For The Last Time, People Don’t Suck!

Hello dear reader(s)!

Have you ever dealt with one of those people who just hates everyone?  Who thinks humanity is just a plague that needs to be cleansed from the planet?  Has dealing with them ever made you wonder why they just don’t start with themselves even though you hate the thought of someone actually committing suicide (with the exception of the Trump administration and his Congressional pets)?

I will admit, people can suck.  We have done horrible things to each other, to animals, and to the environment we rely on to sustain us.  People can be selfish, hateful, unfeeling, awful people.  They can be.

And those awful people. those that drop chemical weapons, those that manufacture those weapons, those that covertly supply those weapons, those that then put on a multi-million dollar fireworks show in what they claim is a response to the use of those weapons but is really just an attempt to distract from the investigation of collusion between those awful people and those responsible for backing the use of those weapons… those awful people get a lot of attention.

However, there are many, many more of us.  There are those who donate their own blood and organs to save strangers.  There are those that work tirelessly to ensure that people have a place to sleep and food to eat.  There are those who rescue unwanted and abused animals saved from the kinds of awful people that are currently getting all the attention.

The word “awful” has to be put in front of people when I write of the awful people because to call them simply people is to assign a humanity to them which they are clearly lacking.  I don’t have to put the word “good” in front of people to say that most people do not suck.

People have power.  People are being misled by awful people into thinking they do not.  People are being turned into awful people by the awful people in order to keep them from retaking the power that rightfully belongs to them.

Prior to the United States Civil War, then Presidential nominee Abraham Lincoln famously said that a house divided against itself cannot stand.  The awful people know this and are using it to break the will of the people.

They feed us stories of tragedy and terror.  Fear and suffering.  Hatred and evil.  A constant twenty-four hour barrage of information analyzed and justified by paid pundits to do one thing and one thing only… keep the people from seeing that most of us, just want to live in peace and take care of themselves and their loved ones.  That most people do not suck.  That if we could all understand who is keeping us from a better life in peace, things would change very rapidly.

At the end of a news segment, you have one short story about something good.  A puff piece designed to cover their agenda.   A way to pretend they have balance in their coverage.

Most news stories aren’t even useful news.  Rarely does a news entity cover who is backing a candidate’s run for office, what they received in donations, how those donations corresponded to their votes, what bills are being presented at state and local levels that receive bi-partisan support, or anything else that will help to keep an informed citizenry.

Instead, the news is filled with stories designed to scare you.  Shootings.  Bombings.  A conveniently placed next story about refugees or immigration and then you have people fearing those who they need not fear.  You do not hear about how sociopathic someone must be to fire hundreds of millions of dollars in cruise missiles to boost their poll numbers while cutting programs to help people eat.  You do not hear about how absolutely evil someone must be to drop bombs on a country because their government massacres them while leaving our doors closed to those who flee.   You are fed stories designed to make you fear the man on your block or the poor person in another country, instead of the people who can and will order the deaths of hundreds of people because they are where your buddies want to build an oil pipeline.

People do not suck.  People are awesome.  People are powerful.  Awful people suck.  Right now, the awful people are winning because they are successfully convincing some people that the threat is the people just trying to get by like themselves, and not the ones who are pulling all the strings.

The problems aren’t created by the poor people.  They aren’t created by the middle class or the upper-middle class; they aren’t even created by the rich.  But the ultra-rich in this world, I can guarantee you, have done some very horrible things to amass that amount of wealth.  No matter how they try to make up for it on the back-end with their foundations (even if most are just for publicity), they never would have gotten there without destroying lives.  By holding onto so much of it, they destroy even more.

People don’t suck.  People are being forced to compete for the scraps left behind by the awful people.  They are forced to undercut each other to sell their labor for nothing more than a chance at survival.  People become desperate, and may do some things that suck.  But people, in general, do not suck.

Awful people suck, and one day, I sincerely hope that people raid their palaces and suck away all of their ill-gotten gains.

And then I’ll be okay with those people who think people suck.

Amazing Special Offer!

Hello dear reader(s)!

Are you tired, bored, or listless?   Is something that is out of your control weighing heavily on your mind?  Are you struggling to get out of bed or up off the couch because nothing really sounds good to you?

Well, have I got an offer for you!!!!

(I don’t know, do I?)

I have come across a product, so ingenious, so revolutionary, so amazing, that I simply need to share it with you dear reader(s)!

How much would you expect to pay for one product that could solve all of the problems mentioned earlier?

Would you pay $100?

How about $50?

How about $40?

How about three easy payments of $9.95?

Well you’re not going to have to pay that much.

I think you’ll agree, the solution to these problems is priceless.

