I’m Easy!

It’s true.

Thanks to the SEO work I do when publishing each blog, I will be forever searchable using tags like: easy author, easy writer, and a few others I haven’t thought of yet. When a female reader comes along, I cannot help but crush on them a little. If they are reading my book, I can feel my heart beating in my chest as they give me their impression of my work. Often, they update me as they read—a blow by blow if you will—every encouraging word softly stoking my psyche.

It’s not that I’m an egotist.

Praising a writer is like showing love to an abused animal; they quickly return that love any way they can, and it’s an honest loyal kind of love . . . until the leg humping begins.

As for the extra special ones who took the time to write a favourable review. . . well . . . they could have me with a snap of their fingers.

Why be a starving writer when you could be a starving naked artist.

I am so sick of computers and everywhere they take us.

Being a writer means being married to your computer. Things are made worse if you are a published author because you also have long term commitments to social media and publishing sites. My almost one-year-old Dell is an evil wife. She has melted down twice in the short time we have been together; a RED FLAG if ever there was one. So why continue to put up with the daily torment of weak WiFi, boggy performance due to updates and background processes, and the general stupidity of the online world when there is little or no money in it?

I can do other things.

The real question is: What other things can I do which don’t involve computers? I could reinvent myself once again as a post modernist painter. I might use my initials to create a new artist identity: Ethan Alfonso? It has an artsy ring to it. I could add a hook as well: All Alfonso’s are painted in the nude. Post modernist erotic portraits of lonely housewives and  divorcées, painted by a still pretty hot naked guy, should get me laid more than writers do. The fee for such commissioned portraits would certainly exceed what I make as a writer; perhaps several times over. For a tiny initial investment—far less than book publishing—I could whip off a bunch of samples to lean against the walls of my apartment for prospective clients to peruse; perhaps over wine, if they are hot. I could sell some works beach-side while working on my tan. Once summer ends here, I can move into a spacious van and travel to various beach communities down South, chasing the warmth of the sun, and making Canadian winters something I don’t do anymore.

What’s the worst that could happen?

It’s possible I might be killed by a jealous husband, but this has always been my preferred check-out plan anyway.

Sounds like a worthwhile endeavour to me.

Where is that art supply store?

I’d Google it, but this hunk of junk Dell—soon to be ex wife—sucks harder than the vacuum of space during a hull breach on the Enterprise.

When Will We Get It?

Most days I root for humanity . . . some days I root for space rocks.

If you enjoy reading about patriarchy and the puppet masters, you are in the right place.

In my storied online “career” (?), I was a good, not so little, author who played nice in the early years. I “friended” and/or followed approximately 10,000 people, sites, and pages because that was what we were told was necessary to promote our books and build a platform to launch us. However, as I delved deeper into the publishing world, I found out it was all a sham to keep us busy, and, most importantly of all, to keep us blowing money. Now, after five years and spending months cleaning out my social media accounts, I have about 300 interesting “friends” and follow about 300 others.

Some of the people I axed were butt-hurt.

If they were true supporters, they were given my reasons, but most were people who never engaged in all the years I kept them around. This idea of “friending” or “following” just to have impressive numbers is laughable, and anything but social.

My new antisocial media program is simple.

If I am ever to make enough time to write seriously again, social media has to go—except twitter—I love my twitter in the mornings over coffee, and I can “misbehave” there. I have a new ‘boobies and books’ theme I am thoroughly enjoying. Do I care some will be offended? F-ck no. Do I care about the imagined publisher or agent passing on me because I don’t conform? Hells no. It’s just bullshit “they” feed newbies. The right agent or publisher will get me, or I will self-publish again, but in a much smaller way.

Here is the plan for this summer:

  1. Create and blog out memes daily, if possible.
  2. Power tweet on Fridays.
  3. Facebook on Saturdays.

In a perfect world, this system should:

  1. Drive up website traffic.
  2. Give me more monetized hours each day.
  3. Let me work on my tan.

Have a great summer.

Antisocial Media: 10 Awesome Protocols Nobody Talks About

Rated R.

Warning: this content contains Reality. Reader discretion is advised.

Social media tips from an antisocial misanthrope?

You are definitely spending too much time online.

Tip 1: You must do what everyone does to be one of us. . .

one of us. . .

one of us. . .

These online “societies” have rules and will not welcome, nor do they tolerate, anyone lacking their level of sameness; yet nowhere are their expectations of your behaviour written down so you might quickly learn how best to conform. There is a reason for this.

Tip 2: They want you to fail.

They are eagerly awaiting their opportunity rant over your misstep whether you goof up publicly, among friends, in groups, or in private messages—for you have proved yourself an unfit miscreant who needs to be beaten back into submission, if not ostracized completely, in the hope shame will drive you back under the rock from whence you came.

Tip 3: Being “friended” on flakebook or “followed” on twatter should be considered an honour not to be taken lightly.

It means you can DM (Direct Message) an egotist anytime of night or day. WAIT! I’m just kidding. Back when PC’s were the tool of choice to hop on social media, this was okay, but now that smartphones dominate and control their owner’s every thought, they are rarely ever out of reach and almost never turned off, so the likelihood of waking someone up becomes very real. Besides, it’s way too early in the relationship to be talking privately. Take it slow; you’ll be able to show them your boobs or penis soon enough. You must build up to a DM by liking, sharing, and commenting on their posts for a period of not less than thirty days. Take it from me, this is how to get a narcissistic egotist turned on enough to get them naked.

Tip 4: Liking

There is a fine line between being a devoted follower and a stalker, and the line is different for everyone. I like to visit pages to see if people are really as uni-dimensional as social media algorithms make them appear—before I dump them. I am absolutely certain that on occasion, I have liked enough of their posts to be considered a creeper, but I don’t care. I’m a social media heretic. Don’t over-like or you may be cast out—leaving you no choice but to attempt to build an online relationship with people like me . . . and really, what are the chances you’ll make the cut?

Tip 5: Sharing

Twigger people want you to retweet their tweets so their thoughts might reach a wider audience. Conversely, fakebook people are often incensed when you “steal” their posts, which they found elsewhere on the internet all by themselves. Somehow, to them, searching for and saving a post grants them copyrighted proprietary ownership of a meme created by someone else. People have actually timidly asked me if it was okay to share posts I had already stolen from someone else on f-ckbook—so sweet, nice, and polite—I wonder if any of them survived this year’s slashing and burning of the deadwood?

Tip 6: Commenting

If you are following a hottie on social media, you will never get anywhere by telling them how gorgeous you think they are in their latest of a long string of half-naked selfies they just posted. The best you are likely to get for your effort is a liked comment. If you really want to have any chance of getting on their list of possible candidates for an online fling, you will have to follow them closely—a.k.a. stalk them—to find out where their passions truly lie.

Tip 7: Engagement:

In the olden days, engagement meant you had a fifty-fifty chance of getting some action. The same is true on social media. When you see them posting, it is a safe time to engage. Once you have stimulated your crush’s interest enough, by publicly commenting on their passion projects, or by feigning empathy and compassion when they are unhappy, they will begin to engage with you. This is public banter, flirting, or intellectual foreplay so it’s best to only be offering to stroke their ego at this point. Pretending to be truly fascinated by whatever you have been commenting back and forth about publicly, creates an opening to DM them with more private thoughts on the subject. Congratulations! You are alone with them. No, you can’t send nudes yet . . . unless they have confided the are lonely, drunk, and horny—even then, you should encourage them to go first. Most of the time, you will have to cultivate the relationship further before the sexting begins, but at least you can talk dirty a little. Remember, Mark Zuckerberg can watch the show, so you might want show some restraint.

Tip 8: Just the tip.

In this age of immediate gratification, there seems to be some added urgency placed on online sexual activity. It’s as though these participants are afraid their WiFi signal will be lost just as they are about to climax. Do they think they will never have another chance like this again, so they just get right down to business? Perhaps they are hiding in the washroom trying for a quickie behind the back of their significant other. Who really knows? You wouldn’t believe how many times I was flirting harmlessly—or so I thought—only to be gifted a spread eagle pussy pic with the classic two-finger labial parting stretch, when I was really just angling for a nipple pic. I’m not complaining, but a little bit of A to B to C makes it better. While I have only a dozen or so such experiences notched into my laptop, I feel it is safe to say: The younger the woman is, the quicker she will be whipping out the pussy. If I were to use a baseball analogy, they are getting a hit and running straight to third base.

Tip 9: Non-sexual DM’s?

I suppose a case can be made for such utilization of Messenger. I have some platonic online friends I chat with now and then, as well as a few business clients. The one thing I can tell everyone is: If you run a business of any kind, NO ONE wants to be pitched in Messenger. I’ve even been bitched at for sending people event invitations through Messenger. Apparently, the protocol is you must have chatted a little before any business can be discussed which goes back to what was said earlier about the cultivation of a relationship.

Tip 10: Wrapping it up.

There are a few redeeming aspects to online hookups:

  1. You don’t have to wrap it up. Apparently, computer viruses are not considered STD’s.
  2. You can have a wide variety of casual meaningless sexual encounters, but it’s best not to mention you do while it’s happening, if ever.
  3. For you cheaters out there, this is the safest, easiest, and most forgivable way of trying to satisfy the emptiness inside you.

As I inch ever closer to parting company with social media, with the exception of blogging, I try to find some highlights from the four plus years invested to take away with me. Aside from getting to know a handful of truly good people, only a couple of moments stand out. Years ago, I triggered a viral post with my comment which reached over 22,000 people. A short time later, I was one of a very few people Taylor Swift followed on twister. I thought it was kinda cool, and I used it to poke fun at, my then, semi-significant other who was, and likely still is, quite literally insane when jealous. Taylor, who I now laughingly refer to as “the bitch”, dumped me shortly after I tagged her in a tweet. She probably followed me by accident or expected me to behave like a guru with a PHD in psychology. I probably should have dick-pic’d her when I had the chance. The thought never occurred to me because enough famous female performers have already seen it—live, up close, and in a very personal way. Perhaps this is why I struggle to understand the males who engage in this behaviour and their reasoning behind perpetuating this phenomena.

Being “social” implies people are: approving, welcoming, approachable, jovial, and cordial.

I just do not see how this applies to social media sites.

 

Bad breakup? Need closure? WTF, try an email.

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How to write the ultimate GO F-CK YOURSELF email to a cowardly ex who denies you closure by going into hiding.

Yeah, I wrote an email like this, and I would do it again if ever I am stupid enough to fall for another selfish narcissistic sociopath who refuses to make a call to end things properly.

Why do this?

It is simple really, you need to get the rage out, and this is infinitely better than burning their stuff in the backyard. The neighbors look at you even more weirdly than normal when you do such things. More importantly, this allows you to process their evil deeds, and the pain you are feeling through carefully chosen words when a long relationship ends horribly. In other words, this is one method of speeding up the recovery process when you have had enough of their bullshit. IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU and your wellbeing. Don’t be polite; they weren’t, and they will not suddenly start appreciating you if you take the high road now. It is time to sink to their level to get through to them. THEY BROUGHT THIS ON THEMSELVES. At times like this, it is not narcissism—it is a survival mechanism.

Essentially, we are aiming to hook them, call them out, and then crush them like the cockroaches they revealed themselves to be.

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To use this article as a template, ideally (and sadly) you would need to have experienced lies, deception, and betrayal which led to you ending a relationship. This is not about revenge. No, this goes deeper. This is about retribution which factors sin into its meaning.

The first line needs to grab their attention, and spark their curiosity so they will continue reading.

Don’t scare them off with a nasty first line; appeal to their humanity in case they have any. Aim to create guilt and remorse whether they are capable of feeling those or not. Go with something like:

Hey, remember me? The person you won’t talk to who. . . 

You then add a reasonable number of important things you did for them—the more life-altering the better.

In the next section, you want to point out why you felt compelled to write to them.

You want to subtly shift from continuing to pile on the guilt to pointing out how their spinelessness forced you to take this action.

I really thought you would step up and talk to me at least one final time. But no, as with every decision you make, you chose poorly once again. You probably will never tell me the whole truth to help me with closure, and even if you did, I would have a hard time believing any of what you might say.

This mild slap in the face will show them how low your opinion of them has become.

Next, remind them how you had noticed their suspicious behavior for some time, and then shift to the possible conclusions you have reached as a result of their lack of communication.

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You can get nasty here. It’s character assassination time. (Woohoo!) You could begin with questions:

Are you on drugs? Are you having a mid-life crisis of epic proportions? Did you fail to take your meds? Are you attempting to sleep your way into money and security rather than working for it? Were you dropped on your head as a baby? etc.

Personally, I prefer statements. You could begin with:

Now that I know the depths of your depravity and duplicity, I think the following are probable:

Your list can be “on the money” or you can take “creative liberties”. You get the idea. Have some fun with it, while making it clear what a loathsome piece of crap you now see them as. Also indicate how you will continue to believe all of these possible truths until such time as they explain their actions.

Add an image of how you now view them for a more dramatic effect.

You could (or perhaps should) go straight to a porn site for an impactful and distasteful image which exemplifies your view of them. Other possibilities might include images of various STDs from a medical book. I went with a less vulgar illustration myself, but it’s your call.

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If they have made it this far, it is time to write your heart out.

Admit you weren’t perfect while driving the stakes in. Take a little responsibility while showing how minor your character flaws are when compared with theirs.

I always wanted what is best for you, and it was out of love and caring that. . .

Show how their behavior has left you pitying them. This, of course, presumes you truly know their history or pathology and were not lied to about everything.

It’s sad—so sad—you are incapable of true love and gratitude. I blame. . . 

