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Little Humans

I love my pets, don’t get me wrong. Anyone who’s spent even a little bit of time around here knows Zeno and Aurelius are a huge part of my life. And I love and respect animal adoption centers and those who run them and support them. But every time I see a post on Conspiracy Theory Central, aka facebook, with a cute puppy or kitten in need of a human to love them, and I see a lot of them — that’s a good thing — I can’t help but wonder how many little humans are out there in need of the same…


While technically no longer referred to as orphans, The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption pegs the number of children in U.S. foster care at a staggering 443,000, more than 123,000 of whom are considered to be waiting children available for adoption.

How Many Orphans in the U. S.?, ADOPTION.COM, April, 25, 2019

#prayforthelittlehumansinneed

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An Expression of Love

Don’t worry, my relentless efforts to completely overpower you politically is nothing more than a love-like expression… 😘


The actual exercise of physical violence substitutes for the psychological relations between two minds, which is of the essence of political power, the physical relation between two bodies.” He wrote that “all foreign policy is the struggle for the minds of men.” Genuine political power couldn’t be forced on people. It was complex, organic, unquantifiable. Elsewhere, Morgenthau compared it to love.

The Book That Shaped Foreign Policy for a Generation Has More to Say, NewYork Times, May 9, 2020
Virtually as soon as it was published, Hans Morgenthau’s “Politics Among Nations” became one of the most influential books of the 20th century. Credit…Associated Press [Via the New York Times]

#alonetogetherexpressingourlovepolitically

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Bereitschaftspotential Shmereitschaftspotential

As a wanna be Existential Absurdist who’s all in with team Existence Before Essence, my initial reaction to most universal-type questions, whether they be a priori, a posteriori, or somewhere in between is usually…

Meh.

I mean, such blathering existential debates to me are complete and absolute exercises in futility…

image courtesy of this

In other words, it’s absurd to think we can ever determine absolute answers to such squishy questions as what does it mean to be or are we living in the matrix of some alien simulation or what have you.

To me it’s the mystery of the how and why we exist that makes life… and death… so interesting, and which is why I couldn’t care less about such questions.

Usually.

The Atlantic posted an interesting article recently about how scientists have been in a decades-long effort to determine whether free will is a thing or not by monitoring our brain waves to pin down exactly when a decision is made. It appears, since discovered during research back in the Sixties, that there is some level of brain activity happening right before a decision is made, and which is referred to in a very nice yet severe German term of bereitschaftspotential, or in English, the readiness potential, and which to some was translated to prove that there is no free will.

But since we know most scientific studies are wrong, that old study from the Sixties has been disproved and the “free will” debate rages on; hence the purpose of the heretofore referenced Atlantic article, and hence the triggering of this here post by yours truly.

image courtesy of this

Whatever.

Who cares whether or not free will can or cannot be proven, right?

When it comes to waking up every morning and your most important decision is whether or not to put on a clean pair of underwear before you head out for another day of mind-numbing labor in order to fuel your mind-numbing existence, who cares whether you do so because you choose to or because some greater force has chosen for you to do so…

Either way you’re gonna have to drag your hopefully cleanly underweared bottom out of bed and head on out to work or whatever it is you do during the day to fill and fuel your existence so it just doesn’t matter…

Right?

Well, maybe it doesn’t necessarily matter whether free will exists or not, but according to this Atlantic article, it does matter whether or not you believe it does exist.

According to the article, those who do believe in free will are better, more productive workers.

Makes sense, right?

Right?

I mean, if you believe that only you are responsible for your actions, then the actions that you choose to take and make should have more meaning to you than ones would if you believe you’re doing nothing more than behaving like a puppet on a string.

And it isn’t just the workplace that is impacted. People who believe that free will is an illusion are less creative, more prone to conform, less grateful…

It appears, at least according to this article, that if we as a society were suddenly to collectively believe that life is pre-determined, then we are pretty much doomed.

