told me I had to finish it and that if I didn’t, I would end up having it for lunch.

Maybe I didn’t take her seriously. I was excused from the table and allowed to go play. Later when we were called into the kitchen for lunch, my sister and the two girls who lived there were presented with sandwiches and milk. I was given my bowl of cereal from that morning, which had been stored in the fridge. If I hadn’t the appetite for it that morning, there was far less chance of me wanting to eat it now. Now it was a multi-colored, gooey mass floating in milk. I don’t think anyone would be able to eat it unless they were starving to death.

But the mother wasn’t kidding. This was my lunch. She was being true to her word. I would be allowed nothing else until I had finished my breakfast. I did not eat the “cereal.” I sat there staring at the goop while the others ate their sandwiches. I was only 5 years old, so I did not argue or put up a fight. I barely knew this woman and was intimidated by her. She had a very no-nonsense attitude toward me and was insistent that I was going to finish my cereal or I would eat nothing at all.

After the other kids finished eating, once again, we were all excused from the table, and the dreaded bowl was put back into the refrigerator. Later, when the husband had come home and dinner had been made, we were called into the kitchen again. Everyone had a plate of cooked food placed before them on the table and I was given my bowl of cereal.

I cried. I pleaded. I told them it was too yucky. I could not eat it. I told them I was starving and needed food. The lady (with the backing of her husband) told me if I was hungry then I should finish my breakfast, and if I was still hungry after that, I could have some dinner. I could not understand why they were making such a big deal over the cereal and I hated them. I wanted to go home. I didn’t care that my house was empty and there was no one there to take care of me. I just wanted to be away from these people and have something to eat.

Once again, I failed to eat the cereal and there was no form of punishment. We were excused from the table and allowed to play until it was bed time. I watched the girls play while I held my aching stomach. The following morning, there were four bowls of cereal on the table when we came to the kitchen for breakfast. Three of them were fresh, and one came from the fridge. She just wasn’t going to let up on this. Again, I sat at the table and cried with my head and stomach hurting from hunger and feeling despair that there was no way out of this situation other than eating this bowl of thick, colored milk. The cereal was not even recognizable as cereal anymore. I knew now that I would have no food until my parents came back from Tijuana. I had no idea when that would be. I had to eat this disgusting cereal or starve. I chose to starve.

Lunch time was a repeat of the previous day. The other kids were presented with a lunch of Chef-Boyardee Spaghettios and I was given that god-damned bowl of cereal from the fridge. I hated that lady now with a passion, and I was really hungry. More than I’d ever been before. I was desperate to eat, but the thought of trying to consume what was in that bowl made my stomach clench and made me feel like I would vomit, if only there had been in anything in my stomach to actually throw up.

The other kids finished eating and were excused. I was sitting there by myself. This time I was told that I could not be excused from the table until I had eaten the cereal. She told me this had gone on long enough and I was going to eat it. I guess she knew she couldn’t starve me and might have been thinking of how she was going to explain to my parents that I had not eaten the entire time they were away.

Stuck in an impossible situation, I finally began thinking of an alternative way out.  I had always done what I was told and never defied authority, but there was no way I could comply in this situation. I had to be bad to get out of this predicament. The lady did not stay in the kitchen with me the whole time, so I was alone for a while. There was a window next to the kitchen table with no screen. I saw an opportunity. I opened the window and dumped the contents of the bowl onto the back patio. I closed the window and set my bowl back on the table in front of me. I wondered what would happen if they saw the mess I had made on the back patio. Would these strangers spank me? If so, would they use a belt or a yard stick? Now that I was finally freed from the cereal I should’ve felt relief, but I was terrified of getting caught at cheating my way out of it.

When the lady came back into the kitchen I told her I had eaten the cereal and asked if I could be excused. She asked me if I wanted another bowl since it had been so long since I had eaten. The last thing I wanted was to start this whole wretched cycle over again, so I declined. As hungry as I was, I resolved to wait until lunch time to eat anything.

As we played through the hours between breakfast and lunch, I waited every second to be called before her, or even worse, before her husband to explain why there was a milky mess splattered on the patio below the kitchen window, but it never happened. I was allowed to eat lunch, and then dinner without incident. I wonder now, if they had found the mess, would they have scraped it back into the bowl and insisted that I eat it?

