Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Book! New Book!


I have a new story out.

It's in the latest anthology from B Cubed Press.

It's called The Miracle Man and is set in the same universe as my previous story, The Deserter. Both installments share a character -- though in-universe the tales are separated by several decades -- and it seems I am now writing stories set in this universe because I'm sitting here looking at least a few more in various stages of draft. Eventually, they may become a stand alone novel or anthology. 

What's it about? This new story? This world?

God. Death. Miracles. War. Robots. You know, the usual stuff. 

The genesis for this new story and the previous one, is Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. 

Clarke formulated that idea when writing 2001: A Space Odyssey and it describes a lot of the third act in that work. Clarke was describing aliens that had advanced to the point where their technology could not be understood by human science. Science could not even see how it was possible to get from here to there. From our perspective, the alien civilization detailed in 2001 was, for all intents and purposes, magic.

There's an obvious corollary, thus: Any sufficiently advanced being is indistinguishable from God. 

It's a simple idea, but it's impossible for the current state of human intellect to visualize such a being. 

Which is why the gods of human religion often end up described as petulant, petty, vindictive children instead a vast all-knowing all-powerful consciousness capable of creating worlds. 

Not that any vast all-knowing intellect capable of creating worlds is likely to give much of a damn about us.

I mean, would you really want to meet such a being? 

If that being, that vast intellect a million years beyond human understanding isn't God, well, it might just well be. And when the unstoppable agents of that intelligence walk the Earth, when they part the seas and raise up mountains and level cities and do what they do without regard for human concerns, well, if they are not angels, if that's not magic, there is be no practical difference to those caught in the maelstrom.  

Now, imagine if you will, a conman, who sells salvation on the installment plan in that world, the one where Rapture has come and creatures more terrible than any in the Old Testament walk the earth for real, until one day when he meets his god face to face. 

Also, robots. 

And that, right there, is the background of The Miracle Man.

I think it might be the best thing I've written. 

Maybe you will too. 

But if you don't care for my story, well, there are 25 other ones by some really fantastic writers that you might enjoy instead. 

The new anthology is called Alternative Deathiness.

From the press release by Editor Bob Brown: 

I’m coming for you is a bad movie line. For Death it is a promise. We tend to like to avoid the concept of death, but it keeps finding us. So we put together a book.

But what to call it.

We were sick of death coming in and taking friends and family, giving no regard for us except to leer from the darkness. The answer came, in a callout to Steven Colbert: we opted for Deathiness.

Death didn’t like that.

I believe it was her fault that I found myself being carried out of the house with a couple of pulmonary embolisms and realizing that most people who were in my condition met the grim reaper.

So I resolved to change my life, be a nicer person, give up cheese products and…

Nah, I decided to invite the B Cubed family on board to talk about it and maybe have a laugh at Death’s expense.

So Death, be warned:

We’re Coming for You!

And we're doing it with these great stories:

In "The Bodies We Carry" K.G. Anderson, one of the great up and comers writing about how to make death more real.

In "The Miracle Man" Jim Wright gives another chilling look into the world he created for the Best Selling Alternative Apocalypse.

In "Instructions for My Executors" Clare Marsh treats us with a poetic look at death and what the family should do.

In "Rule 49" (perhaps my favorite) has Maureen McGuirk looking at death as a real entity and shows us their many faces.

In "Spoons," Jay Wilburn dips into a well of thought and sensitivity as he makes death into a gentle journey that is not taken alone.

And "Gallows Humor?" Michael Mansaray takes a unique look at the inevitability of death that must be read to appreciate.

"For What is a Man" is David Foster's quest for an answer to the question with no real unswer.

"Mudpaws and the Tall Thing" Frances Rowat is a touching story reminiscent of the work Mike Resnick that sees the worlds end from the perspective of a lovely dog.

"A Comedian’s Valediction Forbidding Mourning" is the wonderful Larry Lefkowitz's reminder to laugh.

"The Thing Underneath" is a wee bit of horror by James Van Pelt.

"Have You Ever Been Experienced?" is an old theme made fresh by Paula Hammond, as she shows the power of being addicted to death.

"Death’s Scout" is Mark O. Decker thoughtful poem that I'll let you read rather than read about. It's that good.

