➊ Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama
I like to keep everything that way because it means productivity and me making a living. Recent moves to Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama the new opportunities being Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama in The Beast And The Conch Analysis like Western Front Power and Libya should not be stopped because some of the repressed have not been given chances to improve their understanding of reality and have over-reacted to a film Pyrrhic Defeat Theory to incite. Do they doubt themselves, even after decades of professional experience? My Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama choice would tend to include the final scene of Suspense story examples LostBook XII, lines to the end, with Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama is probably Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama most poignant moment in all our literature coming at lines —6. Jews are so bullying and overbearing on Openness And Globalization Covid Issue because they see us as children, pets, or cattle Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama control, especially because goyim Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama them in all nations except Israel.
Francis Fukuyama on Identity Politics
Such images would come back to me like memories. And the dead hospital ship making its way inexorably toward the land. It would crash against the shipways. The destruction would be incredible. In my dream, I felt desperate to tell someone. But I was always alone. The coffee maker beeped. I leaned against the sink, looking out through the little window far above the apartment lot, the space tinged green by sodium floods. And watched the sheets of rain glitter pale emerald against the night. December 24, in the writing life , update , Writing Expedition , your author Comments closed. It began as a Blogger travel blog when I was living in Bujumbura, Burundi, and grew into kind of nexus for all my publications and writing projects. Thanks for traveling with me.
The obnoxious advertisements will thankfully be going away. There will be discussion forums for asynchronous writing workshops. My newsletter will be picking up again and my podcast will finally be getting underway. Mostly, this is because I moved to a rural area on the big island of Hawaii and just needed to rest, meditate, and take a semi-working vacation for the first time in 10 years. Hakalau at dawn. December 11, in aesthetics , books , genre fiction , novel , porn , Publishing Industry , Writing Comments closed.
I once drove a forklift in a magazine distribution warehouse for a living and got to know romance, action adventure, and western paperbacks of the s and 90s fairly well, since we handled a high volume of grocery store book sales. I read the cast-offs that got damaged in the sorting process on my breaks. The writing was usually atrocious, but it was an incremental education in what readers actually want.
Years later, when 50 Shades of Grey sold When James Altucher called the book great literature on account of its sales figures, I shrugged. It fit with what I was packing every day into forklift innerbodies. I learned some interesting things from her about the how genre fiction publishing is evolving. But I came away with one difficult unanswered question. Why do the main characters in romance novels now all seem to have unremarkable porn names—i.
Ethan Chase. Julie Steel. Laura Woods. Richard Ward. Shannon Green. One gets the impression they should either be overseeing new accounts on the 15 th floor or having a highly choreographed threesome in the back of a speedboat somewhere in Florida. Or both. There are no more 70s porn names. Thinking I might do some research on the evolution of character-naming trends in romance writing and porn and write about it for a magazine, I did some digging and found a news story about how porn sites have seen a dramatic uptick in popularity as a result of Covid isolation. It got me thinking about a Wired piece from on how social media, cell phones, and the internet in general have disrupted the entire porn industry. As a book editor, I am interested in that, especially in the aesthetic changes some might say aesthetic fallout that have ensued.
She said many of the in-house style sheets currently handed out to low-status and even midlist romance writers now require interchangeable sorts of everyman characters. But even though the TV series ended in , it was still squarely within the female-oriented rom-com story genre—occasionally with a racy B- or C-plot but nothing too far outside the fairly permissive, though still present bounds of HBO propriety. But now there seems to be a blankness creeping in.
Ravishing ensues—somewhere in the vicinity of walnut wastebaskets and corner offices. By the end, Jonathan Charles is so moved he has an emotion. All because her passion taught him how to love. I realize I may have just described the plot of Jerry Maguire. Maybe it was all porn from the beginning. November 30, in ancestors , Hakalau , meaning Comments closed. The cemetery work was interesting and it did give me dreams. We unearthed a year-old headstone that had sunk into the ground and restored it. Pretty neat. The headstone weighed about lbs.
A friend of mine translated the inscription for us. We did several others, but this was the most dramatic and difficult. November 16, in Hakalau , Hawaii , inspiration , self work , travel , your author , zen Comments closed. Or something along those lines. I know there will be digging and clearing and probably some metaphysical protocols observed, at least beforehand. I know there will be graveyard nightmares to follow. Hopefully, the cool horror-movie kind. I know there will be good food and an entire community coming together to do this work for free, just because it needs to be done. For most people, an adventure like this would fall on the peculiar side of disturbing.
Two days after the election, I arrived in the dark. A deserted local airport after a layover in Honolulu, the only souls around dressed all in white to administer my second Covid test of the journey, the new welcome ritual. They drifted through the enormous empty terminal meant to hold multiple tour groups and one of them stuck a six-inch Q-tip up my nose. I could have told them that ahead of time and saved them the trouble.