Now, since we already know most studies are wrong, there’s a good chance the studies this second article is based upon are also wrong, which would mean then that maybe our entire social structure doesn’t dependent upon whether or not we believe we’re living in the matrix…

But my gut says it does.

And it’s going to be harder for me now to ignore those glitches in the alien matrix computer simulation machine…

And to be the steadfast and self-assured Absurdist that I once used to be.

Or at least the Absurdist that the alien matrix computer simulation machine once led me to believe that I used to be…

#believeinfreewillforgodssake


Featured image courtesy of the SCIENCEMAG.ORG article “Philosophers and neuroscientists join forces to see whether science can solve the mystery of free will”

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To Review or Not to Review…

That is the conundrum.

More specifically, the conundrum is should authors review or not.

I’ve been meaning to write about this topic for a while now…

At least ever since reading back at the end of June horror author sensation Ania Ahlborn’s excellently articulated post I Won’t Pan Your Crummy Book. I’m Not That Type of Gal.

And then even more so after having an interesting Goodreads discussion with my internet buddy Author Joy Pixley about it (I know, I know… Goodreads, ugh!).

Fortunately, during my recent meanderings I found the excellent post Should Authors Review Books? by Author Raven Blackwood — an author and Navy vet! which makes her a lifelong shipmate of mine — that I’ve reblogged down below for your entertainment and instruction, and which sums up the issues nicely regarding reviews.

But as far as Ahlborn is concerned, in her post mentioned above, as well as her subsequent post, she comes down strongly against authors reviewing books.

And she particularly takes Indie Authors to task for it.

One should remember that after hitting the big times as an Indie herself and subsequently getting drafted by the Trades into the Big League, Ahlborn has returned to her roots and has gone Indie once again with her latest novel IF YOU SEE HER [about].

Which is very cool thing for her to do… and very profitable one I’m sure.

Both of which I admire (read: envy) greatly.

But I don’t necessarily agree with her position regarding reviews.

Indie Authors such as myself, those down closer, much closer, to the lower rungs of the authorial success ladder, need to do just about anything they can to expose their literary flare.

Showcasing the fact that they are not just well-read, but understand what they read and that they can articulate why they do or do not appreciate what they read can, in my estimation, go a long way toward proving their own writing chops…

Or lack thereof.

And when it comes to reviewing well-established authors backed by the highfalutin publishing industry, I’m all for being brutally honest in regards to how one feels about their work.

Meaning all is fair: from one-star reviews to five; as is even making note of the fact that a book of theirs had to be DNF’d…

As can be witnessed by those DNFs found on my sidebar.

But, as an Indie Author who understands that this writing gig is a tough one, I do believe we Indie Authors need to find ways to uplift and showcase each other’s work…

And providing positive reviews for each other is one way to do that.

I didn’t always believe this.

Back when I first started this Indie thing a decade or so ago, I wrote a few rough reviews of other Indie Authors’ work.

And I still feel guilty about it.

And I won’t do it anymore.

But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be dishonest with my Indie Author reviews.

It just means I will look harder for the positive when reviewing them than I probably would for non-Indies.

And if I can’t find enough positive in an Indie’s book to at least write a decent three-star review?

Then I won’t review it.

And if it’s so bad I have to DNF it, gawd forbid — let’s be honest, there are a lot of less than good books out there, especially by Indie Authors I’m sorry to say…

Then I will do it without mention or fanfare.

Which means, if you are an Indie Author and if one day you find your book on my Currently Reading list and then the next day it disappears from the sidebar altogether, never making it to either the Recent Reads or Recent 5-Star Reads lists where all books are rated and (some are) reviewed…

Well then I apologize in advance, for, with my particular literary sensibilities being the way they are, I just couldn’t stick with your book to the end.

But so what, right?

I mean, my opinion about a book is just that…

An opinion.

And we all know what that means, right?

Yeah…

Exactly.

Now do yourself a favor by disregarding this extremely long opinion of mine and go read Raven’s most excellent one on the matter!

