Saturday, September 12, 2020

Fossil Legends of the First Americans

Fossil Legends of the First Americans - Kindle edition by Mayor, Adrienne.  Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
A genuine treasure

 

It's no secret that I'm mighty fond of dinosaurs, and equally fond of the First Nations people. I've been fascinated with both since childhood. And by the grace of the Almighty I came across this gem, Fossil Legends of the First Americans. Now, I'm a cheapskate. I keep Amazon afloat cuz I binge buy Kindle ebooks by the bucketload, but they're also cheap. I usually scope the one dollar ones. Given my meager budget, I have to. But when I came across this, I couldn't just buy a digital copy. I had to own a physical copy, to have it sit on my shelf. It cost a lot more, but it was worth it.

Adrienne Mayor, who I wasn't familiar with before picking this up, has swiftly become one of my new favorite scholars, and I have since purchased many of her other works. She goes into illustrious detail examining the folklore, history and legends of the various American tribes going back as far as records possible go and connects them materially and theoretically with the abundance of fossils of the land and how they influenced the First Nations. 

The results are nothing short of breathtaking. Nor is she a simple armchair scholar that looks down her nose upon getting her hands dirty. Besides braving the paper jungles of ancient manuscripts, she has collected a wealth of first hand information from living members of various tribes, really trying to get down to the roots of things. She isn't someone who lets her pet theories and preconceived notions get in the way of objectivity and reality. She gets deep into the heart of things to find facts and genuine truth.

Her research here helps us realize that despite many of the thoughts of early scientists, the First Nations people didn't look at the various bones and relics of the earth with mute lack of understanding, but instead were utterly fascinated by them and often recognized them as being the ancestors of animals they already knew, especially in the case of Pleistocene-era mammals. Those they didn't recognize they sought to understand and fit within their legends and understanding of the world. Remarkably, many of them came to understand that our world had phases, eras where man was absent but other animals of great and terrible power roamed, until cataclysm removed them and paved the way for modern man and animals. 

In many ways they were actually ahead of the scientists that came to study the bones after them. And their intimate knowledge of wildlife and their habits gave them a unique insight to how they might have behaved and helped them solve mysteries that baffled academics for years. One example was that of fossilized tunnels in a corkscrew shape, what they called Devil's Corkscrews. Paleontologists of the day were stumped. What could have formed these strange formations in the earth? Well, the locals had figured that out a long time ago: they were made by burrowing rodents, specifically the ancestors of beaver.

The numerous skeletons of massive sea lizards and remnants of pterosaurs gave rise to the idea of ancient sea serpents and thunder birds. The massive skulls and tusks of ancient mammoths in salt licks and rivers seeded the ideas of massive river monsters. Mammoth femurs, which look remarkably like human femurs, gave rise to the tales of ancient human giants. And yet for many these weren't static things to be observed and left alone. Many tribes felt that these remnants were great medicine and often used as charms and fetishes to give them power or protect them. Little wonder why! Equally interesting is how some were even ingested by those who were sick. Now, I'd known that the Chinese for millennia had ingested dinosaur bones as a medicine, but this was new! In fact, apparently Europeans had ingested them also. Who else has been eating fossils? What's even more remarkable is that they actually work! Evidently the density of calcium and minerals makes them a wonder for boosting the system. Bones and other pieces of the past were used as tools, burnishing pottery, withdrawing poisons, and a host of other usages.

The lore surrounding the fossils is utterly fascinating, and every group had a different history and flavor to them. Unfortunately, this book also highlights how much we could have known, as infinitely more than is recorded here was lost through the wars, famine and just plain unjust treatment and suppression of their myths. For history junkies like me it's like slapping a sunburn. But there's also hope for the future.

Now this book isn't for everyone, but if you are someone who follows my humble page here, then you're probably the kind of person who would enjoy it. I can't recommend this book highly enough. It's amazing work and well worth a spot on any bookshelf. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

My Stance and My Stand

I honestly try to not get too political here, but I feel that it's time to share my own two-bit opinion. 