Don’t be afraid to make unfavorable comparisons with your previous exes or especially people you know they dislike.

My other exes had some class and most knew at least a little of what is appropriate decent behavior. You are a total hypocrite. You slander [Insert name here.] while behaving even worse.

Dive into decency, morality, scruples, ethics. . . whatever you can sink your teeth into which best fits their behavior.

A soft warm up to your closing statements is next.

You could use a bulleted list.

  • I am sad for me for being duped.

If there are children involved, you could add:

  • I am sad for [Child’s name.] because he/she will most likely be raised by the likes of you two.
  • I am sad for your new significant other if you manage to get your claws into their heart, or on the keys to their house and vehicles, or worst of all, access to their bank accounts, insurance policies, and will.
  • And yes, I am sad for you as well, because despite all my efforts to repair the damage done to you, your ability or willingness to retain anything new is abysmal. You will continue on YOUR CHOSEN PATH, unconsciously following your base programming, and this trail will not lead to happiness. On the upside, I have finally figured out my fatal flaw. No one can fix you. Only you can do that, once you trade in self-obsession for self-awareness.

It’s important you leave them to the end of the list so it ties in with the big finish.

Enough of the body blows, it’s time to close with a throat punch because punching the heartless in the chest is pointless.

Here’s an idea for you:

At the end of most of my relationships, I would usually say farewell or good luck in your future. It would be disingenuous of me to say either of these to you because I know Karma is going to tear you a new one over what you have done. YOU ARE SO F-CKED!

I will just say goodbye.

Did it work?

In my case it did. I got most of the poison out. She confirmed the magnitude of her deception and offered up a lame apology. Regardless, it was enough for me to shed any residual affection and desire . . . allowing me to quickly move on to healthier greener pastures.

I can’t wait to see the comments on this post. I expect the miscreants to be outraged, and every person who has dealt with betrayal to love it. We will see.

 

Getting more from facebook: 20 useful tips for authors and normal people too!

How to eliminate everything that sucks about facebook.

 

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Choose your “friends” wisely.

If you think someone on facebook must be popular and interesting because they have 5000 friends, think again. Most likely they or their “people” are just too lazy to clean out the dead accounts on their friends list. Lazy might be an overly harsh choice of an adjective as I found out when I took on the monumental task of visiting more than 90% of my 3000 “friends” profiles to see what they were about. It took hours per day for weeks but what I found out and the actions I took would make flakebook entertaining for the first time in my four year battle with it. In all likelihood, these mostly writer types I accuse of being layabouts above, are smart enough not to care too much about social media and only show up for a short time each day to feed the insatiable beast.

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Why make the effort to clean it out?

A few months back I was oh so close to deleting my fakebook account completely, but I stopped just short of doing this in favor of re-purposing MY site into an “entertainment channel” for myself and the lucky few “friends” who survived what I now refer to as:

The Cleansing or Friend Pocalypse 2019.

Why did I put MY in upper case letters? The answer is simple really; many of us forget that our facecook account is ours to do with as we please. Authors often feel an obligation to accept friend requests from just about anyone who sends one in the naive hope these people will become readers of our books. Worst of all, you probably think you will hurt someone’s feelings by unfriending them, when in truth, they probably don’t care and may never know.

I dumped just over 2650 “friends” in about three weeks and here is the data I collected:

  1. At least 50% of those were abandoned accounts.
  2. Approximately 50% of the abandoned accounts have been high-jacked.
  3. Sadly, you will find out some people you once engaged in conversation with have passed away.
  4. 5% were deactivated accounts.
  5. Not one person objected via DM to their termination.
  6. Your followers are not related to your friends list.
  7. Post engagement went up.
  8. My news-feed is now full of posts which actually interest me.
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Rant, whine, whinge, complain. . .

Authors in particular love to complain about their posts not being seen or interacted with, and how facelook limits the number of our friends who can see our posts; yet they never consider how this corporate giant is, or should be, motivated to send our posts to our dead “friends” accounts in order to save big on server usage. If there is no interaction on a post, server costs go down. The 7% claimed maximum post reach is quickly cut in half most of the time by your dead accounts, and it is conceivable that some days our posts get shared into the news feeds of nothing but these dead accounts. It’s way easier to blame facenook (I love to every chance I get.) than it is to clean out all the dead accounts YOU FRIENDED. Yes, your “friends” list is your responsibility; ergo, your post reach is a reflection of how well you manage your facetook account.

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Because I no longer care about the publishing dream we are sold, I have turned “unfriending” into an art form.

Here is my criteria:

Mutual friends with my ex? GONE!
Mostly political posts? GONE!
Mostly religious posts? GONE!
Mostly kids and pets? GONE!
Mostly book promotion? GONE!
Unanswered birthday messages? GONE!
Infrequent posting? GONE!
Over the top patriotism? GONE!
Allowing people to post ads on their wall? GONE!
A whiff of racism? GONE!
Over the top sexism? GONE!
Posting in languages other than English? GONE!
Posting violence? GONE!
Posting animal cruelty even if you are an animal lover. GONE!
Unceasing negativity? GONE!
A lack of engagement: Likes, Comments, and Shares? GONE!

I wasn’t as merciless as the list above might make it seem, although I did relish terminating vocal Trumpeter supporters and old rich white guys whose view of the world is just too f-cked to bear. I must also confess how much I enjoyed unfriending real best-selling authors who I envied for catching a break but who turned out to be boring as shit. In fact, I visited over 90% of the profiles I dumped looking for reasons to keep them. If you made me laugh, made me think, posted something meaningful, or showed yourself to be a caring person with some depth, then you probably made the cut.

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Where did all these fake or abandoned accounts come from?

In most cases, the author contracted a P.A. or book marketing services company to create and manage their profile and possibly pages, but when the term of the contract was up, these authors found out they did not own the account. From that point forward, the promoters continue to post there from other accounts they create, leaving you to scroll back months or years before you find a post from the author whose page it was. This wreaks of a scam by companies claiming they will get your book in front of hundreds or thousands of readers, when in fact most of us unfollow these accounts as soon as the first ad for sunglasses appears. If you are a budding author, create and manage your own accounts and consider what you may leave behind. Do not allow other people to post to your wall; let them tag you instead.

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There are different levels of cleaning.

A Level 1 Cleaning is just scrolling your friends list and deleting the deactivated accounts. This hour or so will make room for new friends.

A Level 2 Cleaning is the dumping of all the people you unfollowed. Why keep them if you don’t like their posts? This will take a few hours.

A Level 3 Cleaning means going to profiles to see if they are real and active accounts managed by the author. For most of you, this will happen over time as this can represent days of work if you have thousands of friends. Keep notes on where you left off, and keep at it because these accounts are hurting your post reach.

Level 4 is a total reboot. I downsized to create a small but interesting group who entertain me. In the process, I scrapped three pages as well, due primarily to abysmal engagement, but also to eradicate all evidence of my former significant other. I visit these remaining friends profiles when the mood strikes and I’m usually pleasantly surprised with their posts. It’s like having 350 pen pals.

I will leave you with some facebooking 101 tips.

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Be really careful of the groups you join.

Just sit back and watch what goes on in the group before actively participating. If you see gossip and drama, RUN AWAY!!!

Only some of these are author specific:

  1. “Friend” readers—NOT AUTHORS OR WRITERS (at least not too many)—people who review, blog, promote, and talk books. i.e. members of book clubs.
  2. Activity (posting) and engagement (commenting) is key for both you and anyone you “friend”; otherwise you will never see anyone interesting to check out as a possible new quality “friend”.
  3. “Friend” ONLY people who seem real, who fill out the About Section of their profile, and ideally who show pics of themselves, friends, and family etc. Of course authors writing under a pen name may need an exemption from this rule, but you can get a sense of their legitimacy by the size of their following, their number of mutual friends, and how long they have been around.
  4. NEVER TRUST ANYONE OR ANYTHING YOU SEE on f-ckbook, or anywhere else online for that matter. This is a world of pretenders who, except for a rare few, do not know the first thing about being truthful. Lies and deception rule their pathologies.
  5. UPLOAD content daily to your Author Page. i.e. a good morning meme, and share it to your profile’s wall. This will increase your page reach.
  6. Update your Status daily on your profile, ideally with something amusing or interesting which can be shared publicly. Status updates are seen more than posts you share to your wall.
  7. INVITE people to Like your Author Page. Before long you will have a following who will read the tweets and blogs you send to your page. I made the mistake of creating followers of my public posts from my profile’s wall instead of creating an Author Page right from the start.

Best of luck.

She showed you mine so I’m sharing hers.

“Turnabout is fair play.”

A 1755 English/Irish proverb which suits my purposes here.

I have a friend; a really cool friend; an honorable friend; a supportive friend; an aware friend; an empathic friend; a scary smart friend who writes on a level so impressive I asked for her hand in marriage after reading only a thousand or so of her words. It was in jest, I think, and years ago now, but as I recall, she didn’t exactly say no. . .

Since that time, she has purchased, read, and favorably reviewed my book; an act which showed her to be good to her word; a person of substance; a person of character rising out of a sea of pretenders who made similar promises without delivering the goods. Such is life as an author. You become accustomed to it while paying close attention to the solid people you meet in your journey.

Today she made some noise about my book on twitter so I thought a little surprise reciprocity might be in order.

Her name is Shelby Kent-Stewart

a.k.a. The Sultaness of Snark

(I just made that up.)

and I’m proud to call her my friend.

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So when a friend you admire, or perhaps adore—I’m still working that out—who you are slightly intimidated by as a writer asks you to write with her, you get butterflies in your stomach reminiscent of your first school dance. Your palms get clammy, your mouth goes dry, your respiration becomes quick and shallow, and you struggle with words that seem to want to form sentences written by a chimp.

I gathered myself as we discussed the possibilities and we settled on a starting point. A simple blog post from two points of view to see if our styles, philosophies, attitudes, and perspectives could somehow mesh into something worth reading without destroying our friendship.

We did it.

In my heavily biased opinion, our first collaboration is Blog of the Year material, if that’s a thing, and we hope you enjoy reading it this weekend as much as we enjoyed producing it for you.

Go straight to our article. It should be up late in the week.

Shelby has six 5 STAR rated books available on amazon.

Like and Follow her on facebook.

Get to know Shelby on twitter.

Watch for her new book: For Love of Honor coming soon; part of the Wicked Tails Stories series.

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Thanks for everything Shelby. You are appreciated, and I’ll try to keep up.

 

 

 

 

Top 10 things I learned in my years on facebook, or how many “friends” can I lose in one post?

FYI: There were 3001 when I posted this. LOL

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“Live and learn.”

Conservatively, I estimate I “invested” 1400 hours of my life into Facebook over the past four years which is 500 hours more than it took to produce my book. Let that sink in a moment. I have dwelled on this for some time now. It is because of this significant amount of time that I did not just delete my Facebook account when the final straw arrived. I was close though. For better or worse, there is a legacy we leave behind on Facebook for our “friends”, if not the general public. However, if you posted as I did in a willy-nilly devil-may-care sort of way, you will spend days trying to clean it all up in order to leave a “best of” collection of posts worth scrolling before saying your final farewell. Be prepared for Facebook to “limit” your profile and page(s), a.k.a. putting you in Facebook jail, when you attempt such radical changes.

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1) Some people are not who they claim to be.

I am not talking about authors writing under pen names - which is absolutely necessary to avoid harassment - I am talking about people with multiple online personas. Don’t make the mistake of PROJECTING your level of integrity or values, a.k.a. honesty, discretion, and honour onto people you meet. It will bite you every time.

You can protect yourself by using a free deep web search at: pipl.com.

If aliases appear, search each one. If you know multiple locations where they have lived, search each city by each alias. It could take a while to compile all the data, and you should prepare yourself as the results can be nothing less than staggering. Look for, and even search, relatives, known associates, and phone numbers to confirm the site has not made an error. There are pay sites starting from $2.00 that generate a full report including criminal activities. You might want to consider one of these if you are in deep with someone you met online. May your god be kind with what you find.

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2) Don’t be naïve.

If you look up naïve in the dictionary, I’m sure you will see my picture there. I viewed joining the author communities on social media as an opportunity to connect with bright, engaging, open-minded seekers of wisdom . . . kindred spirits who would share thoughts as pen pals would, only using modern technology. Overall, nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, you will encounter a few worthwhile decent types, but in a game where we count followers in the thousands, they represent a minuscule percentage.

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3) “Haste makes waste.”

I remember being excited about making “friends” on Facebook when I first started out. So excited in fact, I would send friend requests to anyone who had the words author or writer on their profile. Back then, the prevailing theory suggested the key to success was a numbers game; the one with the biggest following would get a publishing deal. People were actually buying followers 10,000 at a time. I didn’t buy into this. I viewed social media as a popularity contest which does not translate into book sales ─ the equivalent to putting flyers in your neighbor’s mailboxes. I have yet to see data which is convincing enough to see it any other way. If I knew better, I would have cultivated relationships with influencers, readers of my genre, publishers, publicists, agents, reviewers, and bloggers ─ all the people I did not have as “friends” but who might have made a difference to the success achieved by my book. Had I known then what I know now, my friends list would look very different than it does today.

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4) Cocaine would have been a better choice.