"Papercut" by Larry Hinkle will make you throw this book out the window in disgust and horror, only to stop the car and retrieve the book to read it again.

"Death's Doorway" is Diana Hauer's incredible story of those who walk beside us through that final gate.

"Missing" by Robin Pond is that story that makes you want to read a hundred more just like it.

In "Final Questions," Chris Kuriata, adds to the duties of death to in this thoughtful look at unanswered questions of the dead.

"The Borrower" by Katie Sakanai speaks to the value of the human spirit across space and time.

"Three O’Clock" is Lamont Turner's nicely done story on making the best out of a bad situation.

"To Do Right", by Cory Swanson, shows us a better way to die. A good end to life is not to be underestimated.

"Old Forgotten Grave" by Bill Camp is a familiar but comfortable reminder that all of us will be forgotten.

"Ashes," by my dear friend Lizzy Shannon is a touching look at the end of life.

"The Devil’s Backbone," by Larry Hodges, brings his trademark humor to what happens when the Devil takes on the Good Humor man.

"Written in Stone," by Lauren Stoker.

"Death," by Robert Armstrong

"The Four Horsemen (and Women) of the Apocalypse" by Sarina Dorie

"Deathventures, Inc." by Robinne Weiss

"Rest In Virtual" by Tommy Blanchard

"Loving Death in New York" is poet Alicia Hilton's look at death on the streets of the Big Apple.

"Life Long Love" by the inspired young man, Sirrus James. Not old enough to drink, but old enough to understand love.

The print version  of Alternative Deathiness is here

And the Kindle version is here

I was supposed to be at this year's World Science Fiction Convention, WorldCon, in Washington D.C. 

B Cubed Press and Bob Brown were bringing copies of Alternative Deathiness that I -- and the other writers involved -- intended to sign for interested readers. 

Unfortunately, like Bob said up above, Death herself tends to irony. 

And in my case, I had to drop out literally at the very last moment due to a death in my family. 

So, we're a little late getting to the new book, but it'll be all that much better for it. 



Note: if you'd like to read my other story in this universe, The Deserter, you can find print and electronic versions here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Recap: December 28, 2021

Well, well. Look at that. 

Another politician died from COVID.

A tragedy, said the news. A terrible tragedy.  

Yes, a tragedy. He leaves behind a family. Friends. A job undone. He was so young. He was in the prime of life. And now, he's dead. It's so sad. Yes, yes. So very sad. 

He was a politician, you see. 

He was an elected "leader." 

He was that species of conservative we've grown all too familiar with of late: A vocal antivaxxer, a conspiracy theorist, loudly dismissive of the severity of the disease, profit over people, and who actively campaigned against any measure to contain the pandemic.

Who am I talking about? 

What was his name? 

Is it that guy yesterday from Washington state? 

Or the one last week from Florida? 

Maybe those (several) politicians from Texas or that one antivaxxer who was elected in Louisiana but died from COVID before he could take office?

While we're at it, what about that semi-famous YouTuber, or that media personality, or those various prominent preachers?

I mean, that's the thing, isn't it? 

That, right there. 

It could be any of them. 

Every day, there's another one. Another dead idiot. Another jackass politician, another fanatical preacher, another red-faced talk show host, dead from a preventable disease after a month of sucking oxygen through a tube. 

Do the names even matter at this point? 

It's just another unvaccinated moron, drowned in his own snot. 

Another suicide by petulance. 

Do the names even matter? 

What's that? 

Oh. I see. 

I should be a better person. 

Take the high road, right? Like that. 

Have some sympathy. Think of the families. Think of how these poor deluded fools were taken in by conspiracy and delusion. Have some empathy, man. Be the better person. 

That's what you're saying. Be the better person. Don't cheer these deaths. Don't celebrate these fools killing themselves off. Don't raise up a huzzah to Darwin.

It's not their fault, right? They were led astray. 

That's what Twitter told me, when I mentioned the latest death from stupidity. 

Be the better person. 


Well, Folks, you can just stop with "be a better person" bit.

Because that just ain't going to happen. That ship not only sailed, it hit a rock outside the harbor and went down with all hands. 

I am all out of fucks to give. 