But for an unlimited time only, I’m offering this product to you, my dear reader(s), absolutely free of charge!!!!    (Shipping and handling not included.)

Today’s amazing special offer?

Force yourself to get up, and go take a walk in nature.

That’s what I’m going to now.

Have a great day, everyone.

 

Long Ago

When the sun still shone brightly, before the clouds of toxins, there were birds that would fly through the sky.  Little ones and larger ones of all different shapes and colors flew through it.  The sky appeared, then, long ago, blue on most of the days.

Beneath that sky was the land.  Many different species of animals roamed on it, alongside us.  It was not unlike the land you know today, except that it was not covered with concrete and asphalt.  There were trees.  They grew in many places, and they had green leaves.  Green?  That is the color we paint the artificial lawns of the wealthy.  Lawns were once real, filled with grass, a green plant that grew across the land.  The wealthy wish to remember what that is like, and that is why we have work.

We had rivers, and streams, filled with crystal clear water that used to reflect the color of the sky and would appear blue.  It did more than carry our industrial waste and sewage.  We could capture it and treat it for drinking and cooking.  There were vast aquifers of water under the ground.  Yes, those are what the wells are for.  Yes, they are running dry.

The oceans used to have fish living in them.  Before they turned to acid and lost oxygen.  People could eat the fish they caught from the ocean.  No, the toxic algae wasn’t that much of an issue, long ago.  The chemicals began to show up in some fish, but those fish could be avoided for a time.  Eventually, they either showed up in all the fish, or the fish simply could not live in our oceans any longer.

Long ago, the ocean was further away.  You can still see the tops of some of the buildings peeking out from the water when the tide is out.  That was a very large city.  It was gradually abandoned as the waters began to rise.  That building over there?  On the edge of the water?  That was a desalinization plant.  It tried to take the salt from the ocean water so that we could drink it.  It worked for a few years, but the water became too toxic to treat even after the salt was removed.

Okay, enough questions for now, I think they are watching us.  Hand me some more paint, please.

Long ago, some men, convinced that nothing mattered more than money, decided to make it so that all of this would be impossible to stop.  Long ago, they prevented the development of technologies that could have slowed or reversed some of the damages we have caused.  They removed restrictions from doing the greatest damage, knowing that they would be rich and living in luxury when they left this world, long ago.  Now their children and grandchildren hire people like us to paint their lawns, as they watch their protected enclaves get smaller and smaller.  Yet they still speak of their fathers and grandfathers as if they were great men.

Where is your mother?  Why are you working alongside this old man?

Oh, I am sorry to hear that.  It is an honor to work beside such a responsible child.  I am sure it can’t be easy taking care of a family at your age.

How can we fix this?  What should you do now?  You ask these questions as if I have answers.

I am sorry.  I am near death.  I can feel my body beginning to give up this fight.  I can’t help you there.  I am not certain there is anything you can do.  I do not mean to sound hopeless.  But, in my opinion, something needed to be done long ago.

 

 

The Final Christmas

Hello dear reader(s)!

I wish I could say that this is fiction, but unfortunately, it seems as though it is all too real.  This will surely be the final Christmas for humanity.  Though scholars may point to the looming Trump Presidency, the consumer culture, the divided nature of the world, mass extinctions, or climate change, I hope that this documentation of our final days will reveal the actual truth of our demise.

This post contains graphic depictions of real events some people may find disturbing.  For that reason, reader discretion is advised.  

6:31 am:  The effects of the medication, while delayed, were obviously quite dramatic.  I attempt to lift my head from the pillow, but it feels like I am being held down.  My bladder is sending signals to my brain that it has reached its natural capacity, and it would be a good idea to empty it.  Yet, I see that the world remains rather dark through the windows, and lay my head back down before returning to sleep once again.

7:37 am:  The nearby child of the village has stirred, awakening me from my slumber.  I try to take a deep breath, in order to get out of the bed, but breathe in some saliva or something and get thrown into a massive coughing fit.  My bladder once again has let me know of its unhappiness with the situation, and each cough leads to worry of an accidental emptying.  I attempt to lift my head off the pillow once more, but am unsuccessful.  I think to myself that it is like something I used to wake up for, has been taken from me, and now I lack the basic motivation to live.  I reach over, and grab my phone, to surf the book of faces.  I post a status update, and soon, I am back asleep.

8:22 am:  My bladder is screaming at me.  Despite lacking any motivation to live, I can feel that my bladder has plenty of motivation.  Soon, even my unmotivated mind realizes that it had better get motivated in order to avoid wetting the bed.  I finally decide to get up to empty my bladder, but have every intention of returning to bed once I finish and wash my hands.