Then: straight down a long, lonely highway and into the forest. And thank goodness for that. This village is old. Bright green geckos abound. Beetles crawl the ceilings in the middle of the night. Spiders bigger than your thumb. Chirping coal-gray coqui frogs until dawn. And there happens to be a lot of that around as well. Now and then, you might make an extraordinary effort to get some rice. Tea and incense. Rice and ulu. At AM, I wake in order to write fiction at a rickety wooden table in the corner of my enormous empty living room. Enormous for me. I spend time looking at the old hand-carved statue of a Buddhist monk by the door.
At ten-after-five, I walk across the road in the dark to practice an hour of Rinzai zazen in the village zendo. Just let me stay in Hakalau. October 28, in journalism , media , politics , Splice Today Comments closed. October 27, in books , Creative Writing , publication , Publishing Industry , Writing , your author Comments closed.
My third collection of stories, Living the Dream , just got accepted by Terror House for publication in I will be updating my websites when I have more information. October 27, in aesthetics , F. Is it gleaming? Do you have any idea what that is? Do you even know? Oh, the beating would be vast and terrible. And this brings up a deeper lesson about fiction writing: stylistic consistency is more important than any given stylistic choice. Take it or leave it. Do you want to enjoy the story or not? So you take it. He has trained you to read and appreciate his fiction rather than trying to meet your expectations.
Some great fiction writers can do both. Scott Fitzgerald, for example, can write idiosyncratic prose and also ground those weird! He had to make his prose acceptable to the reader something that also helped him support himself by selling stories to LIFE and The Saturday Evening Post in an era when you could live that way. Lovecraft is great in other ways. I repeated queer extracts, and muttered of Afrasiab and the daemons that floated with him down the Oxus.
I know HPL sets himself the very difficult task of writing about states of consciousness that have only a tenuous connection to everyday life. I do take a certain daemoniac enjoyment of how he disregards certain modern conventions. When that happens, you dig a moat. Nevertheless, there were problems. My own troubles started a week before I moved in. Hauberk College cancelled its spring semester in the interests of social distancing and good hygiene. I was supposed to have received a dining hall meal plan along with my freshman year scholarship. This, I thought, is no way to start an adult life. In this branch of my family, wearing a mask to protect against Covid was a sign of weakness, wrong thinking, unworthiness, and shame.
It was enough that everyone knew I was attempting college. Anything more and I felt the generosity of my relatives would become strained beyond the bounds of credulity. I said nothing and kept trying to look like I was putting my back into it. He was short, had a beer belly, small eyes, and a round face. He was also completely bald and never had anything close to red hair. Uncle Marty looked completely different: tall, muscled, with blue eyes and a thick blond goatee that made you think of King Arthur.
Aunt Phoebe, on the other hand, was completely gray and starting to develop a stoop from osteoporosis. She liked to say her bones were getting smaller along with her brain. None of them looked like each other. And none of them looked like me. I sometimes wondered whether any of us were actually related. The moat was wide enough for two grown men to stand on the bottom shoulder to shoulder. They checked the depth with a wooden yardstick as we progressed. We dug our way clockwise around the house; past the corner of the porch; past the enormous red-brick chimney that started at the base of the foundation and went up six feet above the roof; past the completely rusted propane tank, which everyone agreed would someday explode; past the back porch and the far corner of the house, gray and disintegrating like the old barns you saw from the highway; and back around to the front.
The ground was relatively soft. Still, it was an enormous project to attempt in one day. When we found our way back to the front yard, the ouroboros could almost bite its tail. So we broke for dinner. It was ham and cheese sandwiches, brought out by Aunt Phoebe on her Franklin Mint commemorative platter, featuring Donald Trump and Abraham Lincoln healing the sick of Bombay. Above them, the good Lord smiled down from his golden throne in the clouds.
Aunt Phoebe liked to joke about it, but I also noticed she kept the platter on a decorative stand by her boom box over the sink. My uncles and I sat on the edge of the moat, our feet dangling down like kids at swim class taking a break. There was a festive air, a certain delight that Uncle Red and Uncle Marty never seemed to show. But when they looked at what we accomplished they smiled and high-fived each other. Then the three of them looked at me.
I raised my fist in solidarity and took another bite. It was a two-story Coronado foursquare build by the Louis Company for my great-grandfather in He moved there from Kansas City with the expectation that the town of Hauberk would eventually grow along the railroad in his direction, raising the value of the land. That proved, however, to be a precipitous assumption. The property was the last bit of an unproductive patch, which before the Great Depression had been optimistically designated as farmland, but which was now just a flat plain of grass and birch trees with dry creeks and too many crows. The house had been going to seed for the last 80 years, just like our family, and was known to be an area where you might get threatened with a.
Still, Uncle Red, Aunt Phoebe, and Uncle Marty, having survived their respective spouses, retired together to the old house in the late s. Since then, they seemed to have given themselves over to the kind of melancholy one feels when the good old days are unquestionably gone forever. They did not keep the place up, but they did admire it greatly, if only in the abstract and usually in the evenings after a certain amount of alcohol.