Now hold onto your butts, cuz these might seem contradictory, but I want to make a greater point which will become clearer as I go along.

I support black people AND police. I oppose riots and police brutality. I support peaceful protest and civil disobedience, but I also support law and order. I support individual rights and police reform.

Now at first that might not seem to grand a statement, except I've noticed a nasty pattern in online memes and news stations that put all these things at odds. I'm awfully frustrated with the news and these memes because it makes things a zero sum game. They frame it so that if you support protections for citizens then you HAVE to hate police. But if you support police then you're a racist who wants an oppressive regime. They present the situation as if you care about one group, then you have to be in opposition to the other. I saw a meme the other day that annoyed me because it was manipulative.

It showed a couple looking at a broken window, commenting how it was so injust for it to be broken, while behind them an officer is kneeling on the neck of a cuffed black man. How is that manipulative you ask? It's showing people care more about property than human life you might say. On it's face, sure. But here's the thing: It's saying that if you care about one thing, then you can't care about the other. I care about BOTH. I want police officers to get the right training and responses so that they can handle a situation appropriately and not unnecessarily harm citizens, and at the same time oppose violent mobs destroying people's lives. 

That's why I'm so frustrated with the media, because they tell people that they can't do both. That's patently false. It's a manipulative game they play. It's all or nothing, black and white, hot or cold, no middle ground, gray area or neutral ground for mutual understanding. In short, these media creeps are dividing us. And if they can divide us and pit us against one another, then they can control us and profit from it. 

The media and politicians seek to divide us. I seek to unite us. These memes and news cycles annoy me because I see them being shared by friends and genuinely good people. I'm not annoyed at these people, I'm annoyed that they're being manipulated into thinking that they have to choose one side or the other. It ticks me off, because the way this manipulation works, I can't say that I want police to protect small businesses from being torched without them thinking that I'm in support of police brutality and that I don't care about George Floyd. 

I'm not letting them set the terms of engagement. Instead, I will set my own: I want to protect as many people as humanly possible, regardless of skin color, orientation, income or religion. We can agree that some police officers are bad. Of course there are. No organization is perfect, some bad people getting in is inevitable. It's a sad reality, but one we have to live with and do our best to sift out the bad apples when they grow on the trees. I personally grew up with lots of officers who just wanted to help people. Heck, for awhile I considered going into Law Enforcement because I wanted to catch bad guys and save regular folks. There's a lot of good men and women in our police departments.

There's also some who are petty control freaks who desire a badge so that they can push people around and act like a high school jock with a baton and no teacher around. Yep, these creeps do get in and push people around. The solution however isn't to destroy the entire organization, but to weed them out. Law enforcement does need an overhaul in many regards. They need to be demilitarized and get back to the fundamentals of not being brute law enforcement, but of serving and protecting of the citizenry. We need to get them back to being allies of everyday folks, not petty field bureaucrats with tasers

At the same time, we can't condone mass rioting. There is a difference between civil disobedience, low level law breaking to gain sympathy and attention, and mass riots that turn a town into Escape From New York. They are happening in black neighborhoods, with the businesses, property and lives of black people being absolutely demolished. I saw a video of a black man watching his business go up in smoke. He yelled out at the crowd, on the verge of tears, yelling how he came up from the hood just like they did, demanding how this was going to solve police violence. I almost wept for him. How long had this guy worked, saving, dreaming, and sweating to own a business of his own to live life on his own terms and not be chained to a big business agenda. He was living the American dream, being his own boss, with his own work and goals, and overnight everything was gone.

Think about that, please. It's just property, some people say. Sure. But I consider respecting someone's property to be respecting them. I don't like touching anything belonging to someone else without asking for permission. I consider it to be respectful to do so. After all, they spent their hard earned money on it, and wanted it, otherwise they wouldn't have bought it. This is called empathy and The Golden Rule. I treat others how I want to be treated. 