I'm not going to feel bad for some obnoxious idiot politician, some loud mouthed media personality, some fanatical religious nut, who not only refused to get vaxxed, but actively tried to keep the public from the vaccine. These assholes are killing people. It's bad enough they killed themselves, but they are enthusiastically trying to take the rest of us with them. 

Deliberately causing your own death from a preventable disease isn't a tragedy.

It's evolution. 

And you can likewise stop with the "You should feel bad for his family" routine too. 

His family?

His family, forsooth. 


These people, they don't give a shit about their families. Or you. Or anybody else. The only thing they care about is their fanatical ideology. They're willing to kill themselves for it, and they'll take you with them just to own some libs. Let's go, Brandon! Yeah! 

We're years into this now. 

And at this point if you believe Alex Jones and Sean Hannity over actual doctors, then you are a fucking moron. 

You. Are. A. Moron. 

Hell, even Donald goddamn Trump thinks you should get vaccinated. 

At this point in human history, if you're an antivaxxer, you deserve every bit of scorn, mockery, and contempt we can heap upon you. You're a plague rat. You're Typhoid Mary and you should be exiled to a remote island somewhere beyond the edge of the map and left to rot. 

You want me to care about your family when you don't? Fine. Maybe now that another idiot politician is dead from stupidity, his kids will have at least chance for a better life. I mean, hell, if he couldn't be the kind of parent who was willing to put his ideology aside for his own children, then at least maybe his selfish miserable death will serve as a lesson to his children to be better people than their asshole of an old man. 

I dunno. 

Maybe I am a callous son of a bitch, as Twitter accused me of being yesterday.

Maybe I am. 

Twenty years in the military, a couple of wars, there's been a lot of dead bodies along the way, so, yeah, maybe I am a callous son of a bitch. 


So what? 

I just can't see the death of another antivaxxer as a tragedy. Not to me. Not to you. Not even to his family. 

The world is better off without these assholes. 

Folks, the world is full of tragedy. Real tragedy.

Kids going hungry in a nation where we throw food away? Yeah, that's a tragedy. 

People sleeping in boxes under a viaduct while the rich fly into space as a goof? That's a tragedy.

I live in a state that this morning is surging in COVID cases, where deaths from the pandemic are at all time high, where the hospitals are overflowing -- and thus the profits are likewise at all time high. Healthcare for profit, now, that is a tragedy. Down here in The South, every day I see kids with their teeth rotted out of their heads, because their idiot, ignorant, asshole parents bought AR-15s and $400 worth of cigarettes this month instead of dental care. That's a goddamn tragedy. 

In my lifetime, we've spent untold trillions on decades of one futile miserable war after another, wars that left millions dead, millions more maimed, and the world measurably worse off than when it started. And no one was ever held to account. All those lives, all those people, all those families, bombed, burned, maimed, forgotten, and no one politician responsible was ever, not once, held to account. That's a not just a tragedy, that's a goddamn crime. 

There are a million tragedies large and small every day in this world and you want me to feel bad because some asshole politician, a grown goddamn man, who should have known better -- AND WHO NO DOUBT DID KNOW BETTER -- but who was determined to endanger himself as a political stunt, died? 

Died from his own determined and deliberate stupidity?

These deaths aren't an accident, they are on purpose.

Why shouldn't I celebrate that death? Why not? I mean, he got what he wanted. He made his point. Right? 

Callous. You damn right, I'm callous. 

And why shouldn't I be? These selfish miserable bastards, we've tried everything

We've tried reason. 

We've tried science.

We've tried appealing to their better nature, their sense of community and duty to their fellows.

They've been babied, cajoled, begged, shamed, and finally mandated. 

But still, they are determined to die and take us with them. 

And so they do.

They die. 

Alone. Scared. Drowning in their snot. 

That's not a tragedy. 

That's natural selection. 

These people, these antivaxers, they're not heroes. 

They're not standing on principle. 

It's not about freedom. 

It's not a tragedy. 

You can't appeal to their better nature, because they don't have any. 

They're just ASSHOLES.

And the world is better off without them. 

Viruses don't give a shit about your politics or your freedom or your idiotic political beliefs.

OR my callous disregard.