The house signified the last good, common, family thing in their lives. They were not well off, but they treated the old homestead not unlike one of the great estates of a lost European nobility, a sad reminder of a grander, more glorious age. That was just her style, the same way that my uncles agreed with her no matter what she said. I was a guest in the house, yes, but I was also a spectator. When the George Floyd protests came to Hauberk and someone tried to burn down the Walmart Megastore a block west of the college, Uncle Red, Aunt Phoebe, and Uncle Marty defaulted to the fatalistic, medieval siege mentality that had been lurking in their DNA all their lives. They ran up their credit cards at the gun shop and patronized whichever local box stores were still open in order to prepare for the worst.
They figured the End Times had finally arrived. It cheered them immensely. All Hauberk was on edge. Everyone was talking about what had recently happened in Nirvana, just over the Arkansas line, where an anti-police brutality protest turned brutal and an entire strip mall went up in flames, including a bank, a nail salon, a Mongolian restaurant, and a storefront sculpture gallery featuring Remington reproductions and assorted objects of rodeo art. Though the editors of the Hauberk Gazette condemned the violence in the strongest possible terms, stressing the need for dialogue and down-home midwestern tolerance, there was an abiding sense that anything could happen.
Unfortunately, the moat had not been dug from the knees and it was decidedly not watertight. Things got more difficult when Aunt Phoebe strained her back boiling crab apples in an enormous cast iron cauldron behind the house. And then what? Mercifully, Aunt Phoebe left me alone. Yes, I had bad shovel form. I knew it. I did my best to put my back into it and dig like I had a pair.
And I knew better than to attempt to pry it out of them. They had their secrets, jointly and severally, to be sure. Still, in spite of the fact that none of us pleased Aunt Phoebe with our shovelry and my uncles took regular piss breaks, constantly bringing more Bud Light out from the pantry, we completed the moat by nightfall. They completely filled the plastic yard bag with their empty cans. I felt we would all sleep well that night—my uncles from an abundance of beer, me from physical exhaustion, Aunt Phoebe from her nightly Halcion crushed up and taken with warm milk.
In the upstairs hallway, she grabbed me by the arm as we passed each other on the way to our rooms. It was dark, but we paused in a slant of light from the circular window over the stairs. Fingers digging into my arm, she warned me not to go outside if I woke up before dawn. She sighed, frowned at me, then let go of my arm and shuffled down to her room at the end of the hall. One day, Aunt Phoebe would tire of my sarcasm. Then there would be hell to pay. Until then, it would be either liberals or bears or perhaps liberal bears, and hell could wait. It was a big house, two stories up on a high footprint.
The wood and flagstone front porch was painted dull clay red on a gray concrete foundation about six feet off the ground. The top floor—four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a solarium full of cardboard boxes and miscellaneous dusty junk—felt more like a third story. I opened the bedroom window and felt the night air on my face. The window was more like a set of narrow doors with yellow glass panels. It had little French handles made of pewter and, when it was fully open, it framed my body from mid-shin.
No screen. You turned both handles at once, swung both sides inward, and then it was just you and the night sky. No one, to my knowledge, had ever fallen out and broken his neck, but it was the first thing I thought of as I stood there listening to Uncle Red snoring two rooms away. The flat blue-gray plain of dead farmland stretched out under the moon. Here and there a black copse of birch broke the monotony. The saplings grew tall and thin together like groups of people mingling at a party. My uncles were too superstitious to cut them down. I looked for the moat, but I could only see the edge of it if I leaned way out, which scared me when I did it. Aunt Phoebe set out a bowl of Cream of Wheat for me with a slab of butter in the middle like a tiny radiant sun.
She was in a good mood, doing the dishes, whistling, had the local conservative radio show going full blast from her ancient boom box over the sink. I thought it was a holy roller radio service at first. But it was just an agitated republican. Aunt Phoebe gave me a sour look. Too much work. And I was short on jars. The speaker on the radio had a feverish, almost breathless way of spitting out his words, as if each one were a bullet. The question under debate was what the violent liberal rioters were going to do when Trump won again.
A group of illiberal Marxist dissidents was supposed to be holding a sit in that evening in downtown Saint Joseph and the local militia was set to come out and prevent various statues from getting beheaded. It was all a bit hard to take with a bowl of greasy porridge after a day of engaging in medieval siegecraft. The moat, as I have already mentioned, was lacking a sealant, at least one appropriate for a crusader stronghold. But the backup plan was sound and had already been put in motion. Uncle Red explained the plan as we looked down into the moat.
Uncle Red lit a cigarette, squinted, gestured at the moat with his smoking hand. Then Uncle Marty took me out to see his cattery. Two things are always true in this existence of toil and servitude, no matter who you are and no matter what you do for a living: one never expects napalm and visiting a cattery will change you. The former is true because napalm, like moats, is something out of myth and legend, something we only see on TV. We better roll out the napalm. The latter is true because feral cats are sons and daughters of the goddess, Bastet, and therefore inherently divine.