I want these riots stopped. Good people are being hurt. What started as peaceful protests were hijacked by communist revolutionaries who want to overthrow the standing order and impose their own. I won't stand for it. I want police to be allowed to do their primary jobs, that of serving and protecting the citizenry. I want these agitators who are beating regular people black and blue arrested and prosecuted. I also want our officers held to a high standard, and to obey the laws that they swear to uphold. If they do something that's not right, I want them tried too.

You don't have to pick one or the other. There are effectively two factions of Black Lives Matter. One is genuinely concerned with protecting themselves from police brutality and seek reform through peaceful protest and seeking common ground with others. The other, by its own admission, is Marxist and seeks to overthrow and conquer. Frankly, I find them to be Antifa radicals wearing blackface. The peaceful version I support. The other I oppose to my last breath. 

To those who read this, let us find common ground and do that which will benefit us all, instead of fighting over what little divides us imposed by the media and corrupt politicians that seek to profit from our strife. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Podcasts?

Confessional time folks: I've been wondering for a long time if I should do podcasts. I've had complete strangers tell me I should get into radio. Apparently I've got the voice and face for radio, heh. I've been really shy about trying my hand it heavily because it involves me working with programs that I'm entirely unfamiliar with. Me trying to learn new programs is like a neanderthal trying to figure out a Chinese puzzle box. It's confusing, pathetic, and usually ends up with a smashed, smoking, flaming box.

But I've had a few programs suggested to me, including this one here: https://screencast-o-matic.com/plans

Called Screenomatic. Have any of you used this contraption? Is it any good? Can a borderline neo-luddite like myself work it? And do ya'll think I should get into doing podcasts?

Thoughts and advice would be much appreciated!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Genndy Tartakovsky's Primal

I just now finished the premiere episode of Genndy Tartakovsky's new series, Primal. For those of you who don't know, Genndy made quite a few of the best known cartoons out there from Dexter's Laboratory, to The Power Puff Girls, and did a great stint with Star Wars: The Clone Wars in a two parter, where his distinctive style stood out dramatically even to my unpracticed eye. His best known creation and one of my all time favorite things ever, Samurai Jack. If you haven't heard of any of these, please look them up. You won't be disappointed.

Samurai Jack's fifth season seems to have kindled his bloodlust however. That season was nothing short of emotionally brutal, putting our hero through gutwrenching episodes of suicidal hallucinations, self loathing and violence that left me pretty shocked. Yet it was one of the most emotionally packed animated things I'd ever seen, and I awaited each and every new episode with breathless anticipation.

And now we have Primal, with a caveman put in a setting that seems reminiscent of old caveman movies such as One Million Years BC, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth and others, where man lives side by side with primitive and vicious beasts. From the first frame I knew it would be a home run, and it hasn't in any way failed in my expectations. In fact, it's matched it entirely.

Twenty minutes, without a single word of dialogue, I repeatedly found my flesh crawling with goosebumps, deep and primitive emotions roiling within me, and several times my jaw dropped in astonishment at the level of violence I beheld. And considering that I can watch movies like Predator or Robocop without batting an eye should give an indication of just how jaded I am. This really struck me. But it's not gratuitous. It feels appropriate for the setting, where life is always balanced on a knife's edge, everything either killing or being killed, no in between. If any show was ever worthy of the simple title Primal, this is undoubtedly it.

In fact, it's neck and neck with one of my other favorite movies, Turok: Son of Stone in terms of raw brutality, but even more impressively in quiet themes and imagery. Despite the sheer violence, this one episode is breathtakingly beautiful. Every frame, every movement, absolutely everything oozes with surreal beauty that has to be seen to be believed. And this imagery serves to make dialogue completely unnecessary. Everything is shown through visuals, through expression. Our main character, the caveman, doesn't even have a name, and yet we feel so deeply for him in such a short period of time.

