THE FIX: A Short Story

Here’s a look at the book cover and a brief excerpt (it’s about the only parsing of the story I could find to share here that wasn’t filled completely with vulgar language – hey, the story involves sailors…what can I say?) of a story about fear, passion, and unrequited desire that I just added to my short story collection. I hope you enjoy it.

ADULT CONTENT
 

The Fix

The lieutenant commander looked out across the water and focused in on one of the many dhows making its way through the harbor. Its wooden hull was long and its beam narrow. Its single lateen sail was full, even with the slack wind. Its two-man crew looked like haunting, seafaring wraiths through the heat rays shimmering off the water… [CONTINUE READING]

 
 

Advertisements

Technological Stones… or Lack Thereof

So about this US Government versus ‪‎Apple‬ debacle re: unlocking the San Bernardino ‪‎terrorists‬’ ‪‎iPhone‬…

It’s been confounding me as to the solution for a while now.

It falls into the broad national/global discussion that’s been going on since 9/11 as to what is the proper balance when it comes to ‎Privacy‬ versus ‪‎Security‬?

Is there even such a thing?

Or is it more like sailing a ship, where we know exactly where we want to navigate to, yet we continually have to make course corrections to get there…

Big question.

But as far as this phone debacle, I, like the not so fly Super Spy General Hayden, do not believe the government should be allowed a “key to the back door” into all encrypted phones/technology.

However, while listening to the ‎FBI‬ Director testify before ‎Congress‬ re: the debacle, he made a pretty eye-opening, yet pretty basic statement when considering our ‪Constitution‬ and our normal policing practices for entering a citizen’s personal places and spaces…
It’s called a ‪‎warrant‬.

The police can get a warrant to access a suspect’s home, car, storage locker, library account, etc….

Why cannot the police get a warrant to access a locked phone?

 
 

While we were watching the Academy Awards show…

ISIS was blowing up a nearly century-old library in Mosul, Iraq, destroying 8000 rare books and manuscripts in the process.

Now the chances were near a perfect zero that I would have visited this annihilated library or read even one of the burned manuscripts…

So why do I feel so upset by this, yet another barbaric, incomprehensible act of medieval madness inflicted upon the world by ISIS?

And now we hear they have abducted a group of Christians who are surely to be slaughtered…

And similarly evil and incomprehensible things are being done by other such medieval minded groups from Nigeria to Mexico…

Burnings, beheadings, bombings are happening so often now it seems I hardly notice anymore.

But something about destroying ancient texts and artifacts really, really moves me.

Something about losing a large chunk of rare history really hurts.

Well, at least I got to witness the embarrassingly historic moment of Neil Patrick Harris prancing around in his skivvies…

 
 

Rebels for Love – Part One of Hercules Gone Mad

PageLines- Hercules-Gone-Mad-Cover-slider.jpeg

From where he now sat, the bartender could see that Hercules was the only person in the club not watching the strange happening that was being shown on the televisions. He seemed to be someplace else far away, staring sullenly down into his near-empty bottle of bourbon as the dancers sat next to him staring hypnotically up at the screens.

“We Love Lovis! We Love Lovis! We Love Lovis!”

The bartender briefly considered walking back to the bar and pouring himself a stiff drink. Instead, he, too, looked up to watch one of the televisions. It wasn’t long before he saw a soft greenish glow appear in the center of the stadium’s darkened stage.

“We Love Lovis! We Love Lovis! We Love Lovis!”

The soft glow suddenly flashed into a massive explosion of light. The chanting turned into what sounded to the bartender like screams and wild shrieks of panic. He was certain he had just witnessed yet another act of merciless sabotage. It didn’t surprise him. A crowd like that, so many of their kind in one place, didn’t stand a chance. He first wondered how many had been killed. He then wondered how many were about to die, how many would be trampled to death by a hysterical crowd scrambling to save itself from who in the hell knew what was coming next.

Continue reading at herculesgonemad.com

History As Our Guide?

By: drakegoodman

It is my assumption that most of us are probably more familiar with World War II history than the histories of most other wars. As most historians don’t consider something as history unless we are at least fifty years or so removed from the event, I am not considering the world’s most recent wars when I make this assumption.

Consequently, I have been doing a little research to brush up on my World War I history. I was fortunate to find a wonderfully produced ten-part documentary on youtube fittingly entitled “The First World War.”