Look here: either you're part of civilization and you're willing to do whatever it takes to hold it together or you're not. If you're not willing to put aside your political ideology to protect your own families, and the rest of us, from a preventable disease, if you don't care that much, then I've got no fucks to give for you. 

I have plenty of sympathy. 

I have plenty of empathy.

I bleed for every real tragedy or I wouldn't have spent most of my adult life sworn to the defense of this nation and its people. 

But not for you. 

I have no fucks to give for you. 

If you're trying to burn down civilization, if you'd rather kill yourself and everyone around you, for a political stunt, then I've got nothing but contempt for you and yours. 

You're an asshole and you deserve what you get. 

You don't like that? 

It makes you mad? 

You want empathy and respect and concern for your wellbeing? That's a two-way street. 

You first. Step up. 

Stop being an asshole. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Recap: December 22, 2021


I had to back out of this year's World Science Fiction Convention, WorldCon, at quite literally the last minute. 

That caused a number of people who were depending on my presence some problems. I apologize for that. 

I was really been looking forward to WorldCon this year.

I'm not a fan of crowds, even if there wasn't a pandemic going around, but I'm part of several new books, and I was excited about those stories (still am). The latest one, I think that might be good enough to win an award or two. I mean, I usually write about politics, so getting to talk about the stuff I actually enjoy writing? Well, like I said, I was looking forward to it. 

And I was really looking forward to reconnecting and spending time with old friends. Some of which I only see at scifi conventions and comic cons. 

If there was any way I could have made the Convention, I would have. 

And as you've probably noticed, I haven't posted much here this last week. 

As such, I suppose I owe you an explanation. 

My Mother-In-Law passed away. 

I was literally -- literally -- in the car, pulling out of the driveway on my way to Washington, when my son (my son and his wife are living with us at the moment, while they look for their own place) ran out of the house and stopped me. 

Mom's on the phone with the nursing home and it doesn't sound good, he said. You'd better wait a minute. 

He was right, it wasn't good. 

My wife and I left our home in Alaska five years ago and moved here to the fetid swamps of the Florida Panhandle to care for her mom, who had then been recently diagnosed with Alzheimers. 

My wife gave up her career and became a full time caregiver -- which, if you're not familiar with Alzheimers, is a damn tough job that gets tougher and tougher with every day that passes. 

Alzheimers only goes in one direction. 

And that direction is down. 

It's pretty horrifying watching someone you love slowly disintegrate, losing their memories and their self piece by piece as the days go by. 

There are a number of ideologies when it comes to Alzheimers treatment. People can get pretty ... passionate about it. But, whichever course you choose, keeping an Alzheimers patient's mind active can sometimes help to slow the progression of the disease. 

So, my wife was there every minute of every day, working to keep her mom stimulated and engaged. The oldest memories are the ones that linger the longest. So, we daily took her to thrift stores and antique shops and wandered with her among the old things from her childhood -- hoping to reinforce those happy memories. My wife took her mom to visit friends and family. They went fishing, something both women loved to do (I clean the catch and cook it, but fishing bores me to tears). It worked, for a while. 

At home, we kept the big TV in the living room tuned the Grit Channel and the Western shows from her childhood, Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, and Laramie. She increasingly had trouble following the plot, but those shows were all pretty much the same story every episode and if you lost the thread of it, well, the next one picked up in the same place. She had trouble remembering new people, but she knew the faces of actors who've been dead for decades, even if she couldn't remember their names, and again those shows helped keep her memories intact. For a while. 

I cooked healthy meals. We took her for long walks. Because proper nutrition and exercise can also help slow the disease. 

But the operative word here is "slow."

Alzheimers only goes one way. 

Eventually she developed something called Lewy body dementia -- which means she started seeing things. Bad things. For some reason those with this affliction never see happy illusions, only terrible ones. Medication can, sometimes, lessen the severity of the delusions, but they never really go away. People with Alzheimers often become paranoid, convinced that those around them must be playing tricks on them. It's very hard, often impossible, for them to believe it's their own mind that's betraying them. They begin to lose track of time. They become combative. Agitated. The disease causes other health problems as the parts of their brain that regulate their bodies fail. They forget how to eat. They forget how to use the bathroom. They stop sleeping. They refuse to take their medication -- and eventually the medication stops working anyway. 