I also wonder how people can be that way. How could someone starve a child over what amounted to just a few cents worth of food? How could someone be that way with a child that is not even their own? I’m not saying what they did was viciously abusive – god knows children have suffered far worse at the hands of adults. The daily news always has some fresh horror story that will break your heart and baffle your mind. But even still – what if I hadn’t dumped the cereal out, and hadn’t eaten it? What shape would I have been in when my parents returned? By dumping the cereal and getting myself out of that situation, I also gave the people babysitting me a way out of the trouble they were potentially getting themselves into. But of course, I didn’t think of that then.

Thinking about it now, I also wonder if my parents would have done anything at all – even if they knew the full circumstances. Probably not. Wanting to be good neighbors and be accepted, and being grateful for the favor of babysitting, they probably would have gone along with the lady and assured her that she was right and that they would have done the same thing. Then they would have assured her that I would be punished as soon as we got home for wasting food and misbehaving.

Book Review: Cantal’s Revenge

Cantal's RevengeCantal’s Revenge by John Zanetti

Brilliant sci-fi author and master world-builder John Zanetti has published a new novel, and it’s the kind that will take you so far into the future that the culture is completely unrecognizable, and yet it will become utterly real to you the longer you stay there.

Cantalina Frieze is a mostly ordinary girl with modest ambitions. She wants to be an historian like her father. She’s intelligent, capable and attractive, and wants to be a good daughter and citizen. Circumstances beyond her control throw her life off-course and put her on a path with adventures beyond anything she would’ve imagined, or even believed possible.

Warring factions fight for control of the country and from the beginning, Cantalina is caught up in the conflict. From her involuntary involvement in the fighting, she goes on to become a pivotal player who at times is reminiscent of Joan of Arc, but without the religious aspect. Before all is said and done, the fate of her town, her country, and the future, hinges on this beautiful and brave unwitting heroine.

Amazon describes the book as 316 Kindle pages, but that would be if the pages were 8.5 x 11. In standard paperback size, it’s closer to 500 pages.

Serious sci-fi with a taste of steam-punk. Recommended to readers of all ages.

Lose yourself in a distant time and place where there are only faint traces of the world we live in now.

Cantal’s Revenge by John Zanetti

Book Review: My Big TOE by Thomas Campbell

My Big [Theory of Everything]
My Big [Theory of Everything]
This could’ve been great if Campbell had just been able to say what he wanted to say. But instead of doing that, he decided that he knew the landscape of every potential reader’s mind and proceeded to terraform those minds, then landscape them, then construct a proper nursery where his ideas would have a chance to take root and grow.

I have never read a book where an author talks so much about what he’s going to tell you, and does so little actual telling.

If you decide to read this, I recommend starting on chapter 2. The introduction, and preface are 12% of the book. That’s the first time he tells you about what he’s going to tell you. After the very fascinating background story that begins in chapter two, he goes off track again until about the 60% mark.

I just kept skipping pages, looking for when he was going to get to his actual Theory of Everything. Finally, I saw a sentence where he said, “Now let’s get back to the theory.” And then he proceeded to ramble off-track again until he said the same thing again. Then he rambled more and more and I kept skipping pages until I saw at the end of a paragraph that he said, Now you’ve been properly primed and initiated, or something to that effect, “So let us begin!” And then there was a few more pages where he builds up to what he’s about to finally tell you about his theory and then…. here it comes…. almost there… getting really, really close now…. any sentence now…. and….

…And it’s over. That’s the end of the first book.

If you’re looking for a theory of everything that explains life in the physical and non-physical realms, and is scientifically sound, I do not recommend this book.

Save your money, time, and aggravation and consider reading Our Ultimate Reality – Life, The Universe, & the Destiny of Mankind. (You can find a free PDF online. The paperback is a whopping $33.)

You’ll come to essentially the same conclusion as you would if you read all three of Campbell’s books, but without beating every square inch of every acre surrounding the bush.

Campbell needs to try reading his own book to discover what a tedious and unsatisfying experience it is. He needs to redo it, starting from where his background story ended, and pick it up from there, making it a personal story of his experiences, and inserting what he learned along the way, how he learned it, and how he confirmed that what he learned was valid and scientific.