What I relearned from my research, and I know that this is not a new revelation by any stretch of the imagination, is that we as humans were utterly brutal and merciless during the twentieth century. It’s unfathomable to me how many millions were killed during World War I. And to top it all off, just as the war ended, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected the globe and killed another twenty million or so people.

Unimaginable.

You’re probably familiar with the saying “misery loves company.” Well, we at least can find some solace for what seems like our present day madness of global wars and revolutions and piracy and economic depressions and disregard for human rights by looking back through history and finding just about any point in time when it was much, much worse.

It’s FTW! Because We Love to Win! – part 2

FFFFFUUUUORNICATE!

Not the word I really wanted to say but it has somewhat of the same meaning and impact I was looking for.

Although, it surely does not nearly have the versatility of usage and universal appeal like the word I wanted to use does.

I guess I could have used COITUS! instead of FORNICATE! to try to express my frustration, but COITUS! has even less of an impact I was looking for than even the replacement word of FORNICATE! has, not to mention its even less raunchy meaning. For, as I am sure you know, COITUS! only means sexual intercourse in general, whereas FORNICATE! means sexual intercourse with someone whom you are not married to.

Sexual intercourse with someone whom you are not married to—now that’s raunchy with impact.

And I just had to say something raunchy and with impact right now because I want you to know right from the get go exactly what direction this post is headed.

So, if you are not in the mood for a pissed off raunchy post (Another one?), you may just want to back click yourself slowly away from the site right now before you or anyone else gets hurt.

Okay. That seemed to do the trick. It looks like all of the sissies have now departed.

It also looks like the site is now pretty much empty.

And that means that all of us who are still here, the one or two of my three regular readers, one of whom is me, are here with the foreknowledge that it just might get ugly up in here.

So, would you like to know what it is that has me so burning mad that I felt the need to entitle this madness (mad-mess?) of a post with a less-than-satisfying, makeshift expletive?

No, it’s not the fact that some liberal Brit of a nutjob recently tried to cream our proud Aussie-American Rupert Murdoch right in the pie hole with a shaving-cream-filled-pie.

That certainly made me mad, don’t get me wrong, someone attacking such an defenseless upstanding ruperty Robber of an All global corporate Baron AMERICAN WINNER! like that.

But, as mad as that attack made me, it didn’t quite make me cussing and burning mad.

What does have me cussing and burning mad is the attack that recently happened in Norway.

But it is not just the fact that Norway, one of my most favorite and one of the most idyllic and previously-unscathed-by-all-the-madness places in the world, was just brutally victimized by a senseless act of terrorism that has me burning mad.

I am more saddened and hurt about that than I am mad right now—though, again, don’t get me wrong, I certainly am also mad—that the great and beautiful country of Norway, a country I once was honored and fortunate enough to visit for two blissful weeks, although not in a terrorist capacity—I MEAN TOURIST!—not in a tourist capacity, but in an official, (and occasionally a wee little drunken, but merrily so), navy capacity during an extended two-week port of call, was ruthlessly attacked and that all of the great and beautiful Norwegians whom I love dearly are now suffering so from the attack.

My heart and prayers truly do go out for all Norwegians, for I truly do love them and their beautiful country.