TL:DR: Some think it’s okay for authors to review other authors’ books, some don’t. Yours truly here thinks it’s okay… albeit with some provisos attached.

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A Life Not Lost In Time…

Very sorry to see that the great Rutger Hauer has passed. He was one badass mofo on the big screen and in life; and he killed it in Blade Runner, one of the most badassest films ever.

Actually one of the roles of his I liked almost as much as Roy Blatty was his portrayal of the quirky faerie Niall Brigant on HBO’s True Blood. The show itself was pretty goofy but Rutger was brilliant in it.

Dang, it seems like everyone is going to die eventually, doesn’t it…

Anyway, HEAVY.COM has a pretty good write-up about him if you’re looking for one.

#riprutger


Featured image courtesy of HEAVY.COMM
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Rutger Hauer, ‘Blade Runner’ Co-Star, Dies at 75 — Variety

Very sorry to see that Rutger has passed. He was one badass mofo in Blade Runner, one of the most badassest films ever. But actually one of my most favorite roles of his was as Niall Brigant on the True Blood series. The show itself was pretty goofy but Rutger was brilliant in his role.

Dang, seems like everyone is going to die eventually, doesn’t it…

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A History of A*

According to the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY**, the etymological “definition” of the indefinite article “a” is:

a form of an used before consonants, mid-12c., a weakened form of Old English an “one” (see an). The disappearance of the -n- before consonants was mostly complete by mid-14c. After c. 1600 the -n- also began to vanish before words beginning with a sounded -h-; it still is retained by many writers before unaccented syllables in h- or (e)u- but is now no longer normally spoken as such. The -n- also lingered (especially in southern England dialect) before -w- and -y- through 15c.

It also is used before nouns of singular number and a few plural nouns when few or great many is interposed.

For reasons unclear, I wondered all of a sudden how that much overworked and under-appreciated word “a” came about…
Continue reading A History of A*

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The Absurdity That Isn’t

I’m not a philosopher despite the fact that it is my belief that everyone with a thinking brain, and especially those without, is one, whether it be as a witting one or not.

No, I’m not a Philosopher, despite my occasional philosophizing about philosophical stuff, in the same regard that I’m not a Poet, despite the fact that I occasionally write poetic-like stuff.

Philosophy as a studied discipline is way too confounding for my confounded brain.

However, practicing a philosophy as a means for navigating life comes as natural to me as the act of breathing or as the desire to include unnecessary descriptive and expounding words, especially those oh so delightful words of the adverbial persuasion, into as much of my writing as possible.

For instance, I have no idea how many times other than a lot that I’ve attempted to read and understand such profound Philosophers as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and Heidegger and Sartre and Camus and, regardless how many times it’s been, without fail and after only a few pages I have to put their books down in angry frustration and embarrassment from my inability to read the words that they have carefully and thoughtfully written for me with any sustained comprehension. It is maddening to me that, while I can read and understand just about any individual sentence of theirs, when moving on to a succeeding sentence, of which I can also read and understand, I invariably lose comprehension of the sentence which had just preceded it and which only seconds before I had understood.

If hell is other people, then a deeper hell is other people other than the people I can understand…

Reading the work of real Philosophers, just like reading the poetry of real Poets, leaves me feeling inadequate and insignificant, just like I felt in high school during any class not related to Civics, English, or Shop.

Yet, despite the negative feelings the Philosophers’ writings leave me with, or, more likely, because of them, I have somehow managed through these feelings and through the course of my life to come to some level of understanding of the Philosophers and their writings.

Just as, when I drive my car I know not all the inner workings of the machine that allows it to move, or, when I click the keys on my keyboard, I know not all the math and electronics that enable the words to magically appear on my monitor, I know not why my life is, I only know that through my practice of it, it, powered by a mystical Absurdist and Existential philosophical elixir, is.

For, I know without knowing when I first knew or learned it, though I dare not declare it instinctual, that my life in its physical being certainly preceded my life in its essence or spiritual being.