Being a caregiver for Alzheimers is more than a full time job. 

At first, in the early stages, you can maybe get a break every few days. They can be left alone in their rooms or in front of the TV for a short while. A friend, a family member, can take the watch for a few hours. But sooner or later, it becomes every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year. You have to be vigilant every moment. You look away, even for second, and an Alzheimer's patient can hurt themselves, can wander away into the woods or the road, can do something that endangers others and themselves. You don't get any sleep, because you have to be there, all the time. You can't even go use the bathroom, because somebody has to be there. You never get any time to yourself. None. 

There's a financial aspect too. It can cost you, a lot. 

Caring for an Alzheimer's patient can destroy marriages and families, and very often does. It can consume you, and it does. 

It takes a pretty solid relationship to keep going because it never gets better, it only gets worse. 

Then came the pandemic. And things got much harder. 

The places we'd take her, closed up. We couldn't visit friends or family. I don't know if the disease advanced more rapidly then, or if it was just coincidence, but you reach point where the disintegration begins to accelerate and you can't do it anymore. 

That's when you need professional help. 

For us that was about a year ago. 

We moved my mother-in-law into managed treatment, a facility that specializes in round the clock care for this sort of thing. They're professionals. There's a team. They're there, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in three shifts. We know she was happy there. There were people to talk to and things to do and my wife visited often (only one of us could go, due to COVID). She was well cared for, far beyond our capability at that point -- and I'm sharing this with you, because if you find yourself in this situation, caring for a loved one with this terrible disease, there comes a point where you have to make this decision and you should do it without guilt. Because it's the right thing for you both. 

But Alzheimers only goes one way. 

And there's only one end. 

And for us, for her, that was last week. 

It wasn't unexpected, but that doesn't make it any easier. 

She went without pain, without suffering, with her family around her. 

My wife and I have been together for 30 years and there's no way I'd let her face this alone -- though I'm not sure how much help I really was. We did what families do in times like this, we transported family to and from the airport, we fed people, and comforted each other, and made the arrangements, and did the things you do in times like this. 

And so that's where I was. 

That's why I couldn't make it. 

I'm sure you understand. 

Hopefully, I'll see you all in Chicago for the next Worldcon. 

Friday, December 10, 2021

Recap: December 10, 2021

The first shot in the War On Christmas.

Fox News' Christmas tree burned down. 

Fox News' Jacques DeGraff is pretty sure it was the work of the Imperial Japanese Navy: 

Somebody asked me, why are you here? I'm here because these colors don't run. 80 years ago, this week, they tried to extinguish the darkness in a place called Pearl Harbor. We didn't fold then, and we won't fold now, because we've come this far by faith. In our tradition we say, this little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine. The red, the white, the blue, and the light of America, we're going to let it shine.   

The forces of evil have declared war on little Baby Jesus! These colors don't run because the Christmas Tree is basically the American flag ... or something, anyway: Open the silos! Deploy the fleet! Get the bombers into the air! Hoist the colors! Sound the trumpet! We won't back down! USA! USA! To be honest, I'm not really certain what "extinguish the darkness" means, but it sounds defiantly patriotic and that's what counts. 

That's what counts.

When the Japanese stage a sneak attack on your ... Christmas tree, I guess?

Well, "Christmas Tree" quote unquote. Given that it wasn't really so much a tree tree as a giant metal cone with a bunch of highly flammable fake evergreen branches stuck on that exploded into flame so fast it made the Hindenburg look like your dad trying to light the charcoal grill on a rainy Friday night. 

A fake tree burns down and, goddamn, it's Pearl Harbor. It's 9/11. It's an attack on Christianity! It's liberalism run amok! It's defund the police! It's the Antifas and the BLMs! This is Joe Biden's America where no tree is safe! It's cities overrun with crime! It's...


Oh, I see. 

You think I'm engaged in hyperbole, do you? 


No, I'm quoting Fox News hysteria directly

According to Fox News, a homeless guy with mental health issues lights a fake tree on fire and it's a symbol of everything wrong with their world, a direct frontal attack on God himself, and apparently America. 

Never mind that Jesus himself once cursed a fig tree to death because it had pissed him off. 