What has me cussing and burning mad about the attack, though, is how it made me instinctively and without a doubt think, just like I always do whenever a First World country (We had a little First World discussion going on on my facebook page (FOLLOW ME!) the other day and it got me to thinking. And upon conclusion of the thinking that it had gotten me into, I concluded that the term “First World” has such a superior, almost racist ring to it, no? Sure it does. Because someone from the First World probably came up with it. Some circa 1950yish or 60yish, poli-sci, internationally relating, racist without even trying, media, spankin’-and-wankin’-the- wonker, wonk, probably. But hey, don’t blame me for using it. I am not the word genius who comes up with these catchy terms. I am just a lazy First World slug who repeatedly parrots whatever he hears on FOX (I just want to publicly (because the Lord knows we all know that He sure could use the publicity) give thanks to God right now for giving us FOX…and, by extension, Rupert Murdoch; for, without FOX, or Rupert, what else and who else out there is there that is so readily and rightly available for me to use in this type of an example for this type of a poorly penned (I would have used the word “typed,” seeing that is exactly what I am doing to this fornicated up blog post of mine—typing up this fornicated up blog post of mine, not penning it up, that is—but I had just used the word “type” twice now, one only four words ago and the other, not quite as only, ten words ago (counting back from the word “penned” located directly before this parenthetical expression, not the word “ago” that is somewhere (I’m not exactly sure where because I am starting to get confused) within this parenthetical expression, that is, and, although “type” in both of those two instances are used with the same meaning, they are used with a different meaning than the word “typed” would have had had I had used it (Huh? Holy cow! I’m not sure if you had noticed, but there sure are a lot of hads back there. I just used three, nearly consecutive, hads and, although I’m no English major—Crap. Come to think of it, yes, I am an English major…or, at least, was one once a long time ago, so long ago, in fact, that the major now has less than minor impact on my memory—anyway, despite my apparent waste of an English-as-a-First-Language degree, as far as I can tell, I think I used all of those nearly consecutive hads all correctly…and completely unconsciously. I bet if I had tried to come up with a sentence that had had three, nearly consecutive, hads, I would have had a hell of a time doing so. And had I had done so, I am not so sure I would have had been able to do so without having had used the hads incorrectly. (Such crazy kooky English we speak.)) instead of “penned,” had I had used “typed” instead of “penned” then there is a chance that I may have seemed and sounded rather redundant, and I certainly do not want to be accused of being a redundant blogger who repeats himself; besides, “penned” seems to have more of a broader context in meaning, one that has the connotation of, not just the act of penning, but also the act of conceptualizing the ideas and ideals behind what is being penned, than does the more specific sounding “typed,” which only connotes images of some dork like me with, like a dork, both of his pointer fingers sticking out while they hover over the keyboard in search of innocent and vulnerable letters to repeatedly poke and victimize in a slow, tortuous—tortuous as in Chinese Water Torture tortuous, only instead of using slow, dripping water to torture the innocent and vulnerable letters, I use both of my dorky-looking pointer fingers—repetitive ritual. And, if you hadn’t noticed, I kinda have a p-thing going on.) politically postured pretentious parody of a post?) or reads (mostly just the well-crafted, and by well-crafted I mean overly sensationalized, headlines) on Drudge.) gets attacked, that the attack was really somehow directed at America, which, by extension, means that the attack was also somehow directed at me, because I am, after all, an American, aren’t I? And I think all of this immediately upon hearing the news of the attack and without knowing who perpetrated it and why.

And it is that, that immediate and reactive and wholly unwanted and unwelcomed thought of mine, which has me cussing and burning mad.

Why?

Because I (And by I I also mean America, because, like I all ready said, we, America and I, that is, are both one and the same, right?) am so very sick and tired of not only feeling responsible for all of the mesmerizing mounds of BS that are piling up all over the globe, I am also, and even more so, very sick and tired of being blamed for creating them.

So much more so that I am cussing and burning mad about it.

But what is a broken boy like me (I know, I know. I’m pathetic.) to do about this cussing and burning madness?

The only option I see available for this broken boy like me is to parody—I mean pronounce!—the only option for him is to pronounce, as loudly as he can, in a public forum for all to hear if he is so able, so that he can, at least therapeutically, anyway, and perhaps, somewhat metaphysically even, relieve and release himself of this madness (mad-mess?).

And, just by coincidence, here we all are, right smack-dab in the middle of my public forum.

So, on with my parod—pronouncement!

The way I see it, we get the hate and blame for all of the global mounds of BS for one reason. And it is the same reason that McDonalds gets so much of the blame, or, better yet, that FOX, meaning Rupert Murdock, gets so much of it as well. We are hated and blamed for all of the global mounds of BS, not because of any specific crime or injustice committed by us, per se, but simply because of jealousy.

The rest of the world is jealous of us.

We are hated and blamed by the rest of the world for all of the global mounds of BS just because we are so good at being successful, just because we are Winners!

And because we are such winners, all the Losers in the world hate us for it.

Period.

End of story.

End of that story, maybe, but not this one that I have going on right now.

This one continues…and continues…and continues…I know, I know.

Heck, it is the people and organizations and countries like Rupert Murdoch, like FOX, like America, that put the FIRST in First World to begin with.

In fact, the First World has been so completely successful in all that it does, that we do not even use the term Second World anymore. We kicked the ass of those second place Second World losers so thoroughly and completely that we knocked the Second World term right off of the metaphorical geopoliticalmediamarketing map and when referring to any other world other than the dominant First World, we jump right down to those poor, helpless Third Worlders, because we First Worlders certainly do not want to be accused of being insensitive to their needs and dependencies.