If you are going to choose an addiction, social media is the worst possible choice. THERE IS NO HIGH, and the more time you spend on social media the less happy you become. Anyone who has read my book, knows I am anti-escapist regardless of whether the high is produced naturally or artificially. Regular cocaine users know the drug has a diminishing return. The high is never as good as the first time they tried it unless they increase the quantity used; and the more they use, the more frequent their cravings become until it affects their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no hypocrite. I let my demons out for an occasional stroll, but I pick my poisons carefully to ensure that none take charge of my life. Social media hooks us on being connected and never being alone. It is dangerous because humans must be alone in order to think, learn, and grow. Social media stagnates the mind and, Facebook at least, seems bent on depressing the populace. Endless distractions thwart creativity and productivity. If you: feel obligated to post on social media; look in regularly for comments on posts; have never turned off Messenger or notifications or your device, then you should pick different poisons for a while until you get a handle on the monkey on your back.

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5) I kept my promise.

I used my Facebook profile page as a playground where I could share multiple aspects of my personality. This allowed me a place to vent . . . and vent I did; or more correctly, am continuing to do here in what will become my last post to Facebook. Early on I promised the real me would be on display at all times to my “friends”. The people on my friends list did not get an artificial construct or watered down perfect illusion of who I am. Nope, they got the full Monte, or at least as much Monte as Facebook would allow. My inner bad boy posted what little nudity Facebook community standards would tolerate for two reasons: Firstly, I am a rebel who sees freedoms dying faster than the planet is losing species; and secondly, nothing in the world is more beautiful to me than the female form. I shared my sense of humour as well, even when I knew it might be crossing someone’s line every now and then. I also shared my philosophies, and those from others which resonated within me, in what I now see as a futile effort to awaken the sleeping oblivious sheeple. The proof is in the likes. There were next to none. Recently, I wanted to find out if I was out of Facebook jail so I posted: ‘Somebody, anybody, tell me if you can see me.’ This post got more attention than a year’s worth of meaningful posts, and at the same time, it made a sad statement on the superficiality of the average Facebook user.

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6) “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

As an author, I should have divided my time equally between Goodreads, twitter, and Facebook because Goodreads has proven itself to put your books in front of readers, and unlike Facebook, you can reach out to everyone and anyone on twitter. Time is the one thing you can never get more of and it does not allow do-overs. Spend yours wisely.

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7) Nazi hamsters! WTF?

Fuckerberg, and the Nazis in the shadows behind him, are using facebook for data collection on each and every one of us, as are most of the major corporations in Silicon Valley. The difference is Facebook knows far more about us than Google, and possibly even the makers of our devices and the companies that supply operating systems as long as they do not breach their published privacy policies which most have already been caught doing. Facebook considers EVERYTHING you share to be their property. This includes Messenger. Yup, your selfies and home-made porn videos are all sitting in a data farm somewhere and you can never truly delete them. They lured us away from My Space with the promise of something better. A promise which was never kept right from the beginning. Their endless adjustments to the algorithm, have severely limited our outreach to readers while they stayed busy categorizing and compartmentalizing us into something reminiscent of a box filled with hamsters where everyone is climbing all over each other. Good luck. I’m out.

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8) Let’s see Facebook for what it is: a societal manipulation site.

That doesn’t have the same innocuous ring to it as social media site, does it. In my time on Facebook, I have been appalled by posts in my News Feed ranging from animal cruelty to the shooting of an unarmed man by police, with a far too great number of others in between. Were they fake news as with the Trumpeter’s election campaigners who mysteriously showed up only to disappear shortly after the election? We can never know. What is clear however, is we are affected, influenced, and manipulated by what we see and hear in all forms of media. Worst of all, we become desensitized to atrocious human behavior and I believe this is NO ACCIDENT; but where they are intentionally herding the minds of the sheeple. When three billion users worldwide have been programmed to no longer give a shit about life, the world can easily fall into anarchy. On that day, the frightened sheeple will willingly turn over the last of their freedoms for safety. The single biggest difference between other forms of media and Facebook is there are no restrictions placed on what Facebook is allowed to broadcast. Facebook can do what they want with the get-out-of-jail-free-card of being a social media platform not responsible for the content created by users. There is no Editor In Chief to hold accountable for what is thrust before our eyes. Facebook’s new take on morality is not for me. It shouldn’t be for you either.

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9) Some people make it bearable.

If I look at my years on Facebook as I would my life, there are some parallels. I have a few regrets but there was also a great deal of laughter. There were a handful of people who made the time spent on Facebook almost seem worthwhile. I hope they keep in touch. There were also some standouts who stepped up when it really mattered, and they have my deepest gratitude.

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10) Facebook is what you make of it.

If you are just an individual who wants to keep tabs on people you already know in the real world, or if you want to find people you have lost touch with, then have at it while being VERY cautious of what you post or message to people. Keep your circle small and be wary of people you have not met in person when they send you a friend request. If you have the misfortune of being a writer who is following conventional wisdom, a.k.a. forced kicking and screaming into the social media spotlight as I was, then things will be tougher. Absorb and retain the previous 1800 words and I will leave you with the immortal words of my favorite Zen master: ‘Mind what you have learned; save you it can.’ – Yoda.

Rationalizations: What to do when the Internet is down.

First thing this morning my neighbor sent a text to inform me the Internet is still down, but they claim to be working on it. Apparently a major cable was cut last evening leaving our entire area without service.

Thanks for the update., I thought to myself as I ran my morning self-diagnostics to see if I was fully functional before getting out of bed. I worked out yesterday so you never know. Out of HABIT I turned on my computer anyway and headed to the coffee-maker.

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As I stood in the kitchen waiting for The Nectar Of Awakening (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL), I pondered the importance of the Internet to him because he is a well-to-do guy who loves his toys. His home is run by Google and he likes his fully-automated lifestyle, and I don’t think he likes it when I speak of the potential for abuse of the users privacy. He only has his phone now. All that is good in his life has perished. Perhaps this is why he sent this out of character early text which woke me from some badly needed sleep.

Coffee in hand, I sat down on the couch and drank the entire over-sized first mug while staring blankly at the Windows start up screen. The only thought I can recall during this semi-conscious period was: They chose a nice shade of blue.

What will I do this morning? Maybe go for a walk? Too cold. Read? Eyes still too sleepy and brain not receptive to input. Write something? There it is. But what? We’ll wing it.

Anyone who reads my crap knows of my contempt for the Internet and my fervent belief that it is a mind control weapon employed against the oblivious masses in the final stages of our enslavement. Yet, it has also become a part of my ROUTINE to have my coffee while scrolling twitter and chatting with online friends.

It was not always this way. I remember having a satisfying life before all this book writing nonsense took over.

Here is an example of RATIONALIZATIONS running wild:

I RATIONALIZED this CHANGE IN MY BEHAVIOR by TELLING MYSELF this was necessary to launch and promote my book. I further RATIONALIZED I should continue promoting my work beyond the one year period I had originally planned for as there were still occasional requests for interviews and the like coming in. I continued my RATIONALIZATION to stay on social media because we were entering the peak selling season. That’s no time to quit. My latest RATIONALIZATION, after almost four years since I first appeared on social media, is I now have a handful of people whose words and thoughts I enjoy. It would be wrong to abandon them.

Or would it?

A flaw in my thinking just made itself known on mug three. I am PROJECTING my character traits onto them; people I have never met. I ass-u-me they share my values: morality; ethics; scruples; sense of decency etc., when in truth, I really have little hard evidence to support the mental picture of them I have created in my mind. It is hard enough to discover the TRUE NATURE of people we meet in real life, without compounding the problem by believing what we see or are told through an electronic medium.

Recent─all too public events─began with provocative hurtful posts which I could have been spared from seeing. I retaliated. That was wrong. The enraged are not in touch with rational thought. Things escalated from there into a tangled mess of unimagined proportions. If you witnessed any of it, my apologies. I now have first-hand knowledge of the gossips, spies, stalkers, trolls, and double agents we have all heard about when chatting about facebook dramas.

I am disgusted on many levels by many things, but mostly for allowing myself to be temporarily lowered into The Pit Of The Petty (© 2019 E. A. Barker LOL) where the worst parts of humanity reside.

Unchecked RATIONALIZATIONS can lead to DEMONIZATION or even DELUSION.

I am only guilty of the first two. I plead temporary insanity. I have and continue to work hard to be fully conscious and self-aware, and I pride myself on my ability to stay grounded in reality. This heightens your powers of perception so you can see things for what they are, and not how you would like them to be. However, this trait will not be considered endearing to anyone who lives in a fantasy world of imagined futures. Normally, I am so good at this people have called me a mind reader, or suggested I have them under surveillance, or even that I can predict the future. In truth, once you have really explored WHO YOU ARE and wrestled your demons into submission─with only occasional escape attempts─you are given a gift of heightened sensitivity which is composed mostly of sympathy, empathy, and compassion. Some call this being loving or caring; I just call them good people.

Humans like to think of themselves as complex creatures when in fact most human behavior is transparent and predictable to the few of us who bother to know ourselves. Once you know the best and worst you are capable of, and even though your self-control can slip at times, you can make shockingly accurate assessments of people as well as predictions of behavior and consequences.

To the superficial and narcissistic, life will always be a mysterious sequence of tragic events. They create petty RATIONALIZATIONS of their abhorrent behavior with statements like: “The heart wants what the heart wants.” or “We are only human.” or “They told me to do it.”. . .

Every single one of the seven billion souls on this planet are capable of moving beyond this most basic form of existence. I sincerely hope the readers of this will be some of those who do.

This was the second time I became embroiled in a facebook drama. There won’t be a third. Farewell facebook friends and followers. It was quite an experience which I can no longer RATIONALIZE.

Keep in touch by email if you like.

Turkey News

Dinner conversation for know-it-alls:

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Contrary to popular belief, tryptophan induced turkey comas are not a result of turkey containing a greater quantity of the amino acid than other foods, but only our overindulgence at this time of year. You most likely do not go back for seconds when you eat other poultry, nor do smaller birds allow for days of leftovers in sandwiches and soups or stews.

Enjoy your holiday.

Gather ’round kids, so cocky uncle E. A. can tell you a story.

Cocky? Cockier? Cockiest?

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While I don’t live in the United States of America, Canada and most countries in “the West” do share common legal approaches. My OPINIONS should not be considered legal advice, but should make for a good starting point for those of you who have been witness to the latest travesty in indie-authordom. Unless the reprobates currently running the U.S.A. have completely flushed America down the proverbial turlet, then what I am about to share with you will probably still be upheld in their courts.

What is a Trade Mark?

I rarely use Wikipedia as a source, but they did offer a sound definition in this case.

“A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a recognizable sign, design, or expression which identifies products or services of a particular source from those of others, although trademarks used to identify services are usually called service marks. The trademark owner can be an individual, business organization, or any legal entity. A trademark may be located on a package, a label, a voucher, or on the product itself. For the sake of corporate identity, trademarks are often displayed on company buildings.”

IF some poor misinformed soul did want to Trade Mark the word cocky, they are completely within their legal rights to do so. HOWEVER, as no person or corporate entity may hold title of a commonly used word, the Trade Mark office requires that the word in question be presented in an original form, a.k.a. artwork and even a custom font or in an existing font USED WITH WRITTEN PERMISSION.

You can Trade Mark a LOGO containing a word, but not the word itself.

We might as well cover all the bases while we are on this ridiculous topic.

What  is a Patent?

“A government authority or license conferring a right or title for a set period, especially the sole right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.”

So unless the individual in question INVENTED the word, they can’t go down this road.

What is a Copyright?

“The exclusive legal right, given to an originator or an assignee to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material, and to authorize others to do the same.”

Every time a writer PUBLISHES, they are protected by Copyright law. HOWEVER, we live in an age where everyone sues their neighbor over the slightest thing. Thanks for that America. This translates into a shit pile of lawyers making money on every tiny fender-bender or slip-and-fall. Authors would be well advised to actually get Copyright protection in their own country at the very least, as it carries a bit more weight than a mere publishing date.

Can you Copyright a word?

Yes, if it is the title of your work and no one has ever used it before. HOWEVER, this only protects the Copyright holder from having others use the EXACT SAME TITLE. It does not give the Copyright holder EXCLUSIVE rights to the word.

pexels-photo-726478.jpegWhat is a frivolous lawsuit?

They are not called “sharks” for nothing.

“Is the practice of starting or carrying on lawsuits that, due to their lack of legal merit, have little to no chance of being won.

Yes kids, this is probably what is going on here. Some law firm is exploiting this poor author knowing full well the case has no chance.

So why is Amazon allegedly pulling down books with the word cocky in the title or in the key words?

There are any number of possibilities. But first, why am I not worried about using the word Amazon in this piece? It’s simple, they don’t own the word—just the presentation of the word as a Trade Marked corporate logo in context with a certain type of business. The Amazon river was there long before the company, and it will be there long after the company is gone.

  1. Indie authors are not that important to Amazon as they represent only 16% of the company’s total book sales. (See the Publishers Weekly article.)
  2. Lawyers are expensive; even to a corporate giant. There is no upside for Amazon to challenge the alleged letter sent from this author’s law firm. It is easier, and w-a-y cheaper, to just piss off a few inconsequential indie authors than it is to wage a legal battle on their behalf.
  3. A less likely, but plausible reason might be that some middle manager panicked when the legal notice arrived on their desk, causing them to make “an executive decision” without running it up the flagpole first.

Smashwords and Ingram Spark are looking better and better, aren’t they?

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If and when . . .

. . . I get a cease and desist order telling me to take down this blog because it contains the word cocky, I will have my lawyer fire one back telling them what a cocky prick I am, and that I suggested ‘they should all have intercourse with themselves’. Of course what I would actually say to my lawyer in this hypothetical instance would be: Tell them they can all go f*ck themselves.

And here kids is the moral of the story.

