A Quote From E.M. Forster

I recently read the essay “What I Believe,” by E.M. Forster, and one passage resonated powerfully with me. I’d like to share it with you. I put my favorite parts in bold:

I believe in aristocracy, though – if that is the right word, and
if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon 
rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the con- 
siderate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all
nations and classes, and all through the ages, and there is a secret
understanding between them when they meet. They represent 
the true human tradition, the one permanent victory of our queer 
race over cruelty and chaos. Thousands of them perish in
obscurity, a few are great names. They are sensitive for others 
as well as for themselves, they are considerate without being 
fussy, their pluck is not swankiness but the power to endure, and 
they can take a joke. I give no examples – it is risky to do that – 
but the reader may as well consider whether this is the type of
person he would like to meet and to be, and whether (going
further with me) he would prefer that this type should not be an
ascetic one. I am against asceticism myself. I am with the old 
Scotsman who wanted less chastity and more delicacy. I do not
feel that my aristocrats are a real aristocracy if they thwart their
bodies, since bodies are the instruments through which we
register and enjoy the world. Still, I do not insist. This is not a 
major point. It is clearly possible to be sensitive, considerate and
plucky and yet be an ascetic too, and if anyone possesses the first
three qualities I will let him in! On they go – an invincible army, 
yet not a victorious one. The aristocrats, the elect, the chosen, 
the Best People – all the words that describe them are false, and
all attempts to organize them fail. Again and again Authority, 
seeing their value, has tried to net them and to utilize them as the 
Egyptian Priesthood or the Christian Church or the Chinese 
Civil Service or the Group Movement, or some other worthy 
stunt. But they slip through the net and are gone; when the door 
is shut, they are no longer in the room; their temple, as one of 
them remarked, is the holiness of the Heart’s affections, and their 
kingdom, though they never possess it, is the wide-open world.

I am not going to add my analysis, but I’d like you to think about this for a while and decide if you agree.

doge in space card redux

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That Time I Drove Off A Sexual Harasser With My Dick…

This is a funny story, but not a joke. It really happened.

I was at a small pool party at my friend “K”‘s house. It was mostly girls, but a creepy guy that was K’s acquaintance from facebook was there. For most of the afternoon, he was creeping on the girls, flirting and asking inappropriate questions. Nothing so bad that he earned the door, but enough to be weird.

Night came, and everyone left until it was Me, K, and creeper. Now he goes into full harassment mode. He’s talking about how hot and fuckable K is, and then suggests that she go skinny dipping (not him or me, just K). K and I are both hippies and have skinnydipped together, so normally we would have no problem with it. But K was weirded out and asked me how to get rid of him without physically throwing him out.

So I walked up to him said, “that’s a great idea! I’ll go first.” He was sitting, I was standing. I strip down right in front of him, my dick maybe three feet from him.

“Okay dude, now it’s your turn.” I gave a little hip check, just enough to make things wiggle. I’ve rarely seen a face with that much fear and embarrassment on it.

And suddenly he changed his mind. Shocking, right? He left five minutes later. The perv so intent on seeing a naked woman wasn’t brave enough to put up, so he ran.

Predators are cowards. How weak do you have to be to be scared of genitals?

The moral: If you won’t do something yourself, don’t demand it of others.

It’s a dick move.

The Watchmage of Old New York: Only 99 cents for a short time only!

Watchmage black

doge in space card redux

Someday We’ll Be Mindflayers

I’ve been thinking about the recent “revelations” that Facebook, Google, and every site monitors your information. It’s not a surprise, I mean, we gave it to them. I’m not complaining, I’m just musing.

Facebook monitors everything that gets sent on Facebook Messenger. I feel bad for whoever’s job it is to sift through the millions of dick pics.

Google: You know things about me that I don’t even know. You might be my soul mate.

And someday we’ll be Mindflayers.