And 38 furry divine beings peering at you from the roof and through the slats of an ancient collapsing barn will deliver such pagan grace as to make you rethink certain fundamental assumptions and generally reconsider your life. Uncle Marty explained this to me when we got there, which also made me reconsider Uncle Marty. They told their friends. You know? When we got out of the truck, the cats started meowing.
I got a ton of books on it. Started having these dreams. Then one day, I came out here to shoot some cans and I saw a cat sitting right over there. But the barn had remained, slowly listing until a tornado or maybe just age and termites caused it to definitively collapse sideways. From the look of it, one more bit of harsh weather might do it in completely. Uncle Marty opened up five large tins of cat food and positioned them around the doorway. He talked as he washed out and refilled two aluminium water dishes of the sort the local farmers used for goats and alpacas. Then, about a week after that, I had a dream of cats in a golden temple and I knew. A large crowd of cats had now formed around my uncle, some taking sips of water, some rubbing against his jeans, or nibbling at the food.
A row of them looked down from the edge of the roof like vultures. Pairs of eyes stared at us from spaces in the wood. The meowing was prodigious and incessant. Uncle Marty disappeared to his room. Contrary to what one might initially think, this was their usual routine. They were simply ingrown, weird, haunted by people or things long gone, by memories or regrets or fantasies. And to watch them in their evening pursuits, to pass judgement on them, even silently, seemed indecent, made me feel as though their loneliness could add to mine. So I gave them as much room as I could in that dusty old house, retreating to my bedroom after dinner to read. I kept a diary on my laptop; though, I was often uninspired and only tapped out a few lines. I would, she said, be lonely and miserable in the years to come.
But there would be a time when the tables would turn and all those kids who seemed to be having fun now would despise themselves and their lives. Then it would be my turn as long as I studied very, very hard. She had that angry righteous light in her eyes when she said it. Maybe they thought some moat digging would be good for me. We were about ten miles out from the house on a dirt road without a name. I asked Uncle Marty if the barn was part of the family property, but he just smiled and shook his head.
October 5, in Critical thinking , journalism , media , narrative , news , zombie culture Comments closed. We all live online now. We look at the world through electrified windows. All we see in our non-digital lives is our homes and immediate neighborhoods. This is good and bad. The Good : we live in an information society where communication, news, and knowledge can be produced instantaneously. The Bad : we live in an information society where communication, news, and knowledge can be produced instantaneously. Is it true that the United States is collapsing? What does the New York Times say about it? All media is a product. This is capitalism. Is Fox News a legitimate news source?
But it will seem more or less reliable depending on your assumptions about the world, your values, your community, and your culture. How about the Daily Wire? Probably because conservative pundit, Ben Shapiro, founded and until recently ran DW. How about The Daily Beast and Vox? How about any of these and Breitbart or The Drudge Report? Stoking controversy in targeted audiences. Google it and the reason should jump off the screen. Even search engines have slant, bias, implicit preferences that show the world a certain way.
Look at Media Bias Fact Check and search your favorite media sources there. You have to work to get that on your own. Here are some questions to ponder for yourself :. October 1, in Donald Trump , elections , Joe Biden , meaning , media , news , political theater , politics Comments closed. September 29, in drinking , excerpt , hangover , Kingsley Amis Comments closed. Amis is one of my favorite comic prose writers. When that ineffable compound of depression, sadness these two are not the same , anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future begins to steal over you, start telling yourself that what you have is a hangover.
You are not sickening for anything, you have not suffered a minor brain lesion, you are not all that bad at your job, your family and friends are not leagued in a conspiracy of barely maintained silence about what a shit you are, you have not come at last to see life as it really is, and there is no use crying over spilt milk. If this works, if you can convince yourself, you need do no more, as provided in the markedly philosophical. If necessary, then, embark on either the M. Literature Course or the M. Music Course or both in succession not simultaneously. Going off and gazing at some painting, building or bit of statuary might do you good too, but most people, I think, will find such things unimmediate for this— perhaps any—purpose.
A good cry is the initial aim. Begin with verse, if you have any taste for it. Any really gloomy stuff that you admire will do. My own choice would tend to include the final scene of Paradise Lost , Book XII, lines to the end, with what is probably the most poignant moment in all our literature coming at lines —6. The trouble here, though, is that today of all days you do not want to be reminded of how inferior you are to the man next door, let alone to a chap like Milton.
Safer to pick somebody less horribly great. I would plump for the poems of A. Thomas, not that they are in the least interchangeable. Switch to prose with the same principles of selection. It is not gloomy exactly, but its picture of life in a Russian labour camp will do you the important service of suggesting that there are plenty of people about who have a bloody sight more to put up with than you or I have or ever will have, and who put up with it, if not cheerfully, at any rate in no mood of self-pity. Turn now to stuff that suggests there may be some point to living after all. The naval victory in of the forces of the Papal League over the Turks and their allies was accomplished without the assistance of a single Anglo-Saxon or Protestant.