8:24 am:  The nearby child of the village signals that he is in the bathroom.  His voice can be heard from my bunker.  The fan of the bathroom echoes through my ears, laughing mockingly at my bladder.  As the tears stream from my eyes, my mind considers gathering the empty water bottles I have yet to clean from my bunker.  I do not want to resort to such measures, but will if I have to.  I wait with crossed legs.

8:34 am:  The nearby child of the village has left the bathroom.  The bladder is saved!  Despite this excellent news, I still find it difficult to get out of bed.  My motor functions are slowing.  Something is definitely wrong.  Could it be the medication?  I feel like a zombie.

8:37 am:  I finally get out of bed and make it to the bathroom.  I did not have an accident, but likely only made it with a tenth of a second or so to spare.

8:41 am:  After washing my hands, I exit the bathroom and head back toward my bunker in order to find my glasses, so that I can see the looming threats on the horizon.  I walk around my bed, which calls to me.  I struggle to resist the call of the bed, knowing that I really should get up.  I successfully resist, and obtain my glasses.  I question why I fought as I make my way down the hall into the village kitchen.  I wander into the kitchen, feeling as though as I am on autopilot.  I walk toward the cupboard wherein my beloved espresso machine lies, and am suddenly faced with the knowledge that humanity has seen its last Christmas.

8:44 am:  I pass by my beloved espresso machine, and instead grab the toaster.  I plug it in, and make myself a bagel in a fog, knowing that none of us will survive, because yesterday, my doctor told me I am not allowed to have coffee.  I wait for the inevitable fall of civilization.

May Goddess forgive us.

Drought

They tried to stay out of the conflict.  They moved to a remote house in the mountains miles away from the city below where the water wars raged out of control.  He dug a well under the porch of their house in order to keep it hidden from thieves.  It just barely reached far enough down to reach any water.  The lake was nearly dry, and all the reservoirs were empty.  Most people had already left the area, but then Canada refused to take any more climate refugees, and the remaining people were trapped to fight for each drop.  The people in the camps along the border hoping to be let in were even more desperate than those they had left in the city.

Occasionally they would see clouds on the horizon and become hopeful.  But the clouds either passed right by or rained just enough to grow the cheatgrass that would dry out and likely catch fire at some point ending things for them once and for all.  It had been months since they had any measurable precipitation, and years since they had any snow.

It was a hard life, but they did the best they could.  Working the land and gathering and growing whatever food they could manage in secret created a bond between them.  She was a great gardener, and the garden she grew up on the high plateau was enough to provide as long as the well held out.  He would carve things out of wood.  She would make paints from the things found in the forest and create beautiful works of art.  Despite the struggle, they adjusted to their life rather well and made the best of it.

They would often wonder about the fate of the people in the city.  He was concerned for months that someone would come up, find his well, find her garden, and try to take them by force.  He was surprised when he realized it had been months and nobody ever came.  He wondered if things got much better in the city, or much, much worse.  He wasn’t about to risk everything to find out.  He was starting to fall for her, his fellow survivor, and would not put her into danger in order to satisfy his curiosity about the fate of his former city.

Then he went to grab some water from the well.  It was dry.  He lifted his equipment out and tried to dig further, but he was hitting rock.  He tried to sink another well, but reached only rock.  They were out of water except for the reserves they already bottled.  It would not last more than a couple of days.  He scaled the cliff face to find her in the garden and told her.

“I knew this coming.  It’s okay,” she smiled.

She then told him that they would take the water they had, some weapons to protect them from thieves, and the wood carvings he did and paintings she made.  Her idea was that if things had gotten better in the city, perhaps they could barter them for water.  Maybe they could even stay there if they were rescued.

“What if there was no rescue?” he asked her.

“We die there instead of here,” she answered.

They packed all they could on their backs and set off for the city.  They did their best to conserve water, but the hike down the mountain required them to drink more than they were hoping.  As they reached the outskirts of the city, he knew they would have to find water soon.

She remarked about how they had not encountered any trouble as they walked into the deserted suburbs.  It was an ominous sign.  She knew that they should have encountered someone willing to kill them for what little water they carried.  The fact that they saw nobody let her know her plan had failed.

They walked through blocks and blocks of empty streets toward the downtown core.  They hoped that any survivors would be there among the resources of the commercial center.  And then they started seeing the bodies.  Bodies just decomposing in the street.  They passed the bombed out ruins created from the water wars.  They saw the graffiti asking for help from the government.  They saw an entire city left to terminally dehydrate.  And then they saw something more sinister.  They saw the chemical weapons canisters.  They saw the police barricades.  They saw the remains of people who were exterminated instead of saved.