To the confused, let me explain. Mindflayers  (or Illithids) are a species of monster in D&D. They have squid heads and tentacle mouths, incredible psychic powers, and are connected through the Hive Mind. They’re also one of the evilest and most powerful species in the game. They stun you with their psychic blasts and then suck out your brain with their tentacle mouths. Or they destroy your mind and make you a slave, massaging the Hive Mind for the rest of your life (See R.A. Salvatore’s “Exile” for Drizzt Do’Urden fondling a giant brain). They can even travel through space in special ships. Want to make your players shit themselves? Throw some Illithids at them. Even the Drow give them a wide berth.

mind flayer

We already have the Hive Mind. It’s called the Internet. It gives us access to all the knowledge, information, and communication we need (and some we don’t). We have psychic powers. It’s called Social Media. We can communicate from across the world while sitting on our toilets. And we’re only becoming more connected. The Hive Mind knows all of our shit. It has our dick pics. It knows our desires. It gives us what we need, and we give it our devotion.

Someday we’ll be truly connected. The question is how much of ourselves do we lose in the process?

Then again, the Illithids don’t seem to mind. Pass the brains.

Psst…Hey…Check out my historical fantasy, The Watchmage of Old New York. It’s only 99 cents for another week, and available in paperback too! It’s not like anything you’ve ever read…well…it had words and pages, so a little like things you’ve read. But it’s a time period that few books have tackled, and it’s a damn good story, with a 4.8 star rating on Amazon. Also, there are flying dogs, rabbis with terrible jokes, and dangerous bunnymen. None of those are that important to the plot, but they’re fun.

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“America First,” Slogans, and Subtext

You may have noticed that the president is using the slogan “America First” just as much as “Make America Great Again.” You probably haven’t thought twice about this. I mean, what American doesn’t want to put America first? We have to take care of our own before others, right?

If words were just words, that’d be fine. but we all know (especially if you’re a writer or reader) that there’s more to words than face value. It’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it (like sarcasm), and what images, symbols, or memories it evokes. There is text, context, and subtext.

Marketers agonize over the right slogans and symbols. You only have to watch a few commercials to see this in action. Remember Puppymonkeybaby? Why did they choose that chimeric combination? Why did they have it dancing around? What were they trying to say about their drink?

Or with campaign slogans, what does “Make America Great Again” make you feel? What about Obama’s “Yes We Can”? Or Reagan’s “Morning in America?” They’re all saying similar things, but they have different subtext. It’s the subtext that appeals to and empowers different people, and that’s why I’m bringing up “America First.

america first kkk

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Hard Things are Hard

Yesterday I did something that I never expected to have to do. I cut loose someone very important to me. I won’t go into details, but it’s been an act that I’ve been musing on for some time.

That time doesn’t make it easier.

We make decisions everyday that change our lives. We constantly face crossroads, deals with the devil and appeals to our better nature. The worst part is that you rarely know that you’re there at the time. It’s not until later where you realize “hey, turning left instead of right sent me far from where I meant to go. This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife. How did I get here?” Or “turning left was one of the best decisions that I ever made.”

And some decisions are harder than others. Some of them you know will change your life. Some of them are failures. Sometimes the decision is not turning at all, but letting fear and indecisiveness freeze you in place. Every action has a consequence, and not choosing is still a choice. I avoided choosing for a long time, but I finally did it.

We’ll see if I chose the right path. Right now I just feel hollow. Not good or bad. More like an emptiness. I feel spent. The choice took all of my spoons.

But I’d probably do it again. Part of being an adult is doing what has to be done.

Being an adult is hard.

In honor of the 5th anniversary of my fiance’s death, her collected works is now available for FREE for 5 days. Val was an extraordinary writer, the best that I’ve ever known. Please share in her work and my love by picking up her story collection.

valerie cover

The Frogs and the Milk

doge in space card redux

One day a forgetful farmer forgot to bring his bucket of milk back in before bed. Overnight, two frogs landed in the bucket and couldn’t get out.

The first frog said “We’re doomed! Oh, death by dairy, a disgusting demise.”

The second frog said. “You presume our passing. If we persist, we will pull ourselves out.”

First Frog: Don’t placate me. I can’t persist in persisting. Such persistence is puddingheaded.”

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