A frivolous lawsuit is there to incite an EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. My lawyer is there to START A NEGOTIATION, as is the lawyer of this author. My lawyer will water down my message to make me appear more reasonable so A RESOLUTION CAN BE REACHED.

Both authors pay.

Both law firms get paid.

Amazon was the only one to make a good business decision.

As usual, my mind is questioning the motivations involved here. Is this a PR stunt? Did the-powers-that-be create a new distraction just for indie authors so we won’t pay attention to a US administration just itching for a war with anybody? I guess time will tell. Until then, stay cocky everyone.

 

 

Of Squirrels and Airplanes

It’s been a long, long, long time since I have had a day like this-literally years since I published a slightly impaired blog titled: An Intoxicated Tirade, or words to that effect. A conscientious blogger would create a link, but I don’t care.

Life as a struggling author is tough, and full of duties and obligations. Today was different though; I fulfilled all those daily tasks by 2:00 p.m. on a sunny and warm Sunday afternoon which allowed me a shopping trip including a visit to the liquor store.

1

It should be noted that I mark the return of warm weather with a cocktail we Canadians call a Caesar-made from tomato/clam cocktail, vodka, and spices, including salt, pepper, celery salt, Worchestershire sauce (Did you seriously expect me to spell it right?) and Tobasco sauce. (Ditto.)

I spent TWO magical hours alone with my thoughts (and the booze) in direct sunlight which has always been my drug of choice when I needed to re-energize and refocus. There was a part of me who screamed I should have a book with me or what will the neighbors think? F*ck ’em.

ancient-arched-window-architecture-532902I moved to this neighborhood to be amongst the poor and down-trodden. Granted, houses in this area sell between one and two million dollars, but that does not mean the people here are rich; they just have good credit. As property values have gone from ridiculous to insane while I have been here, it led me to think about the retirees on a fixed income being displaced because they could not keep up with their property taxes as their property’s value exploded, forcing many to take out equity loans just to keep their homes.

After the second drink, I noticed a deep exhalation that I am certain has not been a part of my existence for some time. Some people meditate to accomplish this state-of-being, but I have not been making the time for any spiritual journeys of this nature lately. I am just too damn busy.

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So, about the squirrels . . . Ever notice the squirrel who is busting his (or her) ass (Who can tell?); digging up chestnuts and running across a busy street to bring home the bacon? He/she is unlike the other squirrels who have trained humans to feed them, and who unknowingly have become reliant on their trainees. I respect the hustler’s choice. I hope he/she doesn’t get squished by one of the vehicles travelling much too fast in our school zone.

It occurred to me upon sipping my third drink, I could really use more days like this. This prompted a revised want ad stolen from my book.

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WANTED: A good woman.

  • This old dog is tired and in need of a porch to sleep on.
  • Please send photo of your porch.
  • Applicants with a wrap-around-porch will automatically advance to the next round.
  • A porch swing will score bonus points.
  • If you have both a wrap-around-porch and a boat, you are gold. Please send photo of the boat as well.
  • If your porch overlooks a unicorn ranch, it is important you include this information.

Dinner Update: One part is burnt, and one part is still frozen. Balance is key.

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On to the airplanes-you can’t help but notice them while you are positioned to be face-first into the setting sun in the West, which coincidentally, is also where our airports are, relative to where I live. There are fast-movers, a.k.a. military stuff, at serious altitudes leaving twin contrails. Those are our F-18s. I did however see a fast-mover with a single contrail; I hope we didn’t buy one of those piece of sh*t single engine F-35s.

FYI: The texture of my chicken patties can be best equated with cutting cardboard with your standard cutlery. And again, I don’t care. Two hours of direct sunlight and four cocktails will do that to a person.

My man-bun-daddy neighbor with way too many health issues for his age and I just talked about using some of our more useless neighbors as food when the apocalypse comes. I suggested a barbecue sauce.

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What are the passers-by thinking as they acknowledge my smile, nod, or wave as I sit in my lawn chair basking in the sun? Are they jealous of my leisure time inactivity, or do they think I am hurting property values in the neighborhood? At the moment, I can confidently state I don’t give a flying f*ck about what others think.

One neighbor who regularly parks her car in front of my house chatted about her court day with our street’s bandit parking cop, and how she was kayaking on a river today. She does lead an interesting life.

autumn-beautiful-blur-658945I chatted briefly with my hot neighbor about how confusing this time of year was for her when it came to choosing what to wear. She was in sandals and a sweater coat. I suggested she remove the coat.

I saw some kids playing road hockey while armed with squirt guns. I guess I didn’t get that memo.

Birds chirping; the sounds of motorcycles and children at play; and the guy with saws. Dude, give it a f*cking rest already.

I thought up a killer book idea, but I’ve thought that before . . .

Much can happen in two hours if you go outside to figuratively stop and smell the flowers.

I admit I have been neglecting this blog, but sh*t happens. My Ms. Creant site blog has kept me busy with a ten-ish part series on the book publishing game. If you are a soon-to-be-published author not picked up by the big 5, you would be well-advised to tune in.

It’s now 10:30 p.m. and my nightcap is almost gone.

Ever notice how I only use contractions when I’m drinking?

Talk soon.

Radical Christian extremists are active in my neighborhood—A Christmas Story

I just witnessed an act of Christian terrorism on my street.

While many of us were erecting ladders to put up Christmas lights, others had even more politically incorrect intentions.

A woman with her three girls from a few doors down, just skulked passed my house carrying a large standup carboard cutout of Jesus which they covertly placed in front of another neighbor’s house, a few doors up the street from where I live. I am guessing this mom is an artist, and the girls all participated in this craft project. I do not know either of these neighbors, but I grinned as the perpetrators ran by in a full retreat. A short while later, the terrorist leader mom walked by again to take a picture of their evil-doings; presumably to be used in a propaganda victory speech which would undoubtedly be posted on their radical facebook page tagging the victims. As she returned from her photo recon bomb damage assessment mission, she commented to me, rather matter of factly, “He hates religion.”, to which I replied, “Oh my.”, still wearing my amused grin but laughing hysterically on the inside as this woman had no idea who she was talking to. To me, this Sunday was quickly becoming more entertaining than any of the ones spent in the hundreds of Houses of Worship I have visited in my travels. It would not take long before a woman, who I presume is the wife of the aforementioned “He”, would walk by looking a little embarrassed as she carryied the big Jesus back to the terrorist’s encampment. I suspect this was just a good-natured prank among neighbors as big Jesus was leaned carefully against a tree in the yard of the terrorist’s command and control bunker, and no hostile words were uttered or shots fired as she departed.

This is how battles of religious ideologies should be waged.

We must now look at the victim of this atrocity who was targeted by these extremists because “He” believes differently. “He”, who apparently “hates religion”, could be an atheist, and if this is the case, we should be respectful of his choice of belief system. But what if “He” is not an atheist? What if “He” is like me? What if “He” has come to despise most religions as I have, because they have corrupted the messages of God and their various prophets in order to amass wealth and power—often promoting division, hate, the subjugation of women, and even violence. Am I next? How long before I can expect big Jesus in my garden? I  think it’s time to pick a religion just to be on the safe side.

So. let’s see what comes up when I google: What religion should I follow? Oh look, Belief-O-Match; they should be able to tell me. After taking their quiz, they decided I am a Seventh-day Adventist? I don’t know this one. Let’s find out what they are all about.

https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/9-things-you-should-know-about-seventh-day-adventism/

Oh, I don’t think so.

Not even close. So much for Belief-O-Magic.

Back to the drawing board. I will eliminate all religions with significant wealth that don’t spend most of it to feed starving children. Let’s see what google has to say.

https://www.therichest.com/rich-list/world/the-10-richest-religions-in-the-world/

Well that really shortens the list of possibilities.

Let’s try googling the most charitable religions. It is interesting that this search netted little of substance; just a few articles about do-gooders, putting Muslims, Agnostics, and Buddhists well in the lead. You would think that some of the other major religions would step up and single-handedly save a famished nation just for the bragging rights, but none do or have.

Although I could probably squeeze my beliefs into the Agnostic box, as a historian, I feel as though I should be able to find something—and I did—but unfortunately it is in decline with just 190,000 followers left. Maybe it is not about the popularity.

Zoroastrianism worships a single deity: Ahura, The Lord Creator, and The Supremely Wise. This religion predates most all of the best known prophets with its roots going back to 2000 BCE. (I like that.) It has no major theological divisions. (I like that.) In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to: “Be among those who renew the world; to make the world progress towards perfection”. (I like that.)

Its basic maxims include:

  • “Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta,” which means: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. (I like it.)
  • “There is only one path and that is the path of Truth.” (I like it.)
  • “Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, and then all beneficial rewards will come to you also.” (I like it.)

I am now a religious man, safe from big Jesus.

I am a Zoroastrianist . . . I think.

I have much reading to do, and perhaps I should check my terminologies while I am at it, before telling everyone. Once I have confirmed that Zoroastrianist is actually a word, I’m going to go tell the neighbor up the street—maybe he is one too, and just doesn’t know it yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zoroastrianism

 

This is it for a while.

To everyone, regardless of your philosophies, faiths, beliefs, and indoctrinations, I hope you all enjoy a safe and happy Holiday Season.

Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta.

I like it.

😀

What Really Went Down In The Garden Of Eden?

Really?

I have to do this in the 21rst century?

Fine.

WARNING: This blog is not suitable for religious fanatics nor is it for people who do not understand and appreciate satirical witticisms.

Over 2000 YEARS have passed since the death of Christ. Had humans learned anything from his words and life, I would not have to put a warning label on a blog that was written to entertain. However, there are a great many people in the world who cling to dogmatic religious beliefs without questioning the author, translator and presenter of their chosen book of faith. That is their right. Hopefully these people are GOD fearing and do good deeds in order to have a nice afterlife. Religion is arguably better than substance abuse for escapists. Acts of religious terrorism aside, you never hear about a person drunk on religious fervour crashing into a school bus full of kids.

I have a private spiritual side to my being.

It need not be discussed.

I do not require you to believe as I do in order for you to be one of my readers.

Anyone who has read anything I have written knows I embrace satire. It is what I do. I seek to see humour and spread laughter wherever possible, and I understand not everyone gets the joke. Just the other day a neighbour down the street had an underground water pipe burst that was bubbling to the surface. I teased her by saying she had her lawnmower set too low and I was going to have to tell the owner. She did not get it. I had to explain it to her.

satire   noun   1: ridicule, irony or sarcasm in speech or writing.

I am totally throwing this out there based on distant memories from my childhood Sunday school classes. I will not fact check this ridiculous story, so if it is misquoted, SO BE IT!

“So let it be written. So let it be done.”

. . .

In the beginning GOD created the heavens and the Earth and they were good.

Next, HE created man in his own image.

After six of HIS days of hard work, HE took a day off. HE deserved it.

It does appear men were here first. We also presume men lived a very long time—nearly immortal—living pain-free in the Garden’s disease-free environment where entropy was somehow slowed way down or switched off.

So what would the life of a man be like in such Utopian conditions?

For sure there would be gambling, scotch, and cigars. The things between our legs were just used for drainage. Men would gather to play cards, drink whiskey, and smoke each evening after a day of eating a nearly vegetarian, if not vegan, diet of everything one could want; EXCEPT APPLES! We were told not to touch those, and we were good with the rules as back then, as when we talked to GOD, HE answered us. Who knows, maybe HE sat in on poker night occasionally on HIS day off. I am not certain if fish and bread were on the menu yet. Smoking and drinking did not hurt us back then.

Years—perhaps even centuries—passed this way, and we created all the various art forms and practised the ones THE MAKER had intended for us. HE enjoyed our finished works, but as time continued to roll on, you could see HE was getting bored with us. HE would not pop in as often and did not get as excited about our works as HE once did. Perhaps HE thought we would grow faster as a species and was disappointed with our progress.

We men are not as oblivious to the feelings of others as some may think.

We were concerned about this development and called a general meeting to get some ideas as to how we might shake things up for HIM. HE was a cool guy who was really smart. HE could answer any question, and we wanted HIM around.

Here was our problem at this point in history:

  1. The sculptors had sculpted everything in The Garden.
  2. The builders had built everything imaginable with the materials available in The Garden.
  3. The artists had painted everything in The Garden.
  4. The musicians had created every note and played every combination of notes.
  5. The writers had written every story of life in The Garden.

We were stumped. Not a single guy at the meeting could come up with something truly new and exciting. What would happen next would change all that. It is not clear if HE had a divine hand in these events or if they happened when HE was not paying attention.

The Adam’s rib story just does not hold water, but it is a great rib joint. The talking serpent is a little far-fetched too.

This is what may have really happened:

One day, a large flying craft that was not a bird, landed in The Garden. It was made of something not found in The Garden. We were all very curious as this NEW THING could be the answer to our concerns. Men from all over The Garden gathered to view this new thing and apply their talents to the inspiration it offered us.

After only a short time, a door opened and out came beings similar to us, but different.

They called themselves women, and explained they had come to The Garden from the neighbouring planet of Venus. They were prettier than us. They smelled better than us, and for reasons I cannot explain, suddenly we were more interested in them than poker night or our artistic pursuits.

Note to self: Ask GOD what a planet is?

The only concern we had was they came from OUTSIDE of The Garden, but so did GOD and HE was cool. They showed us many new and wonderful things. Especially nice was another thing to do with the stuff between our legs. Now our dangly parts would actually point to them, like some kind of direction-finder. They made us feel very good; even better than before.