I would only recommend that you read this if you’re a scientist and you want to learn of Campbell’s theory not in directly spoken language, but with everything reduced to an abstract model with acronyms you’ll need to memorize to make sense of anything the further and further you find yourself out on a thinning semantic branch.

If you’re interested in Campbell’s theory, his video lectures on YouTube are far more interesting than this book, and they include Q&A from the audience so he’s frequently willing and able step outside of his own thought process and address things real people want to hear about.

Let’s Get Some TVs

I wrote this shortly after the Rodney King riots, so the references are specific to that incident,  but the general principle still applies today.

(Sung to the tune of Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing” (I want my MTV)

Now look at those Honkies, that’s the way they screw us
They knock the shit out of our Rodney King
That ain’t justice – that’s the way they screw us
Let’s get some TVs and some shit for free

Now that ain’t justice – that’s the way they screw us
Lemme tell ya – them cops sure dumb
They beat a nigga with a camcorder runnin’
The beat a nigga with Billy clubs

We gotta steal some microwave ovens
We gotta do it for justice & peace
I need some help with this refrigerator
I need one o’ them color TVs

See the Honky stopped at Florence and Normandie
Hey Honky! Cut that girlie hair!
That mofo Honky got his own big semi
He’s makin’ money, G and that ain’t fair.

We gotta steal some microwave ovens
We gotta do it for justice & peace
I need some help with this refrigerator
I need one o’ them color TVs

I oughtta throw a brick at his head
I oughtta kick that Honky to the curb
Look at that white boy, looks like he’s given us the finger
Oh man, he’s gonna get hurt
And he’s up there, what’s that? Helicopter noises?
We gonna see ourselves on color TV!

We gotta steal some microwave ovens
We gotta do it for justice & peace
I need some help with this refrigerator
I need one o’ them color TVs

That ain’t justice, that’s the way they screw us
Let’s get some TV’s and some stuff for free
No, that ain’t justice – that’s they way they screw us
Let’s get some TVs and some stuff for free
Gettin’ us some TVs and stuff for free

Ed Wolfe
[Apologies to Mark Knopfler)

Book Review: The Gardener Who Could See

Every once in a while, you come across a book that is so different that it stands apart from all the books that are so much the same. Sometimes such books become bestsellers, and sometimes, sadly, they live unnoticed and largely unknown; gathering dust on a library shelf until one lucky day, a reader picks it up and gets a huge unexpected surprise.

I just read one of those books. It was just recently self-published by an author that I like. He writes really well with a nice, clean style and no beating around the bush. No info dumps and no long passages about the terrain, shrubbery or weather. Like I like.

I hate spoilers, so I’ll never provide any. I’ll just say this: the story takes place 1,000 years in the future. The main character, Thurii, is a misfit. He isn’t like anyone else, and couldn’t be if he tried. He violates customs, regulations, laws, and all accepted rules of civilized behavior. He’s not trying to be a rebel, and he doesn’t like the fact that he’s been a lifelong problem for the parents he loves. He just doesn’t perceive the world the way everyone else does.

Thurii is a freak with a secret that no one knows. They all know he’s different and doesn’t behave, but what they don’t know is that he can see. Everyone else is blind.

That alone didn’t seem like it was going to make for an interesting book, but knowing that the writer is really good, I decided I had to have more of his stuff to read, so I bought this book. As it turned out, I fell in love with it. The world created by John Zanetti in which everyone is blind was so fully believable that you can’t help but get immersed in the story. In addition to this physical peculiarity, there is also a fully different culture, belief system, environment, etc. The story really transports you to a time, place, and culture that you’ve never been to before.

All writers are creators of worlds, but the thing is, we’ve been to them before – even if we haven’t been to a specific place, we’ve been to one very much like it. In a sci-fi, you end up on another planet that is similar to other planets you’ve been to. In fantasy, you encounter new races, but they’re very much like other races. In other fiction, you may see Earth in a different time or a different way, but it’s very much like ways it’s been portrayed before.

In The Gardener Who Could See, I felt like I had experienced something completely new for the first time in a long time. Incredibly detailed and original. It’s a book that will stick with you and leave a mark. The only book I can remotely compare it to – at least in the sense of it’s differentness is The Canticle of Leibowitz. But it’s nothing at all like that book. There’s really not anything like it to where I could say, “If you liked “such and such,” you’ll like this.

I can only say that if you’d like to enjoy something uniquely original and engrossing, then give it a try.