And, heck again, we use these genius word terms (just because the smart people use them , which means these terms must really have some import and gravitas so we, us notsosmart people, had better use them, too) even if we don’t really know what they mean, or meant and now have come to mean.

Is it my fault that the First World (So what in the blasted Christmas Christ do these “World” terms really mean anyway? While I do not know what they are meant to mean to you, I know what they are meant to mean to me when I use them now, and that is for the First World term to mean and to embody all of the successful, industrialized countries like, like as in they want to be like, America, which is, a Winner!. Nobody uses and cares about the Second World term anymore. And the Third World term is reserved for all of the rest of the world’s hapless Loser! countries. But, if my drug-induced fog of a memory (I know, I know. I’m pathetic.) serves me correctly, which is highly doubtful (Of course, I do have google (garbage) (at my) disposal) that I could endlessly use for free of charge (except for the slight cost of chronic and irreparable brain cell atrophy from neglect) if I really wanted to check for accuracy. But I don’t really want to check because I am lazy; plus I rather like having my drug-induced fog of a memory (Pathetic, I know.) to fall back on and blame in case and when that I am wrong, I am almost pretty sure that the original meanings of the Ordered World terms were slightly different, tasting less of a sweet, economic corporanational success story flavor and more of a bitter, geopolitical alignment, East-Coast-Bloc-West-Coast-Bloc-I’m-gonna-bomb-on-their-sucker-punk-ass flavor, where the First Worlders were the countries that, right after World War II, a REAL war, aligned themselves with America because America is a Winner!, and its democratic principle and values in its principled fight against evil wherever it may reside. Second Worlders, back before the Second Worlders got their asses waxed all over the geopolitical map and it was still a valid term, were the countries that, right after World War II, a REAL war, aligned themselves with the Soviet Union, back when some, mostly useful liberal idiot Losers!, still regarded the Soviet Union as a Winner!, and its evil principles and values in its principled fight against what it regarded as evil, meaning, of course, America and the rest of the First World countries. And then there were the hapless Third Worlders who couldn’t make their minds up as to what principled -ism they should believe in right after World War II, a REAL war, or which Worlders, First or Second, they should align themselves with, so they remained unaligned and forever stamped as indecisive Losers! And of course, once one (be it a person or a country) is labeled and that label is stuck like glue right across one’s forehead for all to see and to respond to accordingly, then sooner or later the labeled one eventually will also begin to respond accordingly to what the label promotes him or her or it to be. Once that has happened, the label is no longer a label, it has now become a self-fulfilling prophecy. So, keep your chins up Third Worlders, you all are frikkin’ prophets! How cool is that? But all of that is old news. All that is what those World terms used to mean, at least as far as my drug-infested mind can tell. All I got to say about that, and then some, is thank God we don’t have to worry about all that “what used to be” crap anymore. We only have the First and Third Worlders left, and we only know them as the respective economic Winners! and Losers! that they have come to be, and to which lively, yet somewhat redundant (Damn it! I hate being a redundant blogger who repeats himself.) discussion we return…) in general and America in particular won the Cold War and became the only remaining, to coin the catchy phrase from the recent navy marketing geniuses, “Global Force for Good” (Whoa boy…that’s a dandy. Way to go navy.) and sole Super Power? It certainly isn’t my fault that’s for certain. You know whose fault it is? It’s all of the global losers out there who let us wax their asses all over the geopolitical map who are at fault and who must now abide by and put up with our, our as in America and the rest of the America-wannabe-First-Worlders, many United Nations-filtered dictates and orders, orders and dictates similar to the ones our, our as in America’s, compulsive and stressed-out and somewhat done-in from being over-debted and under-appreciated parents (read: First Worlders), our single or double or traditional or non-traditional-bordering-on-the-verge-of-perverse parents who, often and with (lack of) purpose proudly yet prudishly pronounces (what’s with all Ps today?) to their confounded and uncooperative sparkle(s) in their eyes (read: Third Worlders) something that sounds something like this out-of-tune-because-of-overuse ditty of a dictate: “Do as we Winners! say you little Losers!, not as we Winners! do.”