His physique is not what we're accustomed to for heroes. He's not clean shaven, lean and handsome. No, he's on that border between man and simian with thick tree-trunk like arms, legs and torso, massive canines and oily black unkempt hair. His brow sits over his smoldering eyes like a cliff of granite, lips frequently turned down in a deep frown. While his musculature might not be the vacuum sealed gym jockey we usually get, he's got the build of a hairless gorilla and strength to match. His expressions run a wide gamut, and while most of them are rage or smoldering sullenness, there is such a variety juxtaposed with other expressions that he defies ordinary description. Yet contrasting his brutish behavior and appearance is an wonderfully tender and soulful side to him that surfaces when things are calm. He perhaps doesn't engage in deep thought, he clearly has his internal struggles that radiate out from him that would do the most seasoned actor proud.

It's a rare talent that Genndy possesses, taking things that are so simple and fleshing them out in such a way that they seem far greater and more powerful than you might guess. In such a short time I find myself wanting to either fight by this caveman's side or give him a comforting hug. And he's just a caveman! It's like Genndy distilled the extreme sides of humanity and boiled them down to their most essential elements: Rage, the will to survive, sorrow, but also love, joy in simple pleasures and innocence. All of these are whittled down to their most base components and injected into this very simple character, somehow managing to make him come across as something entirely new.

And the dinosaurs! While maybe not based in real species, these are clearly more in the realm of fantasy, they seemingly accomplish the impossible. They are horrifying, bloodthirsty beasts that will snap you in half with blood-crusted jaws if given a tenth of a chance, focused only on satiating their rumbling stomachs, and yet at the same time are real living, breathing and feeling animals with personalities and body language that seems almost more real than real animals. The pain they go through is palpable.

The animation is nothing short of staggering. At times it's unnaturally static, almost like it's a still image, only very subtle movements and the audio cluing us in to the fact that it's a video that hasn't frozen. But when things move it's imbued with a ferocious momentum that pulls you along like a runaway freight train. The fighting has impact. You can practically feel the sinew and bone being torn asunder. Contrast this with the backgrounds that are beyond gorgeous. I pray that a book is released just with stills and concept art of this world. I would buy it in a heartbeat. The beauty and depth of the environments are simple, and yet feel deep and detailed. I could get lost in these colors and primeval woods. I could just stare at them for hours, letting my minds eye go into journeys through this portals of pen and parchment. It's nothing short of magical. It accomplishes so much in such a short time. The efficiency of this is to be even further admired when one realizes that the calm bits do nothing to kill the pacing. Aficionados of animation far more qualified than myself will find nothing lacking when it comes to analysis and praise.

With such a simple and perhaps silly premise, Primal already proves to be infinitely better than it has any right to be, and I mean that in the best of ways. Genndy Tartakovsky has somehow been given a few eggs, flower and a stone pot, and from these humble ingredients somehow produced an animated banquet that satiates even the greediest of gluttons, and yet leaves you craving for more.

Had this been a simple twenty minute movie, it would have already become an all time favorite for me and countless other dinosaur fans. And yet this is to be part of a show! I can't wait to see what comes next. You owe it to yourselves to see it. Set aside half an hour, get some snacks and treat yourself to this spectacle.

Here's the link: https://bit.ly/2pFszct

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Where Did The Magic Go?

Man oh man, I don't know what's going on, but I don't like it. In the last four months I've bashed out ninety thousand words for my rough draft. Ninety thousand! That's four zeroes, and I've got another thirty thousand to go. Now, once I hit 90K I decided to give myself a little break. After all, a lot had been happening what with my family having a major upheaval and myself going through a minor mental breakdown. Who wouldn't crack a bit under that kind of stress?