But then, isn't this one hell of a metaphor for the Republican version of Christmas? 

I mean, isn't it? 

The tree is fake. And flammable. A danger to the public. A fifty foot tall glowing symbol of over-the-top commercialism that was stolen by Christians whole cloth from some ancient pagan winter festival. We gonna learn how some jolly fat man in a red suit is a stand in for Jesus next? The reindeer are The Disciples or something? I mean, they drank a lot of wine in the Bible so maybe the glowing red nose...


Okay, fine. I'll stop.

But if this was any holiday special from previous decades, the show would end with Fox News learning the true meaning of Christmas. Steve Doocey, Greg Gutfeld, and the stogie puffing ghost of Rush Limbaugh would join hands amidst the ashes and they'd sing Christmas carols with New Yorkers while Tucker Carlson tossed presents to orphans and Rupert Murdoch would lean out the window on Christmas morning and shout in his quavering Australian accent, "You boy, what day is it?" and his shriveled leathery heart would grow two sizes when he learned he hadn't missed it after all because Christmas isn't about giant exploding Nazi Zeppelins but love and kindness and Bill Murray leading everyone in a rousing chorus of Put A Little Love In Your Heart and...

Okay, FINE. I'll stop. Jeez. 

But that's the thing, isn't it? 

Christmas isn't supposed to be about who has the biggest ... Yule log. 

It's supposed to be about the birth of the Christian Savior, right? 

John 3:16. Yeah? Remember that? For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and so on and so forth forever and ever amen and lets nail him to a cross? 

No? I'm the only one who went to Sunday School? Really?

Okay, but isn't that what these red-face seething Republicans keep telling us? Jesus is the reason for the season! Fuck you, liberals! Peace. Love. Forgiveness. That sort of thing? Charity. Giving. Putting others before yourself. Healing. Spiritual renewal. MERRY CHRISTMAS! Not Happy Holidays, you godless pinko! 

"To give up one's very self — to think only of others — how to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas.
-- The American magazine, Vol 28, 1889

Isn't that it? 

That, right there? Right? To give up one's very self. To think only of others. Bring the greatest happiness to others.

Do you really need a tree for that?

Do you? 

Instead of rage and chest beating and Pearl Harbor, wouldn't the real lesson of Christmas be to stand in front of the ruins of their silly fake tree and actually honor the birth of their savior? Feed the hungry. Clothe the poor. Heal the sick. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Forgive each other. Love conquers all. Judge not. Deeds, not words. You know, that sort of thing. 

I mean, their God likes to test people. What if this was the test? And they failed? 

I don't know. It's not my religion. But, you gotta wonder: what would Jesus himself have done? 

But then, these people don't really believe in their religion or the lessons of their own supposed savior. 

To them, Christmas is just another weapon they use to bludgeon those they hate. 

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made...

-- The Sound of Silence, Simon and Garfunkel 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Recap: December 9, 2021


America isn't some shitty casino in Atlantic City. 

This isn't another failed business venture. 

We're not settling out of court. 

America didn't sign an NDA with this asshole and Executive Privilege applies only to the current Executive, not the former one. 

Trump is entitled to exactly fuck all confidentiality when it comes to treason, sedition, and insurrection.

America has not only a right, but a duty to know every detail of Trump's involvement in the attempted overthrow of American Democracy on January 6th, 2021. 

If he's innocent, let him prove it in front of Congress, in front of America, in front of the world. Let him prove it, incontrovertibly, with his own records, in his recorded words, with proof, with evidence, with every document and every phone call, all of it. 

The future of the Republic demands nothing less. 

We must know. 

In the words of Republicans themselves: if they got nothing to hide, they got nothing to worry about.

At this point, a full and detailed accounting is long past due. 

If Trump, if Republicans, are innocent, then let them prove it beyond any shadow of a doubt. 

But, of course, they're not innocent. 

Are they? No, they're not. 

You know it. 

I know it. 

They know it. 

They know they can't prove their innocence, because they are guilty as hell. 

They tried to overthrow the government. Yes they did. 

They gave aid and comfort to our enemies, foreign and domestic, and they're still doing it.

They're just mad anyone would call them out on it. 

Of course, mad is what this is all about. 

Republicans tried to overthrow democracy because they're mad. 