So don’t blame me, meaning America, meaning the First Worlders, meaning all of the Global Winners! for all of the mesmerizing mounds of BS that are piling up all over the globe, blame them, meaning the jealous America haters, meaning the Third Worlders, meaning all of the Global Losers! because the impetuous Loser! bastards did not do what I told them to do, they went ahead and did what I did, instead.

*

Okay, so looking back on this pig of a post, I guess there really wasn’t as much cussing as there could have been.

And there certainly wasn’t any raunchiness—well, perhaps the post is a little raunchy in the pornographic exploitative FOX news sense, but it certainly is not raunchy in the “Oh yeah! Kurt’s about to share some hardcore skin videos with us!” sense.

No, it is not raunchy in that sense at all.

And if that is what your expectations were when you plunged into this not-quite-a-cesspool-but-certainly-not-spring-watery-pure-either of a post, I apologize for overselling you with my blatant attempt at hooking you and drawing you in with promises of much cussing and raunchiness.

So, in an effort to make up for the error(s) of my way(s), I offer you the following video, a little something that may just satisfy those unfulfilled desires and expectations of yours that drew you into this mad-mess of a post to begin with.

But please be warned.

This politically pornographic video may just do damage to your sensitivities…all of them, every single last one of them…especially if you are an American.

Therefore, if you do not want your sensitivities damaged, and especially if your sensitivities are of the sort that are easily damaged, do not watch this video.

And even if your sensitivities are of the sort that are not easily damaged, please seriously consider not watching this video because it, my friend, is a serious heavy hitter, one that is looking to specifically target your sensitivities, especially those that are easily damaged, and especially those that are American.

But, then again, if that is the case, if you are an American with overly sensitive sensitivities who becomes hurt whenever the error(s) of your, and by your I also mean America’s, way(s), regardless of how good and well-intentioned this way(s) was and is or how much money you spent or spend on it, just like a good Christian (country) should, to ensure it reaches its intended destination, which is the helpless and poor Third World recipient who should be ever so appreciative of your benevolence but who probably isn’t because he or she does not yet understand the current market value of Christian (country) values, are pointed out to you, then perhaps maybe you should go ahead and watch the video after all.

But do not say I did not warn you.

May God bless us all, especially our Norwegian friends who are hurt and suffering, and whose idyllic innocence has been forever taken away, at least it has been forever taken away from my heavy heart and sallow mind.

National Nervous Breakdown

Maybe it’s just because I’m off work recovering from cancer and have more time to pay attention to current events, but it seems to me that insane violent crimes are happening almost daily. Just this week, a doctor at Johns Hopkins hospital was shot by the son of a patient. The son ended up also shooting the patient, his mother, and then himself. The week before that, there was the Discovery building hostage situation, and several weeks before that there was the mother who drowned her children. I could go on and on with all the insanity that has been happening in the past year or two but this post has already depressed me enough so I won’t.

Instinctively, I want to say that it is the bad economy and the stress that it has been inflicting on our nation as a whole that is responsible for all these insane violent crimes; however, after a quick search of the topic, I’ve found that, according to the FBI, violent crime has actually been decreasing, even during the economic crisis.

I’m no expert, but after thinking about it for a bit, it seems to me that violent crimes—murders, rapes, assaults—which are tragic enough, are not the same as these insane violent crimes—shooting a doctor and then your mother in a hospital, taking hostages because you hate people for killing the earth, drowning your children and then making it look like an accident, or dressing up as Santa Claus and going on a killing rampage—so maybe the FBI statistics don’t really apply here. Maybe, but I really don’t know.

What I do know is that as long as we have a significant portion of our population raised and socialized in violent, abusive, poverty-ridden environments, then we’re going to continue to have a portion of our population suffering from the violent crimes that are committed as a result of this environment and socialization. And as long as these violent crimes are isolated to just a portion of our population, then the majority of the population will, unfortunately, be able to easily turn a blind eye to most of it.

But when the entire population is suffering under economic stress, debt, ineffectual national leaders, divisive, vindictive politics, perpetual war, nuclear brinkmanship, excessive military buildup, constant threat of terrorism, and an increasing feeling of no hope of change for the better, like it is now, then we all are going to suffer from it, no one is going to be able to turn a blind eye toward it, and, if things don’t change soon, the entire population will eventually have a national nervous breakdown from it.

Perhaps all of these insane violent crimes that have been happening recently are the first cracks in our national psyche.