But as this month is just slithering by, I've noticed I'm not quite the same. I'm not playing games, watching movies, and most terrifying of all, not really reading! What's going on? I go through depressive spells, sure, but this feels different. Is is part of my age wearing on me? A shift in weather? It's honestly rather frightening to me. I haven't been digging through my massive treasure trove of books, sifting for delicious historical tidbits to fire my imagination. Nor have I been scribbling writing ideas down in my ever bulging notebooks for future stories.

It's almost as if some of the color has faded from my world, where once all was bright and shining, radiant with life and intrigue. Now it feels bland and tasteless, the colors muted and sounds dull. Nor am I alone, as I've noticed a multitude of friends and family across the country feeling something similar, so it's not just me. I certainly hope that it doesn't last.

I want to rediscover my excitement again! I want to build epic worlds once more, create fun characters and epic perils for them to face and overcome.

As a writer, I'm certainly not played out. Nope! I feel instead that I'm steadily getting better. This current story will be like nothing I've ever done before, and the next will be plenty different too. I'm fairly bursting with creative concepts. I'm thinking of delving into fantasy influenced not from traditional Western European mythology, but instead the rich cultural heritage of the East. I've read The Ramayana, the epic tale of Rama, his beloved brother Lakshmana and Rama's dazzling wife Rita who is kidnapped by the King of Lanka and the demon hordes, Ravana! What rich and beautiful tales India possesses, and yet so untapped!

Or some of the exciting, if explicit, stories of ancient Persia and the Arab territories. After all, Ali Baba and Aladdin had their roots in such stories as Arabian Nights!

And I've begun working through classical Chinese literature with the epic tale of Journey Into The West with the Monkey King Son Wukong and his escort mission of the holy scriptures across the land. It's a huge story, one that can't be taken in a small sitting, but it is an absolute treasure trove of inspiration and lore, its influence today being profound. Although adding to its charm is, admittedly, just how flawed and foolish Son Wukong is at times! If you've played D&D, some of the antics in these stories will seem familiar!

African mythology has been, unforgivably to my collector's mindset, underrecorded and exposed, but that's not frakking stopping me from delving into it and pulling out my own take on it too. Blast it, it's amazing and I don't know why more people aren't looking into it! It's like seeing a fountain of bacon and nobody else is even glancing at it. It's madness I tell you, madness! ... What was I walking about again?

I hope to draw from these rich histories and create new tales. It seems criminal to me that this hasn't been done before! Maybe it's my strange, eccentric nature, but I always found Western European mythology to be kind of stale compared to other mythologies out there.

Even now I have two ideas, one of possibly a thief in the glittering deserts hearing of a warlord possessing a statue that miraculously produces gold, and his purse lusts after it, but after penetrating inside the warlord's stronghold, things take a turn as he faces a very different situation than what he imagined. Will he fetch a king's ransom in gold? Or will he find that's what his heart is made out of? Okay, yeah, that last part is cheesy enough to repel the French, but I'm too tired to care.

The other is a deposed African king returning from exile as a child to reclaim his birthright, but his usurper doesn't give him war. No! Instead he offers a deal: If he can complete a series of challenges, he will hand the kingdom over, no need for bloodshed or war. But if he looses, he will instead give up his birthright and serve his usurper. The challenge is accepted, but uh oh! These challenges aren't straightforward at all. In fact, they're meant to be impossible! Instead of muscle and sharpened steel, our hero will have to use a healthy dose of cunning to fulfill these challenges. For example, how is he to get a cow-hide shield with six different colors? No cow ever bore such an elaborate display of colors before! How will he work through that fix? Where there's a will, there's a way!

Okay deep breath.

I'm still cracking on stories for Primal Frontier too. I'm working on a short, maybe even a few that I'll bundle into a tiny anthology, that I'll put up for free. Give the audience a taste of what's to come, eh?

Even stranger, I'm thinking of doing a comedy based on Japanese kaiju films! And yet another, influenced from black and white 50's B movies, and others still jumping out at me! And I'm still working on this first draft of a xenoarchaeology treasure hunt on another planet in this steampunk setting!