They asked us about the apples and could not understand why we would not touch them. They were not afraid of GOD and did not seem to know HIM. They ate the apples and nothing bad happened when they did. They talked most of us into eating them too.

For some reason these women were able to get us to do just about anything they desired.

Note to self: Ask GOD why we wish to please women like we once tried to please HIM?

The answer to that one came to me all by myself. Women were easier to please than HE is, and they stick around.  They liked our works, and everything about us was new to them. They were excited by us—not bored; at least not yet.

GOD eventually stuck HIS head in, appearing tired from building universes—whatever they were—and looking to unwind with the boys, but some of our poker buddies did not show up. GOD asked why, and we told HIM all about the women and the apple tree, and I asked HIM what planets and universes were. HE stood up, and with a wave of HIS hand, threw the poker table across the room and left without answering my question.

This was upsetting to those of us who were there. We had never seen HIM angry before. We figured HE would eventually cool down and come back; after all we had been buds for centuries—whatever centuries are.

BOY, WERE WE WRONG!

HE came back as mad as ever and booted us out of The Garden. HE used a new word that day as he watched us go forth to multiply. In what sounded like a warning, these were HIS final words to us as we left:

“Be careful of MANipulation my little brothers.”

We did not know what HE meant, and we had no one to ask except the women. At least HE let us keep them.

So here is how things have gone for men ever since:

  1. We age and die way faster now.
  2. GOD has not visited since.
  3. He may be listening, but he never answers anymore.
  4. We miss him.
  5. Women can make us feel good for a short time, but we used to feel good ALL THE TIME in The Garden.
  6. We have defined the word manipulation, but we still do not see it until it is too late.
  7. We kill our fellow man now. That never used to happen. Men do this often in the name of GOD, but we know HE never wanted this.
  8. We have gone forth and multiplied so much that the planet will soon be at risk, but at least we have figured out what planets and universes are.
  9. We get drunker now than when we were in The Garden, and now we get hangovers.
  10. Scotch and cigars can kill us now, but we continue to use them.

Here is the conspiracy theory version of events:

  1. Women have been in on it from the beginning.
  2. Their arrival is nothing more than a carefully conceived plan to conquer the planet SO SLOWLY we do not notice how things are changing century to century.
  3. They got us thrown out of paradise.
  4. They have always been able to MANipulate us with sex.
  5. Initially, they followed most of our wishes.
  6. Later, they would become educated and not do as much for us.
  7. They started to get jobs and earn their own money, and did even less for us.
  8. After that, they would get to vote and did even less for us.
  9. Later they would hold public office and lead countries, and use that as a reason to do even less for us.
  10. Now they are CEO’s telling men what to do, both at work and at home.
  11. Many men are now staying at home to raise the children; a job that was once exclusively their thing.
  12. Men are no longer running everything.
  13. Soon, as women become even more powerful, they may keep the male children from attending school and making money.
  14. At that point in the not too distant future, women will have completely conquered the planet, and men will be just the workforce of the female dominated globe.

GOD help us.

We know we are a constant source of disappointment to GOD, but the worst thing is many of us no longer care.

It seems, just as with HIM, we are now a constant source of disappointment to women now as well. We try very hard, but it is never enough. Could it be that women thought we men would grow faster than we are, and they too have become disappointed with our progress?

Why does everyone seem to want more from us?

Perhaps we should call another general meeting.

It seems new things can be our undoing.

. . .

My ridiculous version of events aside, a belief system of some kind is a necessary component of good overall health.  You do not have to believe broken telephone STORIES PASSED DOWN VERBALLY FOR GENERATIONS before WRITERS applied their take on them—much as I just did. You do not have to buy in to the INTERPRETATIONS OF THE TRANSLATORS who assembled a collection of stories. If we have learned anything in the last 5000 years . . . it is not wise to put your faith in EDITORS who did, or do, the bidding of Royalty or Religious Leaders because such people usually have an ungodly agenda.

Have a good week and go to a House of Worship IF IT MAKES YOU FEEL BETTER. That is why we still have them. Pray for my ruination if it helps, but don’t allow yourself to be MANipulated into giving them money you cannot afford.

If you are not into the above, make art. It is the only thing we have left to remind us of our time in paradise.

 

Unraveling The Mysteries Of The Universe

What if the great mysteries are not as difficult as we are led to believe?

What if the flip-flop is the key to everything?

Physicists are directed by mathematics which seemingly contain a logical consistency within the formulae.  They then attempt to prove their theoretical ideas. Lately, they have had some successes.

But what if the sciences are just a racket?

For the last 5500 years since Mesopotamia, the most brilliant minds pitched the wealthiest people around, usually kings and religious leaders, and played on their FEARS; promising them answers to impossible questions in return for MONEY.

We call this the grant system today.

Paranoid governments fear the other inhabitants of Earth and will pay anything to the person who can offer SECURITY. I guaranty if you can show you are close to being able to put an energy shield over the USA, you will quickly have incredible amounts of money raining down on your head.

What if THE ANSWERS TO EVERYTHING hinge on just one answer in a different discipline, and what if almost nobody is studying that area?

I believe ALL THE MYSTERIES OF THE UNIVERSE will be unlocked the day we understand why women need SO MANY shoes.

It is summer, and with this season comes the clicking of flip-flops. A young girl who could actually run in hers inspired this writer to attempt to motivate the scientific community to make a serious study of this bizarre phenomenon.

Early man learned that foot protection meant he could hunt and gather in places where others feared injury. He could walk on jagged rocks, and fish in coral shallows just by wrapping his feet in the skins of the animals he hunted.

He learned successful hunting strategies:

  • Hunting by stealth meant blending in and not standing out.
  • Sneaking up on your prey meant being quiet.

Women were probably once equal to their mates thousands of years ago when humans were migrating to warmer climates following their food supply. They most likely went hunting and gathering with their mate for mutual advantage. Simply, a pair could hunt better than an individual.

Inequality and glass ceilings did not exist in this period of human history.

That would all come later.

This is the prehistorical life of Oog.

(This is also about how some academics spin a tale; often on the flimsiest early evidence.)

In most cases, the men of the time did notice that their mate could not lift as big a stone as they could. There were other differences too. The biggest being that for about three moons, after three seasons together, her belly swelled causing her to not want to travel or hunt until she produced a new little hunter. These new hunters were too noisy to take hunting until many moons had passed.

On some hunting trips, Oog would also notice his hunting partner was looking for prey where he would not think to look. She would stop to smell the prey often near brightly coloured flowers. She would stop and watch brightly coloured flying insects to learn their secrets. She would stop and listen to noises made by a brightly coloured bird. Oog knew SHE WAS INDEED IN TOUCH WITH POWERFUL MAGIC which was beyond his understanding.

Oog would hunt alone most of the time now, and was not travelling as far as they once did prior to the little hunters. He would arrive back at the cave to find that his hunting partner had been busy. There were hides covering the ground in the cave and she would make him take off his foot-wrappings before he could walk on them—especially when it had been raining. She had brought the brightly coloured flowers into the cave to attract prey so that Oog would not have to travel so far to find food. SHE WAS WISE so he complied with her wishes.

One particular day in Oog’s memory, he returned to the cave to find his hunting partner wearing something other than foot-wrappings on her feet. She had scraped fallen tree branches on rocks until she had made two small wooden planks the size of her feet. Then she had taken the tip of her spear and spun it until she had made two holes in each plank. Finally she tied strips of hide through the holes creating a loop that was just big enough for her big toe. As she walked they slapped the bottom of her feet and made a clacking sound that was surely designed to ward off dangerous animals. Why else would she have gone to all this trouble? With the top of her feet exposed they were not warm, but now she could walk over the sharpest coral for hours without cutting through the new foot protectors. Oog decided this was why she did it, and IT WAS A GOOD THING.

A short time later, she had applied the juices of a plant to her wooden foot protectors making them brightly coloured so her feet would be camouflaged when she hunted in the fields of flowers she spent so much time in. Oog thought he must be the most fortunate hunter of all time to have a hunting partner AS SMART AS HIS. He asked her to make him a pair.

Some moons later she presented him with a set of his own. He put them on and immediately noticed that stepping on a small stone no longer hurt his foot. He squeezed her affectionately as SHE OBVIOUSLY CARED SO MUCH ABOUT HIM that she was trying to take his pain away.

He could not wait to go hunting with them on his feet.

At the earliest light, Oog put on his footwear and attempted to run after the prey in the flowery field. After only his second stride, the wooden plank of his right foot caught a tree root which tripped him up and caused him to fall hard to the ground.

His big toe was bleeding.

Undaunted, and shaking off the pain in his big toe, Oog began to stalk the prey much more slowly being careful not to make the clacking sound associated with his new foot protection. He sneaked up on many prey birds that day, and had the most successful hunt ever. His amazing hunting partner had forced him to become a stealthier hunter, and it had worked. Oog was beaming with pride in his hunt, and IN HIS SELECTION OF A SUCH AN AMAZING MATE. It was at that instant a sabre-toothed tiger attacked and killed him. It seems the killer cat had been following the blood trail from his injured big toe.

Oog was the first FLIP-FLOP FATALITY.

Oog’s widowed hunting partner would soon find another mate to wear the flip-flops, named Ugg. He would later die at the base of a cliff after losing his footing on some loose stones and falling to his death.

Years later, some tribesmen in a hunting party would stumble across Ugg’s skeletonized remains and remove his unusual footwear. The flip-flops were well-preserved by the colour applied to the wood. The hunting party, upon returning to the village, would present them to their tribal chief who would wear them proudly. His warriors would have their mates make them some as well, to emulate and honour their great chief.

They began to lose many battles after that, and they knew not why. Eventually, all the warriors were gone and the victors took the women of the village as slaves and mates. These women knew how to make flip-flops, and they did not like their conquerors.

Skip ahead 40,000 years to our modern times.

The flip-flop is still with us.

Women continue to love them, and some men still attempt to use them—especially now that they come with bottle openers built into their soles.

The flip-flop related fatalities continue as well.

Today, thanks to fashion magazines, yearly changes to seasonal colours drive up the quantity of flip-flops you will find stored throughout your house. Your mate will tell you some needed replacing because of wear while others were needed to keep up with colour trends, but the collection can grow by as much as ten pairs per year and rarely are any parted with.

Similarly, flats, pumps, runners, boots, and the close relative to the flip-flop: the sandal, all apparently require the same upgrading and storage process to await their eventual return to fashionability.

Statistics indicate the average woman owns 21 pairs of footwear. I guess I know above average women. A study also shows women also usually own 9 pairs of shoes that were purchased for a singular occasion, and these too must be stored for years as a keepsake to remember the event.

From the data collected we can establish the following:

Formula

As this equation clearly indicates, women’s shoes will grow exponentially until they consume the planet, our solar system, our galaxy and finally our universe.

We must stop this threat.

Do not let yourselves be fooled gentlemen; women have been in on it from the beginning.

My book talks of relationships, health, life, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, genetics—even physics, as well as HOW WOMEN CAN BE YOUR UNDOING.

Have a good flip-flop-free week.

P. S.

I have absolutely no idea if the formula says anything at all, but would it not be amazing if in the moment I was writing this the universe spoke to me. I just took a Fourier equation and plugged in the numbers 21 and 9 and then added a well known sorority.

I am salmon. Hear me gurgle? Part 1

What if awareness and obliviousness are related?

What if the oblivious automatons were created with a subconscious awareness that life in a bubble is infinitely happier? This would explain why it is so difficult to pull them outside of their happy place.

Why do I persist in swimming against the current?

Did I chose the wrong electives in the human trait lineups prior to being born?

There are some words I recently posted on my Facebook page as a reminder to myself that I am obviously not as wise as I would like to think.

“God, grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can and the WISDOM to know the difference.”

Known by some as “The Serenity Prayer”, these wonderful words were written by a theologian named Reinhold Niebuhr.

This brings me to my first problem.

I CANNOT ACCEPT I CANNOT CHANGE THINGS!

Nothing remains the same. Change is a part of nature. Evolution and entropy prove this. Everything is in a state of change; except it seems . . . us.

Being aware sucks!

In my next life I am shooting for oblivious because it looks as though all the bubble-dwelling ostriches seem much happier than I am. My personal hell was created partially by my choices and partially by genetics. The choice part is I maintain perpetual hope for humanity. As such, I have EXPECTATIONS for humans which are almost never met, and still I continue to fight the good fight”. I do not know why. It is my nature. Someone once said, and it may have been me:

“If you do not have ANY expectations, then people cannot let you down.”

I believe the underlying message here is you must be self-reliant, self-assured, self-aware etc. These are good “self” words—not on the same list with self-obsessed, self-serving, or self-indulgent.

This brings me to my next problem: I do not believe one individual can change the world; it will take a massive team effort which will force us to EXPECT things from others once again.

It is a paradox.

Humanity as we know it cannot survive without an unprecedented level of cooperation from its fractured and divided membership.

I was born with the ability to learn and retain both useful knowledge and the ridiculously trivial. A short time ago, I was in my car with a friend talking about The Monkeys song I’m a Believer when to my amazement, I discovered I could remember the names of all four members of the band and the instruments they played after more than forty years. This from a middle-aged guy who regularly walks into a room and does not remember what prompted him to be there. I am inquisitive by nature, endlessly asking questions and thirsting for knowledge without, it seems, any control over what will be stored in permanent memory. The human brain is fascinating.

“Youth is wasted on the young.”

School was too easy for me. I found it incredibly boring so I rarely went; yet somehow I managed to just scrape through. My sister by comparison, worked incredibly hard for her average grades, and I could not understand why she found learning difficult. It seems that as intellectually capable as I was, I was not that AWARE. I ASSUMED every human had it as easy as I did. This is yet another character flaw I would carry throughout my young life.