She broke into tears.  He looked for any source of water he could find, but knew it had all been consumed.  He tried to comfort her.  There was nothing he could say to her that would give her hope, as he had none himself.  After holding her in his arms and letting what little moisture she had left in her seep out of her eyes and onto his shoulder, he pulled out the last canteen of water, and gave her the final sip.

“Not here.  Not like this.  Let’s go home,” he told her.

They walked hand in hand back out of the city.  The sky was clear and night began to fall.  The dehydration was already setting in, and her muscles began cramping up.  They stopped at a deserted suburban park.  They sat on the ground, and would have cried, had they been able to.  She was getting weak.  He had her lie down with her head in his lap.  He stroked her cheek with his thumb and looked into her eyes.

“Well, at least I felt real love in this life,” he told her.

“What?” she asked with a light in her eyes he had not seen.

“I swear by every star in this night sky that I will love you forever,” he admitted to her.

Her eyes widened and she perked up.  “Wait,” she began, “Where are the stars?  There are no stars!” she exclaimed.

He looked up to see what she was talking about when the snow began to fall.  Hard.  It began piling up on the ground and around them.  They were cold.  They were exhausted.  They were still scared.  But they were saved.  As soon as there was enough snow, he scooped some up in the canteen, used his lighter to melt it, and give her the fresh, clear water.

He stood up, and reached for her hand.  “Come on, we should find shelter,” he told her.

“Wait,” she said, standing up and smiling, “I need to tell you something.”

She grabbed his hands and pulled him toward her.  She leaned in and kissed him deeply.  She pulled away and as he was still grinning said, “I swear by every snow flake on the ground and in the sky that I love you.”

They stood together in the snow, kissing and smiling as long as they could in the cold, before they left to find shelter and start the rest of their happy lives together.

 

Screw You, Science

Hello dear reader(s)!

Well, more like, “Screw you, science fiction writers and future predictors.  Screw you scientific principles that prevent some of those things in science fiction from becoming reality.”

Here is a short list of things science fiction has promised us, that I am still waiting for.  Any fucking time, science.  Quit studying whether carbs make you fat for Dr. Oz for the millionth time and get on these things, will you?

  • Transporters  Because, duh.  Oh sure, there is the question of whether or not you actually die and are reassembled with all your memories intact, and all the knowledge you are you, but are not actually you but another life that thinks it’s you.  But that question exists for every time you wake up from sleep so I think I’ll just take the instant trip anywhere I want to go and let the particles fall where they may, thank you very much.  That final new me, with all those memories of going places instantly, that final new me would have a pretty great little life.  Worth it.
  • Flying cars  I’m just damn sick of traffic.  Maybe we could, oh, I don’t know, start by getting a fucking light rail extension to all areas of town that need one before twenty fucking years go by!  Maybe not take ten years to dig a tunnel nobody wanted.  Work on flying cars in that time instead.  It shouldn’t take twenty years to build a train line.
  • Hoverboards  The real ones.  Back To The Future style.  I won’t ride one.  I can’t even ride a skateboard without breaking my ass.  But it would be cool to watch the X Games with hoverboards, and wish I had the skill and dexterity to pull some of the things those people do as I shove a fist full of popcorn into my mouth and cry into my beer at my wasted potential.
  • Robot maids  No, the roomba is not Rosie.  Where the hell is my Rosie?  My fucking house is a mess, and I want a goddamn robot to clean it.  Is that too much to ask, science?  Get on it.  Maybe she could be a little nicer.  Rosie was kind of bitchy.  Then again, I suppose she was kind of a slave, so I guess that’s justified.
  • Jetsons food  Only true fans of the show will know there were actually two unique ways of eating.  There was the instant food machine, and then there were the food pills.  I’d take either, if they left me feeling full and were properly nutritious.  I like to cook, but there are so many days I could just push a button, like the days I end up calling for Chinese because I don’t feel like getting off the couch.  In other words…today.
  • Commonplace space travel  More people travel between planets in some stories than people take road trips today.  That sounds fun, provided your computer doesn’t decide to take over and try to kill you, Dave.
  • Lasers that do more than point out things during boring meetings, entertain pets, or blind pilots when yielded by idiots who need to get the living crap kicked out of them.  I’m just going to leave that there.
  • Time travel  Have you ever been waiting for something and just couldn’t?  Wouldn’t it be nice to skip right to then?  Some people would want to go back in time and change things.  I want to skip past things to better things.  Things that may or may not be on the near horizon.
  • Easy replacement parts  Cancer of the _____?  No worries, we’ll just print/make new _____.  Too much fatty food/other damage?  Here’s a new heart.  Too many drinks?  Your new liver is right here.  All rejection free, no risky surgery.  Money back guarantee.  Available with built-in Wi-Fi.
  • Renewable energy  The sad part is that this isn’t fiction.  It is being deliberately suppressed by those who have a monetary interest in keeping things the way they are.  If this one doesn’t change, we will never have the chance to see any of the things above come to reality, even if they are possible.  We’re destroying our ability to exist, not because the science isn’t there, but because greed is too important.

