Blog 2019, charm of life

Cash or Credit or Reputation?

Following up on the discussion from a few weeks ago, I’ve been trying to brush through the various expectations and theories about art and writing and professionalism, trying to get to the lucent core of it all.  Namely, if you divorce professional accolades from the production of art, what remains?

You create a work that the audience responds to (hopefully favorably).  It seems a fairly simple transaction, yes?  I write cool stories, people enjoy reading the cool stories, the cycle continues.  Sweet.  No problem, right?

Yes and no.

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Blog 2019, charm of life, Conventions, Story Speculations

“Is that the moon, or just a light that lights this deadend street?” – Metallica, The House That Jack Built


I have been struggling of late to get some bearings.  I feel like a lot of us have, for many reasons.  The easiest reason is the 2016 Election.  I think many people in this country are shocked by the turn that has taken place and are surprised to learn about our neighbors what we have.  It makes sense that many of us are wondering just where to go to next, and how. Continue reading

Blog 2019, charm of life

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One…

Sometime ago, a friend was telling me about a feud in his martial arts school.  The instructor of his instructor (I’ll call him Granddad because martial arts takes itself too seriously) had a falling out with a student.  This student left Granddad’s tutelage and renounced all his teachings.  There was cussing, there was shouting, there was bad blood.  This was also in the infancy of the internet, so the personal feud spilled over onto the sparsely-populated message boards.  Granddad’s (now former) student left the system.

Lo and behold, some of the remaining students learned that less than a year later, this student had opened a school and was teaching as the head instructor.  The students were furious.  They started talking of rolling up to his school and explaining a few things to him.  They started talking about how this was an insult to Granddad and their system and their lineage and on and on and on. Continue reading

Blog 2019, charm of life

Weekly Lament

Some days, I sit at this desk and I try to conjure what to write.  Should I touch on something narrative or professional?  Or should I tackle an issue in the larger world?  Fitness?  Art in general?  Some days, I have an array of topics I want to discuss.  And other days, the words simply aren’t there.

It’s getting harder and harder to write these days.  There’s a shadow that’s cast over all of us.  A pallor from which we can only momentarily escape.  I disdain to be melodramatic, but its hard to think of things in any other terms.  We are being overshadowed by, what seems to be, a wave of oppression.

We’re still in the wake of Alabama’s abortion ban.  We’re still feeling out similar laws in other states.  We’re waiting to learn when these will be heard before a Supreme Court which is a farce at best.  A basic concept is on the line, a basic tenet of the world is under attack.  It’s a hard time to really try to think of words.

There are few things that benefit a society like reproductive rights and health in women.  The data is clear, every bit as clear as it is on things like climate change.  Curtailing a woman’s right to control her health and to make her decisions is bad on every level, from the macro of society to the micro of one’s ethics.  Passing these laws is an attack on 52% of the population, plain and fucking simple.

Sorry, no pithy remark today.  No clever scenarios or poignant observations.  Just blunt, rude honesty.  The ruling powers are trying to send women back to being bare-foot, pregnant, and chained to the stove.  And I’m sick of it.  Worse, I’m sick of so many people acting like it’s some kind of higher calling.

You’re a fucking sexist who think women are less than human.  At least have the decency to admit it.  Dressing up harm as some form of care is the modality of abusers.

These laws are sickening, they are disgusting, and those who support them, quite simply, hate women.