In my teens and early twenties I lived to party. Sex, drugs, alcohol, and Rock & Roll music were my regular escape from reality—a reality I am all too aware of now. I was oblivious but happy.

At twenty-five, I had to clean up my act, cut my hair, and put on a business suit to work with many people who were consummate professionals, and who, on the surface at least, appeared to be my intellectual equals. Almost all had a University degree of some kind so I LEAPT TO THE CONCLUSION they were intelligent people. I did however begin to notice how they frequently “dropped the ball through, what I ASSUMED was, inefficiency, a lack of vision, planning, and/or organization. I could see patterns emerging that would lead to problems for them both professionally and personally, but for some reason they did not seem to see these indicators until things reached the crisis point.

I recalled a physics law which states:

“For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

I was applying this to the humans I met. They would take action without considering the possible outcomes. This is where I became conscious of the fact I had inadvertently become an  student of human nature. I began in earnest to study people while hitting the books to learn about human behavior.

Pre-destination?

In no time, I was becoming keenly aware of the actions and reactions of others while remaining completely and happily OBLIVIOUS that I too had a subconscious program running. I would remain this way until my early forties when I would finally get around an exploration of self where I discovered I had PATTERNS of my own.

The various academic disciplines all have different view-points about how our being is developed. Psychologists and sociologists believe, initially, we are a blank slate and we learn our behavioural patterns as we mature. Geneticists and the brain sciences see us as little more than the sum of our genetic and chemical health. Theologians believe a soul is placed in a human body by a deity. Spiritualists believe we are part of something bigger, a “cosmic being” if you will. Not one of these disciplines has unlocked the truth of the human mind, and some have been at it for hundreds of years. The truth is most likely an amalgam of all of them.

The CONSEQUENCES of my own actions allowed me to write a book and change career paths in mid-life. “The jury is still out” as to whether or not that brave move was a good idea. Did I lead my life according to a plan programmed into my being just so I would arrive at this point—to supply the world with a book encouraging readers to become more aware? I hope not as this makes me feel used, manipulated, and diminished—little more than a character in a “SIM” game—just entertainment for some advanced intelligence, the universe, or whatever.

Reincarnation and or karma:

Somewhere along the line, and I know not where, I picked up a personal philosophy I will share.

We are here to learn lessons, and we will continue to return to this existence until we learn those lessons.

I have had many precognitive events in my life to date suggesting:

1) I have lived these events before.

2) I have a some kind of disorder encouraging me to believe I have seen these events in advance.

3) I have subconsciously imagined ALL the possible outcomes of my actions, and when in a semi-conscious state, I occasionally glimpse a few of them. Later my conscious mind interprets this as actual memories.

I am good with 1 or 3.

Blogus interruptus . . . continued next week.

Have a good week and be brave enough to take notice of something going on in the world around you.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 2

This is part 2 of my first written rant about Canada and politics from 1991 addressed to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future.

“Talk about job creation; Batman!”

Recycling:

Currently, we can recycle aluminum, some plastics, glass, news-print, and corrugated cardboard.

________ Draw a light-bulb in the space provided.

We can create and manage STORAGE SITES for Styrofoam, rubber, used petroleum products, paper products and plastics that cannot be broken down with our existing facilities. These products are still in abundance in our land-fills, and most unfortunately, in our lakes, streams and oceans.

“YOU HAVE TO SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY!”

Spend $25,000,000.00 (I wonder where that number came from?) {Ed. note: The cost of the Spicer Commission.} on the plan below, and no Canadian with a conscience will object to spending that amount or even more, every year from now on.

1) There will be A NEED FOR neighborhood containers for all the above mentioned recyclables with sections to allow the public to do the sorting- enabling more efficient collection.

2) True or false? Municipalities will more readily welcome a RECYCLABLES STORAGE FACILITY far more quickly than a landfill.

3) DEVELOP the recycling TECHNOLOGIES right here in Canada for those materials that are not easily broken down with our existing technology.

4) When new processing methods have proven themselves, BUILD the FACILITIES in various municipalities, districts etc. as large as necessary based on the recyclables produced in that area now, and in the years to come.

5) TRAIN people to operate these waste management plants. Many people, who are on UIC because of plant closures, may be well-suited to these new jobs.

6) Once the system has proven it is efficient, we could OFFER to take sorted recyclables from other countries that are DESPERATE enough to rid themselves of waste any way they can. Ocean dumping is popular among these countries.

7) SELL the recycled RAW MATERIALS to the highest bidder.

8) SELL the system to other countries as we would sell high technology or nuclear power. Unlike nuclear power stations, recycling plants cannot melt down.

Word Scramble:

Take all the upper-case words above and write them down.

Reads like business doesn’t it?

How the jobs are created:

1) Local plastics, fibre-glass and metal fabrication companies can BID for the work of making the collection and sorting containers.

2) Universities and laboratories looking for FUNDING could develop the processes needed to break down what we currently consider non-recyclables.

3) Building trades from architects to painters would be needed in the CREATION of these new plants.

4) Manufacturing people, laid off as a result of companies closing or moving, can be RETRAINED to collect, process, and manage these recyclables in the new facilities.

5) Trucking would be needed to bring recyclables from the USA if a DEAL can be struck.

6) Canada can hire out consultants to countries that are PURCHASING our new waste management systems.

Now was that so difficult?

{The governments set themselves up as “watch-dogs” for ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION rather than getting their hands dirty. Everything to do with waste management has been PRIVATIZED where it cannot be easily REGULATED.  The government sells LICENSES to a handful of firms. The biggest of which is an American company worth 30 billion dollars. They missed a huge OPPORTUNITY, and continue to spend money South of the border. When did we decide governments must be a COSTLY enterprise rather than a PROFIT generator? I must have missed that referendum.}

Education and Who is Alvin Tofler?

With few exceptions, the majority of our current educational system in Canada was designed in a post-world-war era to supply people for manufacturing jobs in a budding “industrial revolution”. Like the “agricultural revolution” before it, the “industrial revolution” has run its course. Due to our lack of DECISION MAKING, (more on this later) or outright laziness, we have allowed the Japanese and Germans to take over high-technology markets that could be dominated by Canadians. If you do not believe me, check their money against ours on world markets.

It is not too late. We are now in the early stages of a TECHNOLOGY BASED society and must NOW strive to NOT take a classroom filled with potential, and prime our youth for industrial jobs. The fact that many plants are leaving Canada for “greener pastures” in the USA and Mexico soon eh, {Free Trade reference.} could prove to be only a minor setback if we start exploring the INDIVIDUAL TALENTS of all young Canadians NOW! It is time we tapped Canada’s greatest resource: our youth, and STOP THE EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTION LINE that is our present school system.

Example:

Imagine if Wayne Gretski was raised in India, his talents would most certainly have gone un-noticed.

Those people in charge of developing a better educational system for Canada, (Are there such people?) should read Alvin Tofler the author of Future Shock and The Third Wave, available at enlightened book stores everywhere. No, we are not related. However, I stole most of my ideas for this section from him. Thanks Alvin.

{Well, change is slow. Today Canada’s high school kids rank in the top ten in the world. Not bad, but never above sixth in any one subject. We can do better. Also, there is NO SIGN WHATSOEVER we are working towards a system that IDENTIFIES APTITUDES at a young age. Most of our young people head into their post-secondary education without a clue as to what they truly want to be doing in the near future, nor do they know where their gifts and passions lie. Canada has embraced the high-technology sector which has helped the economy a little as we continue to wave goodbye to manufacturers.}

The Little Country that Could!

Part A: Foreign Policy

There is no time like the present to strengthen the U.N. so “super-powers” are not calling ALL the shots. The majority of nations COLLECTIVELY should be able to “police” conflicts anywhere in the world.

Problem 1:

The quote-unquote “super-powers” are some of the worst AGGRESSORS in the world, yet they are the countries with the power of VETO in the United Nations.

Problem 2:

Canada must stand on its own two feet and NOT blindly follow US policy and initiatives. If memory serves correctly, we used to do fine without the US holding our hand. However, since the Free Trade deal, they seem to be able to “pull strings”. WHY IS THIS?

Problem 3:

If Canada is going to survive—literally—we MUST NOT follow the US policy in the Middle East because we have ALREADY SEEN their foreign policy is governed ONLY by a multi-billion dollar “defense” (“offense” more correctly) industry that will sell arms to the highest bidder with little regard for how they will be used.

It is my feeling Canada acted correctly in the FIRST PHASE of the Mid-East war, but it is “not over ‘til it’s over.” DON’T KID YOURSELF, WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK AGAIN.

That region of our world is so volatile, and the policy to deal with it so wishy-washy, we haven’t heard the last from the Middle East. I recall Israel telling the world that “they reserved the right to strike back at Iraq” after the first SCUD attacks. Is the war over for the Palestinians? I think not.

Why didn’t “The New World Order” do anything about:

  • Syria invading Lebannon?
  • Turkey invading Cyprus?
  • Tienamin Square in China?
  • Russia invading Afghanistan?
  • The US invading Panama or Guiana?

Perhaps the “peace-nicks” were not so wrong when they said THE WAR WAS ABOUT OIL.

The Persian Gulf war propaganda machine made a big deal of the oil slicks in the Gulf, but I don’t see anyone stopping the US from dumping garbage into “their part” of the World’s oceans for countless decades.

“What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.” should be the new policy of the UN and perhaps Canada can play a constructive part in bringing this about.

Part B: On the Home Front

Problem 1:

“Tell you a secret.” PUT A STOP to “closed door” bargaining sessions on ANY topic that could dramatically affect Canada’s future. The Canadian public HAS THE RIGHT to be consulted on matters of VITAL importance to the country.

Problem 2:

“I’ll scratch your back if you will scratch mine.” Environmental Regulation CANNOT come from a GOVERNMENT APPOINTED OR RUN AGENCY. “Interference” is almost certain. The same is true of government audits, and just about ANYTHING that can be BENT to appear “rosy” at election time.

Yes, I could fill a book about the problems we and the world have; but who would read it?

{24 years later, I look prescient. The simple fact is that everyone in my age group felt the same way at the time. A girl I had dated took a copy of this to a writer friend at The Globe and Mail but was told “The paper would never run a piece like this.” She insisted this was exactly how young people felt, but it made no difference. We were young and naïve without any idea the news agencies we trusted were a part of a societal control and conditioning mechanism.

  • We wanted the UN to be a global government. We did not know who owned it.
  • We were tired of our spineless leaders doing the bidding of the US.
  • We hated US foreign policy; in the Middle East especially.
  • We knew the war was about oil.
  • We knew that Saddam was calling us cowards for stopping at the Iraqi border and that it was not over.
  • We saw secret deals, a.k.a. Bills, being put into law when the opposition party was not paying attention.
  • We saw that Environmental Regulation was corrupt.
  • We saw that politicians will say anything to get elected.

I wrote that book about the worlds’ problems, and I’m still wondering if anyone reads anything meaningful anymore.}

Government Leaders: A Definition

WIMPS too worried about losing their positions and the associated POWER that comes with those positions TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE.

Opinion: History favors people who make positive change over dictators, and yes, even Prime Ministers who used to talk to the dearly departed.

New Governmental Theme: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few {Ed. note: or the one.”}  – Milton I don’t know if there is a Milton, but the Star Trek episode where I first heard the name, was quite good. Two thumbs up, and yes, I will steal from anybody.

{I blew it on this one. The quote was incomplete and the author cited was wrong.  I was thinking this quote, made famous by Star Trek, was attributed to Milton when in fact it was Dickens. The upside is it is doubtful the readers at the Spicer Commission would know better. This is laughable in retrospect. At the time I wrote as though the P.M. might actually read it.}

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

The intent of all this nonsense was, and is, to draw attention to several areas of concern for Canadians. My attempts at humour through sarcasm are there in the hope more people will read my letter, thus making them aware of their own feelings towards Canada and what lay ahead in our future. My feeling is IF Canadians look at themselves lightly, and FAR LESS conservatively, without losing site of our goals and aspirations, then there IS hope for this country yet.

We should face the fact that the only times in history that a government has turned to its people for advice or opinion, have been in times of great difficulty.

{I am pretty sure this is the line used in a Mulroney televised address.}

The Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future should not be taken lightly as it sounds like a CRY FOR HELP. Our present government should be EXTREMELY CAREFUL to heed the words of Canadians, and should recall the story of The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I love our country; however, there are plenty of reasons for concern.

Formula:

Concern squared = Worry.

Worry squared = The need for a good gastrointestinal specialist.

To anyone who found this work offensive, insulting, or belittling . . . my apologies.

To the government leaders I slapped in the last section I can only say: PROVE ME WRONG, I’D LOVE IT!

D. T.

Of course I used an alias. Where does it say “stupid” on my forehead? I have no wish for sudden audits from Revenue Canada; or to be “black-listed” by the R.C.M.P. as a “commie pinko” sympathizer; or WORSE YET . . . they ask me to work for them.

{I believe it is the line above in bold type that later came out of Mulroney’s mouth on TV to my shock, horror, and amazement. That guy had never had an original thought in his life—a talking head—and hearing my words come out of his mouth made me feel like I had been shot in the stomach. My naivety and innocence were lost in that moment. It would open my eyes as to how bereft of intelligence our puppet world leaders really are. In point of fact, I believe I was careful not to give them a set of finger-prints as well. I was a silly naive youngster.}

24 YEARS LATER, I AM STILL CHALLENGING HUMANS TO DO BETTER.

Science Fiction writers give us a multitude of possible outcomes when we are finally confronted by superior beings from another planet, galaxy, dimension, or universe. If the last 2000 years are how humanity is to be judged, then it does bode well for us as a species. WE ARE NOT IMPROVING.