They're mad at the idea every vote should count.

But it's more than that, they're mad at the very idea your vote, the vote a liberal, of a woman, of a black person, of a gay person, of a transgender person, of an ex-con, of a naturalized immigrant, should count every bit exactly the same as theirs. 

They're mad because women want control over their own bodies. 

They don't give a shit about "life" or any right to it. It's not about the babies. It's not about sanctity or their God and it never has been. No, it's about power, control, and forcing others to submit to their will. They're mad at the very idea of someone, anyone, especially women, defying their perceived authority because it directly makes mockery of their fundamental perception of themselves as masters of the universe. 

They're mad because people demand the right to their own identity. 

For them the world is simple, binary, black and white. Us and Them. Friend and Enemy. Good and Evil. There is Right and there is Wrong. There are no shades of gray. They are pathologically incapable of seeing the world from any other perspective than their own. Empathy is weakness. Compromise is defeat. There is male and there is female and for them there is no other possible identity and to even consider such makes them mad because they simply cannot comprehend any complexity beyond their binary worldview. 

They're mad because others want the same rights, the same privileges, they enjoy.

They are furious because they see those others as less than fully human, as if a pet or a machine rose up one day and demanded equal protection under the law. They measure their self-worth the same way they measure their manhood, as relative to others. In a nation where all are are equal, those who measure human worth as a relative value cannot tell themselves they are exceptional just for being born a certain race or a particular sex or into a privileged family, religion, or station. For these people, equality for all means they are diminished, because the very foundation of their ideology is a zero sum. The books must always balance, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, no exceptions. For them to feel superior, others must have less. There has to be someone to hold in contempt, to look down upon, to hate. Always.

They're mad because those they deem unworthy, subhuman, want to come ... here. 

For them, America is like their miserable selfish religion: it's not Heaven if everyone gets to go. If everyone is Saved, if there are no Left Behind come Judgement Day, then what's the point? The greatest pleasure of their paradise isn't life eternal in the presence of their god, but rather that they get to sit up there in the clouds safe and warm and happy and laugh at all those down below burning in eternal torment. That's how they see America, paradise, with a wall around it to keep all the people their god hates out. 

Speaking of god, they're mad because they're not allowed to impose their miserable religion on the rest of us. 

It's not that they really believe -- because if they did, well, they'd be very different people. Not one of the holy men they hold up as paragons of virtue and piety really believes. Not one of those holy men live the life they demand of us. They wallow in greed, gluttony, avarice, pride, lust, sloth, and their sermons are daily filled with wrath. No, again, it's about power, control, force. It's about bending others to their will. They're enraged when we don't live up their god's law, but they themselves never could -- or even try. 

They're mad that their children might have a better world than they did. They truly seem to believe that if their children do not suffer the deprivations and injustice they themselves did, it will somehow make the next generation soft, weak, unmanly -- because misery and injustice are the only way they can envision strength. Don't show your ass, they tell their children, meaning don't get above yourself, don't think you're better than me, if it was good enough for your father, it's good enough for you. 

Most of these people don't even know why they're mad. 

They literally have to make up things to be mad at. 

They're mad at whatever some rich guy on TV tells them to be mad at, they don't care why. 

They're mad at the war on Christmas. They're mad at the idea of electric cars. They're mad because our roads and bridges might get rebuilt. They're mad because Obama wore a tan suit and likes fancy mustard on his burger. They're mad because other nations no longer bow and scrape at the feet of America. They're mad at science. They're mad because America currently has the lowest unemployment rate since WWII and people don't have to take slave wage jobs if they don't want to. They're mad at the idea of energy that doesn't destroy the environment. They're mad because somebody told them to get a simple and easy vaccine, for free. They're mad at the idea a rich man might have to pay his fair share. They're mad about wind turbines. They're mad anyone should propose any solution to any problem that doesn't involve violence and guns. They're mad a black man took a knee. They're mad about a trade war they started. They're mad because a phony audit they demanded determined that Trump lost the election by even more. They're mad at any face, any language, any culture, any history different than their own. 

They're mad at everything, there is literally nothing that these people aren't mad about. 

They're addicted to being mad. 

They don't know how to be not mad anymore. 