And yet, at the moment, I feel like all the magic has gone out of me. To be blunt, it sucks harder than a starving aquarium catfish. All the energy has fled from me, leaving me this mentally vacant wastrel simply moving from one criminally large bag of M&M's to the next, aimless and feeble.

I really hope that this is just a mood phase and that it will pass soon. I want to throw myself into my work again, chewing through volumes of literature like they're Skittles, pounding out pages of ideas until my keyboard cries for mercy, and blitzing through games and movies until I'm left craving more of those silly Mill Creek mega movie packs. Yes, I'm a movie masochist with those flicks that won't sell individually even at the dollar store, but at least in those I can imagine making better ones.

And wow, this has turned out to be a tonally inconsistent mess, I apologize for that, but hopefully you get what I mean. I want to feel that magic again! The magic of building worlds for other to explore and have adventures! Here's hoping I feel it again soon!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Climate Change Crazy?

Climate change stuff is at it again, with people apparently walking out of school and offices out of protest of... um... the climate changing. I guess this is entirely our fault, even if climate change has been a geological and planetary constant? And if they walk out in protest, who is suffering? I mean, I know protests are a popular thing these days, but I can't say I see what they're actually accomplishing. Who do they want to handle this? And more importantly, how?

Do they really expect the US Government to accomplish anything? They don't really build or accomplish much, instead mostly trying to restrain other things. They aren't efficient. For context on how even the best branch, the military, suffers from bureaucracy and ineptitude, watch Pentagon Wars. It's a great comedy, but actually hits the nail on the head of how budgets explode, projects go on for way longer than they should, and misaligned priorities can sink even the best of projects.

Anyway, the government is hardly the one you should turn to in order to supposedly solve all the worlds problems. Other people seem to think that the corporations should fix the world, like a bunch of protesters demanding people boycott Amazon until they put out the fires in the actual Amazon rain forest. Now don't get me wrong, I love this green little mud ball we inhabit and I do want things to be preserved, but what makes people think Amazon can fix anything? They're an online store that ships things to people with UPS. They're a big online shopping mall. What in the world makes anyone think they have the capability to put out a giant forest fire? Do they secretly have a battalion of firetrucks and Protugese speaking firefighters I don't know about? Why aren't people demanding that the Brazilian government, y'know, the people actually in charge of the Amazon, do a better job? And since when is it the job of corporations to go into other countries and do the jobs that their own governments are too incompetent to do? Do we really want corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, GM, and others running foreign countries?

I don't!

I guess people want them to donate tons of money, which makes some sense. But again, donate money to do what exactly? The mere presence of money accomplishes nothing. It has to be directed efficiently and intelligently to attain a specific goal. The goal from climate change protesters seems to be "Stop climate change!" Um... okay... how? We need distinct and reasonable goals, otherwise we're just driving around in circles burning time and money. Nobody seems to really have a good answer. These same people seem frustrated that billionaires donated money to rebuild Notre Dame, but not fighting forest fires. Well, repairing Notre Dame is a very straightforward objective. We know how it looks, what it should look like, and simply use that money to hire construction workers to make it look how it did before. It's also in the middle of a prosperous country's capital with lots of workers and resources.

Brazil has a high murder rate, corruption and a lack of infrastructure in the Amazon by the very nature of it being the slagging Amazon. There aren't exactly tons of good roads. There's tons of rivers and tributaries to traverse, which means you can't get firetrucks out there, who are also kinda needed in the towns where people live. I haven't looked into it, but knowing how lots of South America works, there's also probably some bandits and revolutionaries running around who might enjoy taking potshots at government employees. Dumping money into the Brazilian government's lap might not fix anything, because if you've ever looked at our own government, embezzlement is a really popular trade amongst politicians.