So I lied.  Not Screw You, Science…Screw You, Science Deniers!

The Lady and the Hunter

The endless knot is something that people have a hard time reconciling.  They look for a beginning to all things.  To understand that all things are intertwined, may double back on itself, overlap, and have no end is something that eludes our linear way of thought.

The knot does have lines, however, so our perception of time is not entirely incorrect.  Each line in the knot, is a separate realm.  We can seek a beginning to some things.  A beginning to one portion of the knot.  We will never find the beginning of the knot, because it doesn’t exist.  It always was.  It will never end.

Son, I have told you the beginning of this line of the knot.  I’ve explained the infinite darkness when the Goddess drew upon herself and burst forward in creation of the stars, the planets, and us.  I have told you of her creation of the God who helped her to create the animals, and us.  I have told you that whenever you are present in their creations you are basking in their love.  I have told you how important it is for us to care for their creation.  Do you remember that?

Good.  But what about another line or realm of the knot?  Have I told you about the line over here?  Just before you get to our realm?

Over here, we have the divine.  They come from other lines and turns in the knot.  Past, present and future.  But in this line, they exist alone.  There is no sky.  There are no trees.  No ocean.  No stars.  No moon.  The Goddess was unhappy after a time.  She was not content to exist in a hollow world.  She needed to use her infinite love to create.  She knew of the knot.  She knew of the continuing span.  But she wanted to build in it.  She wanted to help create the knot.

Afraid to leave the realm of the divinity, she formulated a plan.  She would create a companion.  He would travel the realms, seeking ideas for the Goddess.  He would need to be strong, and fearless.  He would need to charge recklessly into things she was much more deliberate and reserved to do herself.  He would be tasked with acquiring the best from all of the realms and bringing them to the Goddess so she could use those things as inspiration.

And so she created the hunter.  She explained to him what she wanted.  Taken with her infinite love and beauty, gifted with the attributes she created for him, he had no other mission other than to provide for the Goddess.  He immediately began traveling the knot.

Over thousands of years, he moved from realm to realm.  He would hunt the best he found from each realm, and bring it back to the Goddess.  He captured animals, strange beings, vegetation, liquid, soil, fire, ice, air…anything he could acquire.  He hunted for the best from the realms and returned it to her.

The Goddess was delighted.  She began to design her own ideas for life, and soil, and liquid, fire, ice, and air.  She changed colors, density, added here, removed there.  She began to plan an entire realm based on what the hunter had provided.  Each time he returned to bring her more, she was becoming happier and happier to see him.  He complemented her in so many ways.  His bravery, willingness to face the unknown, and dedication were things she desired in herself.  Each time he prepared to leave, she found herself not wanting to say goodbye.

The last time he returned, he was not well.  He had become exhausted through his journey across the knot.  In the final he realm he visited, he brought her back the realm’s greatest feature.  Death.  He fell to the floor, showing her the end to his existence so that others may take his place.  In death, he moved to the realm of beyond.

The Goddess was devastated.  She threw her plans for creating the knot away, and went into a deep mourning.  For a thousand years, she mourned.  She forgot herself in the process.  She erased her divinity from her mind.  She was a Goddess no more.

No loner divine, she was banished to a realm of infinite darkness.  She was nothing, because she felt she was nothing.  And for another thousand years, she remained as nothing.  She questioned how this happened to her.  How did she become this?  How could she become what she felt?

And then, she realized it.  She was a Goddess.  She became nothing, because she felt she was nothing.  So if she felt she was a Goddess, she would be Goddess once more.  And she burst forth in joy.  Dancing into creation the heavens, and the Earth.  She created the mountains and the seas.  She created the soil.  She gazed upon the beauty of the realm she made.  She was happy for many ages.  But soon she felt alone.  What good were her creations if she could not share them?  So she brought back the hunter.  This time, she made him the God.  Together they populated the Earth with the forests, the animals, and us.

Their love can be felt in the wind.  In the flowing rivers.  In the serene lakes.  Their love can be felt in every song of the birds.  Their love for each other, brings their love for us.  They created us together, in love.

So pick up that damn water bottle and throw it in the recycling.