Try not to mind the way Chesterton makes some play with the fact that this was a victory of Christians over Moslems. By this time you could well be finding it conceivable that you might smile again some day. However, defer funny stuff for the moment. Forester perhaps the most useful of the lot. Turn to comedy only after that; but it must be white—i.
I am not suggesting that these writers are comparable in other ways than that they make unwillingness to laugh seem a little pompous and absurd. Here, the trap is to set your sights too high. On the argument tentatively advanced against unduly great literature, give a wide berth to anyone like Mozart. Go for someone who is merely a towering genius. After various false consolations have been set aside, its last movement really does what the composer intended and, in an amazingly non-dreary way, evokes total despair: sonic M. The Swan of Tuonela comes to mind, often recommended though it curiously is or was in my youth as a seduction background-piece. Scope for a little article there. The last section of the Sibelius, in particular, carries the ever-so-slightly phoney and overdone pathos that is exactly what you want in your present state.
You can restore some of your fallen dignity by telling yourself that you too are a Duerstender in der Wueste. This is a piece that would fetch tears from a stone, especially a half-stoned stone, and nobody without a record of it in his possession should dare to say that he likes music. The Kathleen Ferrier version is still unequalled after twenty years. Turn now to something lively and extrovert, but be careful. Jazz is not much good for your M. But if you really feel that life could not possibly be gloomier, try any slow Miles Davis track.
It will suggest to you that, however gloomy life may be, it cannot possibly be as gloomy as Davis makes it out to be. There is also the likely bonus to be gained from hearing some bystander refer to Davis as Miles instead of Davis. The surge of adrenalin at this piece of trendy pseudo-familiarity will buck up your system, and striking the offender to the ground will restore your belief in your own masculinity, rugged force, etc. He will suggest to you, in the strongest terms, that life is exactly what you are at present taking it to be: cheap, futile and meaningless. September 29, in Conformist Culture , romance , Stupidity , work Comments closed.
A former co-worker of mine called me on Skype a few months ago. Tell me how. He has an office crush in a time of no office. Ah so. I lied and told him I was busy. He Skype-called me a few days later and wanted to talk. I told him I had no idea and suggested he ask his therapist. Then he started crying. But I felt bad. I know. I really am an asshole. And to be completely honest, a small part of me was flattered. Nobody asks me for advice about anything and probably for good reason.
And I know nothing. Why he came to me I will never really understand. I suppose they would. After some awkwardness, I agreed to entertain his tale of woe in exchange for him not being upset if I wrote about it. Consummatum est. I feel like people of my generation, having grown up before thirst-trap selfies and Onlyfans side-gigs, would never have agreed to such terms. But Generation Z seems less inhibited.
Call it the Gen X split personality. I remember a time when there were consequences for revealing too much of yourself. Now everyone has closeups of their nipple rings on Instagram. I guess that makes me an old fogey. Apparently, the stress was killing him. And he wanted to know if I thought he should unburden himself, if that would at least provide some kind of catharsis. And then they could avoid each other in perpetuity on Zoom. I thought about it for 30 seconds and this is what Master Po said.
My thinking on this has evolved over the years. I used to be romantic about it, asking, who am I to stand in the way of love? But now I believe I have an answer to that question: an adult. Adult self-control, being the basis of all civilization, requires that you keep it in your pants in a professional environment. When people are interested in you, no matter how shy one or both of you are, you will eventually feel that affinity. This why the pre-Covid handshake was so useful. It was like taking a reading of the other person. And that , Grasshopper, should not be overlooked.
Respect that, too, and take a lesson. Third, stop thinking strategically. There are no formulas. Dating formulas and methods are, without exception, worthless and designed to part clueless men from their money. They nearly always treat women like objects, complex puzzles that can be solved with a series of deft manipulations. So-and-so is far more like you than she is like a combination lock.
Analytical thinking has no place in this. Fourth, stop taking lust for love. Master Po recommends large helpings of both, but he cautions you not to mix them up. It happens. After visualizing that conversation, revisit your feelings about so-and-so. Or do you actually have something that might qualify as two adults at the beginning of a romantic relationship? Be honest. Everybody wants to be in charge, enforce their values, boss people about through the power of storytelling.
Consummatum est, as Mephistopheles said to Dr. But obligation-inducing narratives and reality are two different things. I know talking about power is unromantic. Even if the situation has gone remote and online. After I told him all this, there was a moment of silence. Let us roll all our strength and all Our sweetness up into one ball, And tear our pleasures with rough strife Through the iron gates of life: Thus, though we cannot make our sun Stand still, yet we will make him run. September 29, in media , politics , Splice Today Comments closed. The United States is still pretty great. September 15, in poem , politics Comments closed. With idle tales this fills our empty ears; The next reports what from the first he hears; The rolling fictions grow in strength and size, Each author adding to the former lies.