We are a terminally petty and manipulative species lacking forethought and conscience.

Despite our leaps in technology and minor improvements in civilization, we are little more than a plague on this planet, and it is time for a more worthy species to take our place.

I am rooting for dolphins.

The reason I no longer follow politics and current events is I have always been Utopian in my hopes for humanity. I am still trying to reach humans with a message of hope and change twenty-four years later, in a world that has lost hope and is resistant to change. You get tired of swimming against the current.

I hope you enjoyed this “blast from the past”. Go out and make a difference this week. Take a case of canned goods to the food bank, and then go get to know a dolphin.

 

Flashback To Naivety: Part 1

I had never been serious about writing before this, and my grades proved it.

In January 1991, the Canadian Government asked for my input. Well not me specifically, but all Canadians were invited to submit their ideas and concerns to The Spicer Commission: Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future. Only 400,000 of 20,000,000 did so. Since the 1950’s and Diefenbaker, Canadians have lost faith in government, seeing politics as pointless, corrupt, stupid, and wasteful. This explains why only 2% of the more NAIVE types, like me, participated. I genuinely thought they were trying to make the country better.

In 1991, you could cave in the skull of a mugger with your cell phone. NAFTA would not be ratified for two more years, and the internet would not be born for a few more months.

If you were wealthy, you had a home computer with a price tag of at least $3000.00. On-line dating did not exist.

WE WENT OUTSIDE.

Bars, restaurants, parties, laundry mats, shopping, and playing sports were how we met other people. The Gulf War had just ended. WE DID OUR FACT CHECKING AT THE LIBRARY actually seeing printed facts in BOOKS.

As a young bachelor, living in a Miami Vice inspired beach apartment in Toronto that all too often smelled like sewer gas, I sat down to write my ideas and vent my frustrations to this Spicer guy who claimed to be trying fix Canada on behalf of the Brian Mulroney government, or so I thought. In a previous article somewhere, I mentioned how the P. M. ’s speech writer had ripped me off, and I will bold that section for you, if I can remember it.

This was the first time in my life that words poured out of me faster than I could write them down.

Apparently, I had much to say about being Canadian and where the country was heading. I remember papers everywhere. The living room floor and furnishings were almost completely covered in notes, headings, sub-headings and rants. I did not have a typewriter or a home computer back then, so everything was hand-written.

Upon discovering this relic and giving it a read, I found that as a first time writer, I was “a little rough around the edges”; but I also found out my sarcastic humor has been with me longer than I thought. I sometimes have to work to be less serious these days because I have become jaded by the years, but back then it came more naturally. Now, I consider the potential ramifications of my words; however back in the day you got the “full Monte”. I may have been better then than now. You be the judge.

I AM NOT UPDATING THE BODY OF THIS REPORT. I am however, giving it a minor line-edit as I go, as it seems in my haste I did not pay much attention to punctuation and grammar. You will see it (in italics) more or less as I sent it, so many years ago.

WHAT IS TRULY FRIGHTENING IS A QUARTER OF A CENTURY HAS PASSED AND NOTHING OF CONSEQUENCE HAS CHANGED.

This is why I have no respect or use for government types, and why I am so sick of their lies, pandering, and self-serving nature. The idea of politicians being Public Servants is a joke. The public now serves them.

Politicians and government employees DO NOT appreciate that:

  • it is the tax-payers who employ them.
  • it is the tax-payers who own the country.
  • it is the tax-payers who own and build the country’s infrastructure.

Politicians and government employees are PUBLIC SERVANTS who need to remember:

  • they are only there because WE PAY.
  • their house of cards can be brought down if WE DO NOT PAY.

Spicer Commission

Citizen’s Forum on Canada’s Future

The Tuesday Report

Dear reader or is anyone in there?

Enclosed is a personal vision of Canada that encompasses past, present and future which originated in my heart and then was edited by my remaining grey matter.

I have taken great pains not to “candy-coat” my feelings, ideas, or observations while openly displaying contempt for non-productive government. This could pose a problem to closed-minded individuals or to a reader who believes in earnest that ANY government in this century has been truly effective at anything other than riot control.

Though I have many more topics I could have addressed; consider the ones found herein as the greatest hits. The underlying messages contained in the section headings to follow are intended to be positive in nature as I have endeavored to identify problems, solutions, and benefits in overview so as not to be considered “just another whiner”.

I must confess a few “cheap-shots” are taken in the interest of humour for which I will apologize later. People become more humorous in direct proportion to the money they DO NOT have.

A few late nights were spent on the pages to follow. It is my sincerest wish they not “fall on deaf ears” or become condensed so the fun is squeezed out of them or (horror of horrors) they find their way into your waste basket.

I wish you well in this open forum style of government.

May you enjoy reading these pages as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

Contents:

Canadian First: What a Concept.

Foolish Behaviour:

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Brain Dead.

“Talk about job creation, Batman!”

Education and who is Alvin Tofler?

The Little Country that Could:

Government Leaders: A Definition.

Closing Snide Remarks and Apologies:

 Canadian First: What a Concept.

Immigration and Multiculturalism

I cannot believe I am about to write this next sentence. Canada can learn from the American system of immigration. There I did it.

The American system, while allowing a person to maintain their religion, heritage, and customs, leaves little doubt of the fact that: where ever you came from YOU ARE AN AMERICAN NOW!

Most people of ethnic origin I encounter say they are Italian, Greek, Chinese, or from virtually any other place in the galaxy EXCEPT Canada. If Canada is to continue, we need to increase our level of national pride. The people who want to live in this country should feel a sense of pride in saying they are CANADIANS of Italian, Greek, Chinese, or Martian descent.

By creating a Canadian immigration system where incoming people are ORIENTED SUFFICIENTLY to allow them to LEAVE ANIMOSITIES BEHIND due to their partially severed ties with their former country or planet; we will have fewer race related problems when they settle in Canada.

The importance of immigrants KNOWING Canada’s history, our heritage, our direction for the future, and what part they are expected to play in that future, CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH. Once done, new Canadians will be able to live together HARMONIOUSLY in the years to come.

BE A CANADIAN FIRST.

It won’t hurt a bit.

{Well they did not listen to me on this one. We let “THE TAIL WAG THE DOG” and now we have a country full of people who take no pride in saying they are Canadian; if they even think to mention their citizenship at all. We have different sections of our cities for each “distinct society”. The new Canadians are pandered to by government people. Reverse racism is everywhere, and it is the predominant weapon of choice in our ridiculously politically correct tolerant society.}

Foolish Behaviour:

Quebec

The “Quebec Question” can be equated to looking for an answer to the question “WHY” or trying to find the last digit of Pi (π).

Here is a textbook example of what happens when a small group of people are not (and perhaps never were) Canadian FIRST.

Canadians of French descent are constantly coining the phrases “French Canada” and “English Canada”. They refer of course to the languages spoken predominantly however they leave out one small aspect: that being neither France nor England has anything “real” to do with our country or government any longer. Nor do I imagine they want anything to do with our country or government.

If a group of Canadian citizens living in the Canadian Province of Quebec want so desperately to be French; we should arrange for their ship to sail immediately. In France, home of the guillotine, guilty until proven innocent, and “Let them eat cake.”, I am certain these EX-PATRIOTS will find the life they so richly deserve.

This “Pandora’s Box” (of which I believe we have already broken the seal) can easily be compared to existing problems in the Soviet Union and the Middle East. For fun get a fifty or one-hundred year old map of the Middle East; you will not recognize very much.

Quebec has had countless millions of CANADIAN DOLLARS not French Francs dumped in its lap for years, and now some Quebecers decide they want a distinct society with or without sovereignty association.

Didn’t a war decide this once already?

It is time the rest of Canada explained to Quebec they have to PAY to acquire CANADIAN ASSETS as they have NO RIGHTS to the lands of Canada.

Enough about Quebec. . . what action do you suppose a STRONG GOVERNMENT would take if Native Canadians decided to reclaim their rightful lands and oust some newer Canadians doing it? Well that is another story; or is it?

{This was written prior to the Quebec referendum. “English Canada” was pissed off and we actually considered the possibility of a civil war. It is interesting I foretold the Native land claim issue though.}

Taxation: the Unemployed and the Military?

Consider: A Canadian citizen who drives a car, smokes cigarettes, is a social drinker, and earns less than $40,000.00 per annum (gross), pays in excess of 50% of his or her earnings in one form of tax or another.

Government Position: ridiculous, absurd, preposterous etc.

Check it out! IT IS TRUE.

The rich are still getting richer and the poor are still feeding the wealthy.

The people who work in the only busy departments of government: the tax section of Parliament Hill, should be tied to chairs and forced to watch Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version) until they scream.

The “well-to-do”, unfortunately, are the policy makers in Canada. The same people election after election talk of tax reform but inwardly know that fair taxes for all Canadians would mean the new Jaguar for the Mrs. would have to wait. We cannot have that now, can we?

A publicly APPOINTED group is needed for effective tax reform. Meaning other than the publicly ELECTED group now “addressing the situation”; if you get my drift.

STOP TREATING THE SYMPTOMS AND CURE THE DISEASE.

Formulae:

Work + Productivity = Good Economy

Inflation + Unemployment = Bad Economy

The unemployed are living comfortably on U.I.C. and Welfare to the tune of $40,000.00 for a family of four at a maximum. Why am I eeking out a living on my own?

What do you imagine would happen to the unemployment figures if it were to become law that: ANY able-bodied person without dependants under the age of forty be inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces after receiving the appropriate above mentioned benefits for a period not exceeding 120 days?

They could provide an inexpensive work-force, and learn a skill at the same time.

Another human resource that is costing incredible amounts every year, and is being wasted, is the convict guilty of non-violent crimes. These people, given a choice, may even prefer the C.A.F,. and may participate in road building or some other necessary project. God knows our roads need work.

The RECOVERED REVENUES should be allocated to the Canadian senior citizens who made this country what it is (or was) with their blood, sweat and tears—great cliché and great band. These people’s old age pensions would have them living near the poverty line. This, I find embarrassing as a Canadian.

Besides, if everyone is working, then even people on assistance and convicts cannot help but be productive which will net us a good economy; if my formula is correct,

“Out of the mouths of babes.”, oh never mind.

{This was too totalitarian for the weenies in power. My theory that being a “productive citizen” means you remain FREE to choose your destiny; while the “non-productive” types would lose their freedom, did not sit well in the weak government of the time. Today there are generations of welfare recipient families, criminals have far too many rights, our armed forces are under-manned, and our roads are still f-cked.}

Brain Dead.

G.S.T. and Canada’s Manufacturing Sector

IF the Goods and Services Tax is a necessary evil (and the jury is still out on that one), then why not take a lesson from any kind of sales professional who can readily overcome an objection. I objected to the G.S.T. and was overcome. Turn a negative into a positive (integers), and MAKE BUYING CANADIAN MANUFACTURED GOODS G.S.T. FREE.

When the tally was taken January 1, 1991: products from Japan, the USA and U.K. all had prices down 6% to 16% while Canadian built goods generally were HIGHER than their pre-G.S.T. price. Was the intent of the G.S.T. to STOP people from buying Canadian or was that what Free Trade was supposed to do?

Let us use our brains shall we. Work with me on this one.

Should a company wish to MANUFACTURE in our country (rare these days), EMPLOY CANADIANS and SELL their product in Canada; would it hurt to encourage them to STAY in Canada by making the purchase of their raw materials G.S.T. FREE?

If a wholesaler wants to SELL this CANADIAN MADE product across Canada, would it hurt to make his cost G.S.T. FREE?

When a retailer decides to MERCHANDISE this CANADIAN MADE product for SALE, would it not be an added incentive to make the retailers cost G.S.T. FREE?

Envision if you will, a consumer confronted with a product tag which read: “BUY CANADIAN AND SAVE: GST FREE!” Do you not think he or she might SHOP CANADIAN and quit spending millions across the border? This plan might even encourage consumer spending, which “I believe” has a positive effect on the economy.

I would like to thank my Basics of Economics & Marketing 101 instructor and the Academy.

{Well some credit is due, as there was a push created to “Shop Canadian”. However, the GST (now HST) was a nightmare for Canadian businesses to adapt to, and it created a taxation imbalance provincially. It did generate A SIX BILLION DOLLAR SURPLUS the government “LOST” somewhere, and I am not certain if they ever reported finding it.}

Blogus interruptus… to be continued.

 

 

 

 

The first signs of spring: an intoxicated tirade?

Drinks on the deck!

I just had a large two-fingered scotch on the deck today. The temperature was fifteen degrees Celsius or almost sixty degrees Fahrenheit at lake level with a bit of wind.

Thirty-eight words in and I have used spell-check twice and a dictionary once. This does not bode well for the rest. Undoubtedly, my first attempt at impaired blogging will be a challenge so we will see how it goes from here.

I remember many years ago making recordings in my recording studio when the band was impaired. We thought we had “rocked out”, but the taped evidence reviewed the following day proved otherwise.

I can hear kids in a playground not far away. I just saw my first chipmunk. There are song birds again. I just came back from a long walk, and am rewarding myself for some achievement not yet apparent or accomplished.

My day was mixed with both failure and success; having lost an important paying gig, but also having very few issues with my ever expanding network of social media addicts.

It was a null day.