I suppose some people want to minimize our own carbon footprint. I'm still at best suspicious about that, but okay, let's say that all climate change at the moment is solely the responsibility of humanity, and that more carbon dioxide will erode our planet and ecosystems. Well, the West is doing all that it can reasonably expected to do, besides sinking our entire industry system. You know who isn't pulling their weight? The Chinese. They are a communist government possibly subscribing to Lysenkoism who give exactly zero point zero craps about their environment. Don't believe me? They literally invented a giant ocean blender to chop up huge schools of jellyfish that were clogging the propellers on their aircraft carriers, turning them into slurry and any other oceanic life that had the poor luck to get in the way of the GI Joe level death boat. Military might is more important to them than the environment.

It doesn't matter how much the Western world cuts back on carbon emissions, we'll never make a big enough dent in it to counter the Chinese and them spewing out pollution into the air.

Well Mister Smarty Farty Cowboy, what's your solution? Glad you asked! In fact, it's a lot easier than you suspect. Plant more sodding trees. You don't need trillions of dollars, government or corporate help, or even basic competence to plant trees. In fact, there's been multiple groups that have been planting millions of trees in very short time frames. People in India supposedly planted some 50 million in one day! Even if the real number is a tenth of that, since the number might skew, that's an impressive haul for just one day's work! Ethiopia boasts that they planted 350 million trees in twelve hours, done almost exclusively by volunteers.

According to a brief Google search, an average tree planter in British Columbia can plant 1,400 trees in a day, while an experienced hand can plant 4,000. Not bad!

I've seen other record numbers of people planting millions of trees in just one day. So why should we wait on the fat fed and greedy corporations to make the world green again? You don't need them! Imagine what us Westerners could do if we just took a week off, grabbed a bunch of shovels and planted some new groves. Trees will fight erosion, soak up all those nasty pollutants, and gives homes to our wildlife! And all we have to do is plant them! If people in India and other countries can do it, why can't you? In fact, in another article I wrote, it was found that dumping orange peels on the ground stimulated soil and plant growth like magic! So, buy a crapload of oranges, save those peels after juicing the fruit, and spread that crap all over your new groves. Or heck, gather together money and buy the peels that the orange juice folks in Florida throw out as garbage and use those as mulch. Put that stuff to work!

So get together eco warriors! Take a week off of work every few months, save a hundred dollars each, gather orange peels, then get out there and plant a few thousand trees a week! No need to protest. No need to howl at soulless corporate executives. No need to yell at regular people just trying to make ends meet. Just plant trees and the rest will work out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Sorrow and Joy

Today is an odd day for me. It's one of both sorrow and joy.

Sorrow because of the many people who lost their lives this day many years ago. Notice, amidst this climate, I didn't distinguish anything about them. I didn't say Republican or Democrat, New Yorker or any other stater, anything about race or any of that crap. They were people, living breathing human beings whose lives were tragically cut short by men bent on evil. I mourn their loss like everyone else. They were fellow Americans, human beings with lives, family, hobbies and dreams. That's the thing to remember about them.

But it's also oddly a day of joy for me because this was the day two of my baby sisters were born. They were dealt a bad hand right from birth. They had medical problems. There were other trials that I won't go into detail here. Suffice it to say that by all rights they shouldn't be alive, and they certainly shouldn't be happy and healthy. But they came to my family, and they were given a chance, and today now they are two of the happiest and sweetest little sprites on the face of the Earth who long ago won my heart!

So this day is one in which we must remember that we must be cautious in this dangerous world, to remember those who died from evil, but also to cherish the new life that comes into it. Every day new beautiful human beings are born, free from malice or prejudice. Innocent. They are true treasures. While we should try our best to make this world good for them, we must also take heart in knowing that they are good for the world, and each has potential we can't even dream of.

So let us mourn our losses this day, when so many lives were taken by evil men in an evil deed, but as night comes try to take those you care for in your arms and rejoice in the love of your fellow men, and especially, the pure innocence of children.