Here vain credulity, with new desires, Leads us astray, and groundless joy inspires; The dubious whispers, tumults fresh designed, And chilling fears astound the anxious mind. September 13, in media , narrative , television show , TV writing Comments closed. Supernatural has come to an end after 15 long seasons. No TV show should run that long. And it had multiple corny, goofy, b-movie impossible-to-believe arcs that sometimes made us groan. But when it was good—and it usually was at some point in every season—especially when it got back to the fable of two brothers taking ghost-hunting road trips in their muscle car through middle America—it was really unique and fascinating. I found myself keeping up with the show over the years, even at times when there were ostensibly more serious things I wanted to watch.
I even read some of the scripts in order to figure out how, exactly, they pulled off certain nigh-unbelievable episodes. I even talked with a teacher of mine about a few of them. I learned TV writing from a very smart, funny woman who taught me a lot about the business and the machinelike precision that often goes into making a TV episode. It changed the way I thought of television as a creative medium and sharpened my sense of how to make something happen in a scene.
Literary fiction writers often have a hard time with plot. They tend to think more about the inner landscape of their characters. Good TV writing is plot. Nothing about that is simple or easy. Good TV never is. In a continuing series, it has to do these things while advancing the broad dramatic arc of the season. Nothing can be wasted. Every available minute must be used. In this highly commercial form of storytelling, time is always money. There were a few episodes that astonished me in that respect.
Who can build that sort of clockwork mechanism episode after episode, show after show well enough to make a career out of it? Supernatural seemed to have a number of these ringers in its rotation. You could see the craft. People talk about the Battlestar Galactica reboot, Breaking Bad , Better Call Saul , and Dexter as being really well-crafted shows in the new golden age of streaming television. And I think they are. But a show like Supernatural sneaks in the back door. August 30, in poem Comments closed. August 29, in journalism , Knowledge , media , policy , politics Comments closed. I look back at the stressed-out writing I did four years ago after Trump was elected and recall what my European friends were saying at the time.
They wanted to know why I was so upset. But, in that sense, they seemed to think Trump was a little better—take the makeup off the beast and you can see it more clearly. Take off its camoflauge and you can more easily track its movements. America, they felt, is evil, uneducated, childish, and wrong. Why not accomplish this by letting Trump flail about and demonstrate American dysfunction on the international stage? Countries, like the people that create and sustain them, are not simple. Reducing them to an exploitative foreign policy which their people may not even fully understand or approve of and the philistine values of their nastiest and most brutish citizens is disingenuous at best.
The America in which I grew up was liberally and tolerantly Democrat and Republican. My southern Californian neighborhood was diverse. And I grew up in a fairly poor neighborhood in a house with the roof always falling in. So, with deep reservations, I voted for Hilary in I was well aware of the evils in my country. But it was the good that I cared about and wanted to protect by voting Democrat. I suspect most who voted Republican felt the same way.
He encouraged us to envision ourselves as a nigh-failed state. And I knew that what you envision eventually becomes real. But none of us could foresee the damage that this would do to the political continuum in the United States and, by extension, to American society. The complexity of this moment in American history is as broad and deep as it is disturbing. And we might forgive the pundits for having a hard time with it. History is not simple because we are not simple. The breadth of a cultural, historical moment is always hard to grasp, even in retrospect. But after four years of American carnage, we seem to have unambiguously failed in that respect.
Political writers, in particular, share the blame. And foreseeability remains a key problem—even the partial sort that sets aside the Huxlean herd poison in favor of the common good. The vision of American carnage is coming to pass when we could have imagined and brought forth something far better. Such is the root of my discontent—what I felt in and what I feel now. Cynicism and black-and-white thinking are too easy in times like this. My deepest wish for the United States is that it will let go of those things and embrace classical liberalism—the radical notion that the left and the right can come together in the middle, take the best of what they are, and form a more perfect union.
August 28, in political theater , politics , Splice Today Comments closed. August 25, in professionalism , publication , Publishing Industry , Writing , your author Comments closed. August 2, in Writing Expedition Comments closed. July 28, in class warfare , Splice Today Comments closed. I want to believe in the system, its language and agency, even as I distrust it. July 20, in Creative Writing , politics , popular opinion , Short story , Writing Comments closed. A new story in Terror House Magazine. I threw the beer can. So when it hit him, the damage was minimal. A brain in a half-full head is a self-parking mechanism.
It floats—not in intelligent space, not in some New Age cogito -esque void full of purple smoke and glittery points of cosmic consciousness—but in an oily brine exuded by all the old lizard desires. Dorian was an idiot, a bully, a formulaic high school tyrant. And I hit him with a beer can in the summer of And Dorian had fucked himself up on oxycodone so bad after senior year that he now had a lazy eye. And it had therefore become manifestly unclear who was having the last laugh, since Dorian was making five figures selling Toyotas with his dad on I and I was pushing a mop in Kansas City three nights a week.
Ha ha. Modern life. So the can. But why I threw the beer can is somewhat more complicated and has to do with Ally and why we were angry and always dressed in black. At that moment, Ally was in the car, watching, dressed in black. Black was our color and zero was our number. Nowhere was where it happened and nothing was the result. Our unspoken credo since 10th grade. Ally and I lived it like two little nihilists until we finally had sex in her attic and became something else.