If I had to categorize it, I’d call it a post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, romance. If you like any of those three genres, you just may love this book. But try not to think in terms of reducing something down to a genre. Some books defy genre, and this is one of those.


Would You Please Stop Writing, Please?

A review of Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”


I’m usually not comfortable with writing a scathing book review, but in this case, the author is dead, so I’m okay with it. I wrote the first part of this review before I had finished the book, then the second part after.

Part One

I’ve read five stories so far in this book of short stories and I want to write what I’m thinking long before I’ve reached the end of the book, so this is like a pre-review; my first impressions that may or may not change after I’ve read the whole thing, but so far, the impression that the first story gave me has persisted through the next four stories.

This book is by an author I’d never heard of but it came highly recommended to me and after a little looking around online I saw that the author is revered as one of America’s greats; a master story-teller. Being a writer of short stories myself, naturally I was interested in reading a master I had previously not known about.

I had pretty high expectations. I’d even been saving the book somewhat like a treat. I have many books to read and I’m usually reading at least one in print and one in digital concurrently. I bought this one in print and each time I’d finish a print book I’d think of starting this one, but I’d put it off for a better time when I could really enjoy it. The time seemed right on this 4-day, holiday weekend.

I read the first story, looking forward to seeing the author’s brilliance. It started off like just about any story, and then it went on for a few pages, and then it was done and I just went, “Huh?” I didn’t even get how that was a story. I read the next one and it was the same.

Here’s a person, and they do something, and they say some things, and The End. By the third story, I realized that when I reached the end of a page on the right-hand side of the book, I didn’t know if the story was over or not. There was no way to know if it was going to continue on the next page, or if it had ended, because that’s how his stories are.

Think of that. You can’t tell before turning the page whether the story is over, or if there’s more to it before it suddenly and disjointedly comes to an end. I started thinking about the Acknowledgements and how the author said he’d received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. That made me think of Robert Maplethorpe and Andres Serrano with his Piss-Christ “art.” I started to wonder if Carver is just some semi-talented rebel favorite of the left who is celebrated because he blatantly goes outside the norm. He apparently doesn’t have to actually do anything brilliant as long as he defies expectations and conventions.

I also wonder if I’m just not sophisticated enough to get his brilliance, as if I’m standing in a museum looking at a painting like Whistler’s Mother and going, “Huh? What’s so great about this? I don’t get it.” In fact, I’ve never understood what’s so special about the Mona Lisa, and I’m not afraid to admit it. 😛

Carver’s fame also reminds me of something I read once about a music professor who analyzed The Beatle’s music and described all of the brilliant and sophisticated things they had done with composition, arrangement, and extraordinary this and that, and he went into great technical detail describing their advanced musical genius. John Lennon read the book and said he didn’t even understand what the guy was talking about. They had just written songs – that’s all. I’m with you, John. Sometimes art is just art. Other times it’s just shit, with praised heaped upon it, and so a lot of people ooh and awe over it because the “experts” say it’s great.

Part Two

Okay, I finished the book, hating the author more and more as I read each story. Each time I finished another non-sensical story without a point, I kept thinking of all the rave reviews and how this guy is the “master” storyteller.

I’ll give him credit for being able to really bring you into a scene and create realistic dialogue, but shouldn’t a story be more than just that? I would think any good writer has to be able to do those things as minimum requirements – but he or she also has to go beyond that and maybe even have a point to the story. It’s not sufficient to just take a camera and zoom in on two people in the world and give us some minutes of hearing them discuss some dysfunctional aspect of their lives and then zoom out again. The End.

I was also extremely annoyed with his speech attributions, telling one entire story like this:

“I’m going outside,” she goes. I go, “Why?” “Because it’s warmer out there,” she goes. She goes, “I won’t be long.”

How annoying is that?

And in two of the stories he used no quotation marks at all, and in one of those, a person IN the story was telling a story to another character, still without quotes. I had to keep re-reading paragraphs to understand what the hell I was reading. Was that dialogue?? I’d get to the end of some of these “stories” and want to say to the author, “Hey, Fuck you!”

I wondered if Carver had ever said to a friend, “Watch this. I’m going to write another piece of shit story and everyone will fawn all over it, drooling as they praise my brilliance. hee hee. Watch…”

I also thought of how his writing could be compared to a painting. Imagine if someone painted a toilet. And the critics raved about what a master painting it was. I (and maybe you) would look at it and say, “It’s a freakin’ toilet. What’s the big deal?”