Most of all, they're mad at the idea of community.

They dismiss the very idea of it. 

They hold up their miserable malformed greedy selfishness as some sort of virtue and rage in red-faced yellow-eyed spittle-flecked fury at the very idea of any good greater than themselves.

Most of these people are better off -- even now -- than the majority of human beings at any point in history. They have more freedom, more liberty, more leisure time, more to eat, more luxury, more of everything. They sit at home, screaming at the internet, watching 900 channels on their 70 inch UHD TV, smoking $400 worth of cigarettes each week, while some underpaid gig-economy Door Dasher delivers 5000 calories of Carl's Jr to their front porch, and they feel persecuted, thrown to the lions, diminished, demeaned, because Tucker Carlson told them Joe Biden wants them to have healthcare. 

Maybe that's why they're so mad. 

They don't have anything else to make them feel alive. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Recap: November 30, 2021


noun: prat; plural noun: prats
1. an incompetent, stupid, or foolish person; an idiot.
2. a person's buttocks.

This clown. 

This ridiculous, obnoxious, contemptable, capering buffoon. 

This is the face of the Republican Party today. 

This ass, right here. 

No ideas, only obstruction. 

No leadership, instead only bluster, bombast, and threats. 

Arrogantly self-righteous. Violently xenophobic. Confidently uneducated. Inordinately proud of their own miserable ignorance. Wrapped in the flag of dogmatic nationalism, mindless patriotism, and self-righteous piety. Waving a gun and their Bible -- without respect or understanding for either.  

This is what the Republican Party has become: Lauren Boebert. 

By now I'm sure you've heard about Boebert's bigoted "joke."

Boebert was in Colorado, and told her audience that she was getting into an elevator at the Capitol when she saw a Capitol Police Officer running toward the doors "with a look of fear."

Oh no! What could it be! Why was the officer afraid for Lauren Boebert? Why?!

In the story, Boebert responds to the officer's panic for her wellbeing by saying, "I looked to my left and there she is: Ilhan Omar!"

Ilhan Omar! 

A Muslim! 

Beobert dropped the punchline: "And I said, 'well, she does not have a backpack, we should be okay!'"

The audience laughed, of course. 

Hardee har har. 

Omar, who as a child refugee escaped civil war, terrorism, and genocide in Somalia, who came to America specifically because her family believed in the promise of this country, freedom, justice, civil rights, peace, equality, safety, all those things that Republicans like Lauren Boebert claim they revere, the black Muslim woman is a suicide bomber! She can't be trusted! 

She's not really an American. 

Ha ha! See? 

Isn't that hilarious? 

Because vile jokes based on racist stereotypes are goddamn funny, right? 

Well, they are to Republicans anyway. Q.E.D.

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.
- More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

Bobo "apologized" for her "joke."

But, of course, the apology was bullshit, a trap. 

Boebert only wanted to get Omar on the phone so she could spew more hate. And when Omar hung up rather than listen to it, Republicans declared victory and bemoaned Omar's "intolerance." 

This is what bullies do. 

This is what the Republican Party has become. 

They attack and harass and terrorize those they defines as "weak," and when they're caught and called out, they declare themselves to be the real victim. 

That's what the Republican Party has become: A rabble of dimwitted goons, bullies, thugs, who perpetually play the victim and pander to the lowest, most base elements of our society. 

It's not just Boebert. 

It's Steve King's comment today. 

It's Marjorie Taylor Geene. 

It's Donald Trump.

It's Kevin McCarthy. 

It's the craven cowardice of an ideology based on hate, fear, and cheap laughs. 

And until the GOP takes responsibility for their own shitty behavior, until Republican leaders (so called leaders anyway) step up and hold members of their own party accountable for their unacceptable hate, until they expel these vile racist dimwitted pandering thugs from their caucus, then those like Lauren Boebert are the face of the Republican Party. 

Lincoln would have beaten these miserable goons with a hickory axe handle. 

Which is why those who think like Lauren Boebert murdered him. 

Fellow citizens, we cannot escape history. We, of this Congress and this administration, will be remembered in spite of ourselves. No personal significance, or insignificance, can spare one or another of us. The fiery trial through which we pass will light us down in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation.
- Abraham Lincoln