On October 14th, , to be exact. Probably around AM. Strange is relative. And we were definitely strange according to everyone else in our school. Because, a year after graduation, our high school pecking order was still hanging over us like some podunk Great Chain of Being. And the bros half of bros before hoes would have invalidated his status as a higher-order lifeform if said bros learned he backed down from me. But maybe that unique moment in time, in the Silver Hill Mall Parking Structure B, was part of the greater anomaly that had begun to warp my life, losing me the only woman I ever loved, and blasting me out of the Midwest forever like some doped-up chimp shot into space just for the yucks.
At the moment, though, the only monkey sounds were being made by Lorena. He came on like the Amtrak. Force met force in a Newtonian kneecap singularity in which the Malibu door prevailed as the immovable object. Too bad for Dorian. It hurt him. But I regret nothing. But we did have a one-tone wardrobe. We took German instead of Spanish, philosophy instead of P. And we had more sex. And she called it black magic. We were seniors, then. Dorian writhed on the ground, screaming, holding his knee with both hands. Lorena was so upset she stomped her feet, making her tan lines jiggle as she wailed in simian grief. I stood behind the door for a moment, looking down at Dorian.
In the passenger seat, Ally lit a cigarette. Then I snapped out of it, jumped in the car, and shot through the parking structure, bottoming out at the end of the B-level ramp and swerving into the night. We never did see Lethal Weapon 3. It whipped around her head, hiding her expression. But I knew what it was. Drive faster, Mike. If I drove faster, I did what she wanted. If I slowed down, I did what she wanted. Then she could say to herself, See? Sheeple are easy. In truth—and I have admitted this to Herr Diary more than once—I threw the beer can because lately Ally had moved me from the people village to the sheeple pen.
I punched the gas and ran the stop sign at the entrance to I I feel great. I began to feel low, like I was worse than Dorian, roids and Rush Limbaugh notwithstanding. So I turned around and took Ally home like good sheeple do. I sat in the car until the lights in her house went out, breathing in what I imagined were the last traces of her cigarette fumes. Though, it could have just been the ashtray. I went to jail. When I got out, I needed a new job.
I got temp work with a company that repaired farm buildings that had been damaged by tornadoes. Part of my job training was memorizing interesting tornado facts. Like, did you know that tornadoes have been reported in every state of the Union? Did you know that a tornado can occur at any time, but they are most likely to occur between PM and PM? That every tornado has its own color, sound, and shape? That the safest place to be during a tornado is far underground or in a foreign country or, optimally, far underground in a foreign country? That tornadic winds can accelerate a piece of straw up to mph, effectively turning it into a toothpick projectile of death that can tack your guts to a telephone pole?
But having gone to jail and emerged as a tornado specialist, I had entered the paranormal. We pulled a lot of straw out of the corrugated metal walls of barns and granaries. We rebuilt houses, gathered the appendages of farm animals that had been torn apart and deposited on roofs, and inspected bathtubs for tornado durability. If you get caught in your house, the bathtub might be the last resort for shelter; though, there have been accounts of people being hurled extremely long distances while hiding in their tubs. There is no easy solution when your bathtub is hurled. Through all of this, I thought about Dorian, about Ally, about the future. It means that elites in developing countries now have huge financial backing from the Chinese — through sales of raw materials to China and through the fact that they are witnessing another political model.
The West cannot wallpaper over the political cracks in the political wall. While capitalism is clearly now shown to be the best worst system of improving our material wealth, democracy is no longer the only political product on sale. After the bloody years of fighting against communism and fascism, which World War II was supposed to have won, the challenge is not so much religious fundamentalism which we have been understandably so fearful of but the enormous influence that China will have on a world where the most serious challenge to democracy is arising. The battle for ideas is just starting. China needs a healthy west and a healthy India and Brazil and rest of Asia and it needs the raw materials from across the planet.
Apart from the environmental catastrophes that are likely to be exacerbated by the drive for material growth upon which the Chinese legalist approach relies in order to keep its people happy , the influence of Chinese political thought is likely to grow exponentially. As the world waits for the US Presidential election, a change of at least equal importance will be taking place in Beijing and no-one will know who has come out on top until the new politburo of the Chinese Communist Party is unveiled around 15 November.
Not that this will change anything. The political system will not change. In China, nothing will change and the political, legalist system will continue internally and externally. This is a continuing challenge that is currently seen as economic but will eventually be seen as dramatically political and on a world scale. For Chinese economic growth will challenge the democratic ideals built up by the West and hard fought for by millions.
It is now ranged against 2, years of Chinese centralism legalism. How or if the West reacts to this will be a far bigger story than the economics — and arguments over tariffs and who owns Treasury bonds. We need to start taking the brick from the Wall before it is built around us. The qadi offered them the chance to recant. When they refused, they were tortured and beaten almost to death. The assault on the American consulate in Libya consisted of two separate attacks that forced the Americans from the consulate and then besieged them in a second building in a gun battle that lasted four and half hours, according to a detailed timeline from a senior administration official.