“But look at the handle!” they’d say.  “It’s like the last person who flushed the toilet had a greasy thumb and you can see the whorls of their thumbprint on the chrome. It’s magnificent! And my god, just look at the shitstains! You can practically smell them. It’s pure genius!”

Well, now you should have an idea of what you’re in for if you read Carver. Maybe you’ll see his writing the way my friend who recommended this book to me does and you’ll love it. The guy definitely has talent. There’s no denying that. I’m just not sure if he ever knew what to do with it. One of my thoughts of him was, “A government-subsidized wannabe Salinger.” You may find him to be even better than Salinger. I found him to be not even close.

But we all have our own opinions. And vive la différence.


Interview with Jim from In The End

In The End mediumCharacter Name:

Jim Ecklund

Book Name:
In The End

Tell me a little about yourself and the world you live in:

There’s not really much to say about me. I’m alive. A lot of people aren’t. And some who are, shouldn’t be. The world I’m living in may be the same as the one I’ve always lived in, or that might all be gone. We don’t know yet. We’re kind of stuck up here in the mountains above Denver – which is definitely gone now.

Lets jump right in, what’s your most closely guarded secret?

I guess I don’t really hate people as much as I say I do. That’s the only secret I feel comfortable revealing. I don’t like to think about the bigger one.

Tell us about your single most important memory. What was it and how does it affect you now?

I remember being tied down on my foster parent’s bed and being whipped. Mercilessly. In my mind, I just kept screaming silently, “I hate you!” over and over.  Here’s a parenting tip for anyone reading this. If you want to make your children hate you and wish you were dead – just beat the shit out of them and treat them like they mean nothing to you. Works every time. The way it affected me is that it gave me a bit of an anger issue with people. And I don’t have any tolerance now for bullshit or evil.

What type of person are you? Are you a hero or do you shy away from conflict?

Inside I feel like a loner. I’d rather avoid people, which would enable me to avoid conflict, but I’m kinda stuck with a small group right now. And sometimes I get forced into situations that compel me to do things that I guess you might call heroic. Like rescuing people and shit.

Do you have any hobbies, any special talents?

Staying alive. Thinking ahead. Watching out for danger. Making sure no harm ever comes to Angela.

What sets you out from the crowd? Like your talents, would I be able to spot you if I passed you by?

You’d probably notice me because I have a knack for saying completely inappropriate things, often at the worst times. But that’s just the way my sense of humor works. I’m not trying to shock anyone. Just trying to keep myself entertained. And I’m probably warped, if you wanna know the truth.

What’s an ideal day for you?

That would be when we don’t encounter any strangers and everyone is safe from dawn to dusk.

Do you have any one close? Any friends or family of interest?

Not really. I would say that Angela is someone I really care about, but I don’t know if she’d say the same about me. In fact, it’s better if she doesn’t feel anything for me.

What about your most prized possession?

I never really had much in the way of possessions, and what little I did have is back at the dorm. All we really brought with us for what was supposed to just be a vacation is our clothing and some electronics that are useless now. Like our cell phones and Angie’s
iPad. We still keep them with us though. There’s always a chance that we’ll find a place with electricity.

Back to your story, what initially spurred your actions? Everything had to start somewhere, so where’s your beginning?

Like I said, we were just going on vacation. But I guess you’d say that our group formed when Angela saw Terry stuck on the ski lift. We went over to rescue his dumb ass, and we’ve stuck together since then.

Where do you think your future will lead?

I hope it leads to home. Not for me. I don’t have a home aside from the dorm, but for Angie. Her family is important to her. I know she misses a lot of people, and her friends, and everything. I hope we make it back.

Where can we find more about you?

The first part of what we’ve experienced, you know, like when the nuke went off in Denver and what we did afterwards when there was no electricity, and no cops, or anything, all of that is in the book, In The End. The stuff that happened after that is being written right now. It’s called In The End 2: An American Apocalypse

Shit. I just heard gunshots out back by the pool. I gotta go!

In The End is available on Amazon for a mere 99 cents.

The interview questions come from Jessica Walsh’s blog.

Answers to Frequently Unasked Questions

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