My twelve year old liquid friend and I sat out there for some time… mostly listening. Kids and birds aside, I noticed an ever-present high pitched whine or ringing in my head. I have not been near anything loud for some time, so I am not sure of its source or cause. It could be the universe down-loading these ideas into my head.

There is a damnable kid on a dirt bike interfering with the sanctity of my happy hour.

I think I will pour another.

The air is heavy with ozone. It is a Thursday afternoon. I do not typically touch “the stuff” until Friday evenings, so what is the deal?

I have had two verifiable concussions in my life to date; perhaps that explains the ringing. Perhaps it is a brain tumor, or perhaps it is just the result of an elevated heart rate from the exercise mixed with alcohol. I really do not care.

My back pain which has been nagging at me all week has magically disappeared, temporarily at least.

A friend just dropped by on his ATV to swap a few stories about vehicles, their manufacturers, emissions, the government, and run-ins with the law. It was a nice diversion.

I just processed a thought: just 200 more words and I’ll have a blog post.

Do I really have some unspoken warped sense of responsibility to put out a minimum of 500 words each week to a group of people who do not really know me, in order to garner some form of favor with some publisher that has yet to make their presence known?

I am having trouble spelling words, or at the very least, typing them.

If TV and movie stars can get into hot water by tweeting when they are impaired, then why can we not allow a relatively unknown author to write a blog in the same condition?

Who is he hurting?

An appropriate answer would be: himself, his reputation, his professional credibility, and the impeccable reputations of all “Indie Authors” around the world.

I don’t think so.

We writers, as a very large group, do not get noticed because WE ARE ALL TRYING SO DESPERATELY TO CONFORM to some theoretical ideal of what a writer should be, in order to gain the interest and APPROVAL of an agent or a major publishing house that in all likelihood will never read this crap anyway.

At 575 words, I have done my duty. Now 577- now 579. FYI, it is impossible to publish an accurate word count while continuing to write.

We authors should be celebrating and promoting our individuality.

I assure you that you will get the attention of publishers as a non-conformist. Have a sharp edge. Have a style. Be bad. Be special. Be different. Be unique. Be noticed. Be a ROCK STAR! I have known several throughout my life and I assure you there was not a single ORDINARY thing about them.

I am sure this blog will get me on a list of sites which are NOT KID FRIENDLY, and some code writing dork will be more than happy to keep this away from the impressionable minds of our youth. So be it.

THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BAD PUBLICITY otherwise there would not be thousands of pictures of nude actresses on the internet that, “coincidentally”, are “leaked” just prior to their film release.

Hemingway, Joyce, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Poe, Williams, Chandler wrote under the influence fulltime and they still sold books, so I should be forgiven for my minor lapse. Besides, it could be worse, I could have followed in the footsteps of writers like: Cocteau who did Opium, King who did Cocaine, Dick who did Speed, Burroughs who did Heroine, Kerouac who did Benzedrine, Stevenson who did Cocaine, and Thompson who did Acid.

I would like to thank the unofficial sponsor of this blog: George & J. G. Smith Ltd. makers of The Glenlivet and other fine products.

I see an endorsement deal in my future.

 

What is it all about anyway?

After a ridiculous amount of rest I am back in the “writing chair” at 5:45 a.m. on a Monday morning. I was a couch potato yesterday afternoon and throughout the evening watching DVD’s.

Having a smoke out on the deck a few minutes ago, I thought about writing something on the need for global consciousness, but I think I need to be more awake for that.

Drinking my first cup of coffee and writing in a semi-conscious state, I wonder why I am so driven to be putting down still more words. You see, I am about a month ahead on my blogs and tweets so there is no real need for this.

Am I about to be run over by a beer truck?

Is this the universe’s way of making that moment more palatable? So when the end comes, I can say I have left behind some good words for all of mankind. But these are not those words. These are idle ramblings at best, I think. Or are they? Perhaps allowing your semi-conscious mind to spew words all over a page is therapeutic or beneficial in some way. I have no idea.

In actuality, I rarely drink beer anymore. That saying was from my youth. A more appropriate saying today would involve a single malt scotch truck or a fine bourbon truck, but they do not have the same impact and probably do not exist. Speaking of impact, I am almost certain a truck will be involved in my demise.

The universe has bigger things to deal with than one writer of millions, on a tiny planet of billions, in one galaxy of millions, in one universe of an indeterminate number existing in some of at least eleven dimensions. THERE IS THE REASON!

I feel small.

I fight to rise above the crowd and be noticed before I die. I would give my life meaning. Not that my life has been without meaning to this point, as I know I have had a mostly positive impact on those who have known me; but more like it still is not enough of a legacy.

O.C.D.?

What is the difference between a compulsion and being passionate and driven? There is probably a very fine line between the two where I tend to hover. I have previously admitted I have a touch of O. C. D. Occasionally, I catch myself counting steps as I walk. I do try to keep a semblance of order in an otherwise chaotic life. For me, there IS a correct arrangement of, and place for things, and that is okay.

For me O. C. D. has a different meaning:

O. C. D. acronym- Obsessive COMPLETION Disorder.

“Finish one thing before starting another!” are a few of my father’s words that actually stuck. I am a completion addict. My behavior proves it. I reward myself for the completion of milestones with cocktails, cigars, dining out, and massages.

Multi-tasking requires splitting your focus, and therefore produces a lesser quality product. I am surprised employers encourage this. Getting everything done will not improve the bottom line as much as getting everything done WELL, even if it takes longer. I will argue further, that getting most things done well without completing everything is also better for the bottom line. Do not create a work environment which encourages your people to strive for mediocrity. Many employees will do this naturally anyway. Any of them who say “It’s all good.” are really saying it is all fair to averagely mediocre.

I don’t like my breakfast cereal, but I am either too cheap or too lazy to get a better one. I hate waste so I will keep on eating it.

I am on my third cup of coffee, one-hundred and five minutes into this, and I still do not know what I am writing about or why. Do any of you?

I envy writers who have a block and can spend a month staring at page 1. I would use it as an excuse to take a vacation.

 

What it’s like to finish writing a book: The Regurgitation

Poets have it easy.

They can wrestle with one page and then type those two magic words: THE END. For any writer who is trying to produce a book, it is a far greater undertaking.

I took about a year just researching and making notes. It took about a month to assemble those notes into a very rough chapter outline. I wrote early versions of the Preface and Introduction to use a compass to keep me from straying too far off course which was necessary, as any of my readers know, because I love to travel tangential lines to see where they lead.

Thoughts come faster than fingers can type. You must have a pen and paper near you at all times for that moment of clarity when it arrives. There were sticky notes everywhere.

I wrote all the basic Ms. Creant stories next, and then placed them in those rough chapters with related notes. To begin the writing of those chapters, I only needed to put the notes into sentence form; building on thoughts and ideas as I went. You never stare at a blank page this way, but it will add a huge amount of editing time at the end.

After three years I had five chapters completed, but stalled there as another Ms. Creant came into my life. A couple of years later, she was gone and I had another story to add. I got back to writing the book. In one massive push over a three month period in the fall of 2014, I completed the last three chapters of what I now call “the First Edition” and wrote the two magic words: The End.

I poured a single malt scotch and lit a Cuban cigar because that is what my influences would have done, and then sat back to bask in the afterglow of this tremendous accomplishment. The feeling is akin to having the best sex of your life, but the feeling stays with you for weeks instead of hours. You wear a silly grin all the time. You pat yourself on the back, A LOT!

I took three days off and just watched a favorite TV series; seven years of it; full time.

“The End” is just the beginning.

The word count was just over 51,000 words at that point in time. The editing began. With every pass through your work you will add to it, improve it, and make it longer. As a nonfiction book, Ms. Creant required a Reference and Index. By the time I had the First Edition e-book completed, the word count had reached 60,000 words. The Second Edition which I thought would be in print, had an extra chapter with an “alternate ending”. It sat at 65,000 words. The Third Edition added another chapter and I expanded on a number of ideas throughout, creating a new word count in the 80,000 range. I nervously sent the manuscript off to an editor, and what came back made me realize I had to take my writing more seriously. Another two chapters with at least twenty proofreads to this point and I sent it off to the publisher with a word count topping 100,000. There are still two rounds of revisions remaining in the coming weeks prior to the September release. Nonfiction writers should plan a week just to get a handle on the most basic Index. I took a nine page article and practiced on it before screwing with 100,000 words.

Fantasy vs. Reality:

As I wrote my first book, I thought it was good enough to get me an agent who would work hard to get me a publisher. This publishing company would produce a well distributed book that would attract the attention of a publicist who would get me on the Times Best Seller List. This would of course lead to a guest spot on The Daily Show which would garner to attention of a producer who would get me a television or film screen-writing deal. All this attention would have managers clamoring to my door who would arrange speaking engagements at major universities leading to a fellowship with an honorary degree, landing me a tenured professor position.

This was “the dream”.

Here is the reality:

When I had completed three chapters, I decided to fire out a Query Letter to the top agents in New York to shake the proverbial tree to see what fell out. In a word: nothing. Stock but polite rejection letters came back from most of the over twenty agencies I pitched. They did not even ask for so much as an Outline nor were they curious enough to ask for some chapters. In some future blog after the book is published, I will explain why. For now we will just say the publishing business is a tough business for first time authors.

YOU WILL WRITE THOUSANDS OF WORDS AFTER YOUR BOOK IS FINISHED!

Query 1:                                  395 words

Query 2:                                  416 words

Overview:                               747 words

Marketing Platform:              1611 words

Competitive Title Analysis:  1290 words

Chapter Outline:                    1004 words

Author Info:                             499 words

Agents mailing list:                421 words

Publishers mailing list:          989 words

Facebook:                                1000 words per week (easy).

WordPress:                            25,000 words / year (estimated).

Twitter:                                    5500 words / year (estimated).

6 miscellaneous sites          6000 words / year (estimated).

Website:                                 4788 words (and counting).

TOTAL:                                   Over 100,000 words since writing the book.

I am developing and identity crisis.

I set out to be an author but have become:

  • a media copywriter,
  • a blogger,
  • a mail room clerk,
  • a publisher,
  • a social media student,
  • and a full-time time manager of all of it.

I now resent all things which keep me from writing; especially when I am “on a roll”, including the seemingly endless maintenance of my middle-aged body. It is common for me to have two sinks full of dirty, but rinsed dishes (I am not a cave man.), as well as a herd of dust bunnies roaming the floors. I tend to neglect showering because it is hard to make notes in there. Shaving is the first thing to go, and the brushing of teeth drops to once a day on occasion. This does not go on for long as life and the biz will force you to make yourself presentable to go outside again. Perhaps it is for the best.

 

Blog 1: Where did it go?

{Editors Note: Four long years have gone by since I wrote this, and while my opinion of social media remains unchanged, the truth is I have grown to appreciate WordPress for being the least lame of all the sites mentioned in this article.}

Anti-social media bit me again.

Let us first make it clear that I am no dummy; having successfully worked with over 200 different software programs in my life to date. Most were INTUITIVE, requiring only about an hour at most before I was working comfortably.

After putting some forty hours in on the creation of a facebook presence, which I am told is required by the “Gods of Publishing”,

I accomplished the following:

  • I inadvertently launched 3 profiles with different friends in each.
  • I sent out friend requests to people multiple times.
  • I gave up on attempting to manage the different security levels.

Now after scrapping it and starting over, I have accomplished what I WANTED TO ACHIEVE, instead of what some BRAIN DEAD CODE WRITING DORK thought I should have. My facebook page has pretty pictures, a bit about me, a bit about the book, and everyone is a friend. If facebook had a facebook page would they get any Likes? Enough said.

Armed with only the most rudimentary fundamentals learned in my frustrating venture into social media via facebook, I endeavored to take on the next step to appeasing the Publishing Gods: blogging.

After a bit of research, I decided that WordPress was the correct avenue for my endeavor despite WARNINGS that while powerful, it could be very complex. I was cocky after successfully facing-off with facebook and winning in overtime. I had an account set up in no time, picked a theme and started writing a heart-felt blog about completing my first book.

ALL MY PREVIOUS TRAINING HAS TAUGHT ME TO SAVE; SAVE; SAVE so I created a draft and saved as I went.

I read the bar at the top of the page that SEEMED TO INDICATE my blog would only be published when I confirmed my account through my e-mail. Once I finished my editing of my 384 word masterpiece, I decided to add a pretty picture as well. It all seemed simple by comparison to my facebook experience. In fact there was a certain commonality in the tools and icons which should have raised the hairs on the back of my neck, but unfortunately I missed the warning sign.

Here is what I actually accomplished:

  • My draft is fracking gone!
  • The picture is there.

I went home to ponder my next move over some Jack Daniel’s and wrote this rant instead of attempting to regurgitate the lovingly crafted lost blog. When I calm down I will attempt to reassemble those thoughts for you.

I do not think the BDCWD’s get the “KISS” acronym. For those not familiar with this STANDARD BUSINESS PRINCIPLE, it means “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Quality software developers strive for this daily.

They ask questions like:

  • What is the simplest way of achieving this goal?
  • Can we shorten the number of steps?
  • What percentage of users will use this function?
  • Does this really need to be there?
  • Are we valuing the time of our users?
  • Is what we are creating user-friendly and intuitive for the average user?

‘Just because you can do a thing, does not mean you should do a thing.’

You need to KEEP A CLEAR HEAD IN ORDER TO MAKE GOOD CHOICES. All the BRAIN DEAD CODE WRITING DORKS I know smoke pot. This explains a great deal of what I have encountered on social media sites thus far. Let’s hope in a week or so from now, twitter will do better.