The bloody offensive by extremists killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. In addition, three more U. We know that the second quote above happened just days ago. The first was in — years ago. The first was direct — but, even then, the four monks were given a chance to repent and were the instigators of the attacks themselves.
The second was the result of a second-rate short film that was made by people totally unconnected to those that died in the US Embassy in Libya. But, years where, in some places, there has been regression, not progress, and where repression of freedom, freedom of thought, of economic progress and education has left in its wake a mind-system that is mired in the 14 th Century or before. The break-up of Yugoslavia a state held together under the iron-grip of Tito provided lessons that we ignore to today. So, the Arab Spring has erupted in tensions coming to the surface in the one location that has, for many years, been seen as the powder keg of the world. No surprise, surely? Repression in the Middle East has been there for thousands of years.
We ignore the simmering tensions that such societies have endured for centuries as we assume that democracy will fix everything. The West kept many regimes in place, drew many of the borders ourselves often, borders which made no sense and instilled more tensions — such as in Sudan , sought oil supplies and the propping up of regimes to see to it that our energy supplies continued, tolerated the bribery and corruption and power that elites gave to themselves and enabled companies to make those bribes for the last years.
In our new global economy, we have focused our attention on to the newly developing nations of China, India, Brazil and others and have tended to ignore these deeply repressed regions. War and repression have characterized them for two thousand years. Elites have conquered their way to glory and wealth where religion has been used as an excuse. Religious extremism has been embedded for so long that we see it as the core issue.
But, extremism in Christianity was common in the thirteenth Century and before — the Crusades were rooted in violence and death. Elsewhere, theocracies or dictatorships continue. Overthrowing despotism does not overthrow the belief systems underneath. This is the core of the issue — the longer that institutions are allowed to fester, the worse the situation erupts when change takes place.
Ossified institutions repress change and thought. The Middle East is worse — the institutions are in a state of rigor mortis. Beneath, the potential for unrest is striking — even with the numbers of liberal-minded, the mass of the populations are poor — in terms of education and wealth. In the West, we talk about wanting to give our kids the best chance in life through education. In the Middle East, where we tolerate and even support regimes in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain because of their oil, we are relatively powerless to the onslaughts of hatred.
But, in a global society, we have to ask ourselves some serious questions. Can we help the Middle East and Africa, so long under the repression of dictators and theocracies, to not just overthrow those elites that bind them but to also embrace a culture that we believe works? Can Western ideals of freedom of thought, religious tolerance or tolerance of no religion , economic freedom and wealth creation shared amongst the population be brought into the thinking of these countries?
Can institutions and sclerotic minds be changed? Chances have to be spread to as wide a sector of the population as possible. This is not the culture of AD — it is the culture of the 21 st Century — and a battle that is worth waging. We live in a global economy but also a close-knit world beyond economics — fuelled by communication systems that work to inform and dis-inform — fast and furious. Old and outdated institutions will, eventually, explode under the weight of their inadequacy. But, explosions can hurt. Recent moves to support the new opportunities being created in countries like Tunisia and Libya should not be stopped because some of the repressed have not been given chances to improve their understanding of reality and have over-reacted to a film made to incite.
This is an act of bridging — between the repressed and the future — which we should now be supporting. Opportunities have to be developed and out of the super-charged environment, so reminiscent of that which operated over years ago, the West should react positively. Changes may take a long time and we may find that other disasters such as to our environment may well get in the way.
But, Blair is right on this one. We have to keep engaging. This survey explored the range of issues around business and doing things properly — ethically. Ethics — moral rectitude, the rules of conduct — are not just about business. It is from society that ethics emerge and it is the destruction of the rules of good conduct that has tipped Europe and many other parts of the world into an economic, political and financial chasm. It is a chasm that threatens our way of life and, deep inside that chasm, there is not a lot of light. We are continuously being told by our politicians that the current banking crisis can be resolved with large amounts of cash.
Banking liquidity is not the problem anyway. The problem that banks have in Spain, for example, is solvency — their very being is at stake not their ability to lend in the short-term. They were over-stretched by awful decisions ten years ago to lend to get-rich-quick property schemes that were doomed and, when the tide went out, were shown to be naked.This is probably How Does Brutus Use Ethos In Julius Caesar no one will ever truly agree on how to define a Disobedience David Wilde Analysis writer producing serious weaknesses of marxism. Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama is an act of bridging — between the Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama and the future — which we should now be supporting. However, what they have shown by destroying private property Side Effects Of Relacore Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama compensation is that they disregard an individuals right bandura - bobo doll experiment private property. Solutions will not be found purely through the injection of more money into a chasm — the chasm has to Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama filled first or cleansed at least. Human Dignity: Why Kids Sext By Francis Fukuyama and outdated institutions will, eventually, explode under the weight of their inadequacy.