And I know just the same that every choice I make can only but leave me with a sense of both knowable and unknowable angst from it, as well as from those choices I choose not to make.

And I again know just the same that while I [want to] believe that there is an Essence to Life, a Universal and Infinite Guiding Force, a God, so to speak, I, too, [truly] believe that it is absurd to believe that we can ever know with certainty the existence of such an Essence while alive and spinning helplessly within an infinitely indifferent and chaotic universe(s).

Such as it is, we will and must come, with or without a wit, want, or wont, to an understanding of our personal philosophy of life only through the act of living it.

One of the biggest and most influential aspects on my understanding of life, and of the development of my personal philosophy about it, is through the reading of Literature.

Just like Philosophy and Poetry, I read the stuff, not always or even usually understanding it, but ever always feeling it.

I feel bodily the expansive melancholy and spinning hopelessness that Kafka, by not allowing his protagonists the knowledge of the greater forces working against them or the ability to counter these forces (such is life), has magically suffused within The Trial and The Castle deep down to where, if their is one (and I [[truly] want to] believe there is), my essence resides.

And I feel just the same the nihilistic madness and absurdity of life Camus suffers upon his protagonists in his short novel The Stranger and short story “The Guest,” and of whom he only allows but a brief moment of sudden clarity upon their realization of life’s only one knowable truth: that it will end.

And I again feel just the same from many such similar great works of Literature that I have had the privilege and pleasure to read incomprehensibly.

It is these feelings accumulated within me that, over time, has brought me to my understanding of life and provides me with a philosophy of how I wish to live it.

Paradoxically, and absurd as it may seem, the literature that has taught me most how to live my life to its fullest and most pleasurable is that which has made me feel the most small and miserable.

By living an Absurd and Existential life, supplemented liberally by a literary verisimilitude of imagined misery, hopelessness, and suffering. I have developed a chosen philosophy that guides me happily down a path paved with angst-ridden choices going where I know not less its final destination.


I imagine many of you of a certain age were thinking perhaps a song more apropros for this post would be this fun, light-hearted one by Edi Brickell. However, I chose not to choose that one, not only because it would be the easier, non-substantive and least impacting choice to make, but mostly because the Blind Melon song leaves me philosophizing over the contrary and indelible feelings of melancholia and hopefulness it buries deep within me.

#prayforthephilosophers

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“Post-apocalyptic fiction has been moved to our current affairs section”

HEROES OF DYSTOPIA
HEROES OF DYSTOPIA

I wish I were smart enough to be able to claim this post’s eye/brain-catching headline as my own. But, alas, I cannot because I got it from this read-worthy #longread of an article written by John Feffer, a journalist and author who, with his read-worthy article, attempts to (in subtle sublimity) — and in my view does — make the case of why we should purchase his new near-future dystopian novel which spookily mirrors the current dystopic, Trumpian events of today, and who, Feffer, got it, the headline, from a friend on facebook in the form of a viral photo of a sign in front of bookstore in Boston.

A whole lotta fortuitous and fast-moving mechanics behind that headline up there, wouldn’t you agree?

To paraphrase/abuse a popular insurance company commercial from several years past that was trying to get us to fork over the beans for their coverage so we would be covered/prepared for any disastrous potentiality…

Continue reading “Post-apocalyptic fiction has been moved to our current affairs section”

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So here’s my conundrum… update #3

Okay… of course we knew Hillary Clinton wasn’t going to get indicted. And I don’t think Bill meeting with the Attorney General to ensure she didn’t get indicted really mattered. Elites don’t get indicted. Period.

And, who knows, maybe a typical Intelligence Community peon being investigated for the same crime wouldn’t get indicted either.

But we all know the IC peon would at least lose his or her access to classified material and/or his or her clearance, which would mean that he or she would be out of a job.

‪‎Hillary‬, of course, won’t lose her access, her clearance, or her candidacy for the president.

What a farce.

#‎elitelivesmatter‬…most