Love making things with my hands! History & Anthropology explorer. Constitutional purist. News & Politics challenger. Daydreamer. Hoping to leave the world a little better place than I found it!
Have you ever picked up a novel, started reading, and felt like you walked through a door into another time, for no other reason than the style of writing? I had that experience this past weekend. I am trying with gusto to wipe out my stack of works that I have been asked to read and review. The work that was next in the line up was Message In A Bullet by Owen Thomas. As you might surmise it is a mystery, but what you would not surmise is that the author’s style is so retro that it is fresh!
The first pages seem like a cheap attempt at noir glam, but that is just the bait. Within a few pages it’s reading like one of those dime store novels in all the best ways. It’s gritty, raw, and monochromatic, but still clever enough to keep you turning pages wondering if you are keeping up with the clues. Everyone is damaged goods still trying to abide by their own versions of virtue.
This is the debut story for the main character’s series. In good dime store fashion he is a self-persecuting, redemption denying, relentless gumshoe from some of the toughest city streets and dirtiest halls of justice that America has to offer and none of it is softened by Thomas. Mack is just the kinda guy you would imagine having the nerve to work the streets of Chicago and just the guy that you would want on your side if you are in a bind. Additionally, now as a widower and “retired” detective he doesn’t have much to lose, but lots to gain, including his sanity.
The piece is a great weekend escape or Friday night date, one-night stand. With no next morning regrets. The chapters flip past just like the play list of the local band at the American Legion Hall. The story is constantly moving forward with just enough memory lane detours to not make it a marathon run in sprint mode. So pour that glass of merlot, turn off the phone, and spend the night with Mack and his motley crew of ghosts and cohorts.
Period pieces are one of my favorite fiction genres, especially if they are generally historically and geographically accurate. Of course, I do actually expect all fiction to be geographically accurate if the author is going to use real locations, past or present. Popular for action pieces are any one of the war times of history and WWII is a top choice. It makes sense as it left a scar across the whole of the world and some would say that it changed the face of globe as well. Everything seemed to change during the war and maybe more so after it. The Old World was suddenly the supporting characters and new leading roles were assumed by the US and USSR.
Whatever the reason, it is certain that period pieces of the ear are popular. Due to the popularity one can find all kinds of plots as well as quality of writing. From drama to action and everything in between to satisfy the desires of most readers. There might be some players of the period that are under portrayed. To that end, some authors are trying to increase the stories of these brave men and women and keep their memories alive. It is this goal that we have the pleasure of exploring today, with Vengeance Of The Allies.
I do have to admit that this is the first work that I remember reading that highlights the Canadian contribution to the cause. And while Canadians are certainly not the only countrymen that most don’t remember sacrificing , hopefully others will come or gain wider circulation in the future. I will neither affirm or dismiss the accuracy of some of the historical details of The Black Devils and will instead allow the author such credit as to his due diligence.
The story takes place in Occupied France, roughly 4 years in. The setting is mostly split between Marseille and Serronelle, in the South of France and unfolds from Berlin’s reaction to the murder of an SS Officer in the area. That leads to a chance opportunity for unlikely Allies to take things into their own hands. The obsession of these individuals change the course of the war and life for a group of unwitting Canadian commandos.
The action starts with the opening lines and continues to the last page. The reader is entwined into the unanswerable question what would you do if it were you? How far would you go to seek vengeance? What would you be willing to sacrifice for a promise made in the worst of circumstances?
For a debut novel, this work certainly shows skill and talent. There are some areas that word order made me stop and wonder if the proofing of my review copy was pre-final editing stage or have I never noticed Canadian word order being different. From a publishing point of view that is the strongest critique I have. I am pleasantly, surprised to see such quality work in a debut in today’s world of self-publishers and everyone thinking ANYONE can write and wanting their 15 minutes of fame and even more fortune.
Gothic is one of the most iconic all time genres of literature. Once in the realm of the genre almost any arguement could be made to name one master or another as supreme mastero or mistress. Probably the most iconic characters to come from the greats are Frankenstein’s Monster and Dracula, immortalizing Mary Shelly and Bram Stroker through to current day. Other greats include the Bronte sisters, E.A. Poe, O. Wilde and R. L. Stevenson. One might wonder how such works could have been produced so masterfully as to remain as popular today as they were during their contemporary era. That was easy, their cultures were still very much connected to the stories and lore of their past. These greats also lived in times of great change in the world around them. The world was getting larger and industrialization, just like colonization were bringing out the best and worst in society and mankind. All of this gave them much to ponder and question and investigate within the pages of their novels or the lines of their prose.
Additionally, to have some excellent authors from across Europe and North America, there were and still are some places that are steeped in all the makings of gothic tales galore. Can some of those ideas and concepts find homes in the tech-savvy modern world of today? That is the idea that Mirko Marković explores in his collection of stories Poppy Seeds On A Grave. Pulling from the rich legend and lore of the Balkans, Marković weaves tales that do not have happy endings and delve into our peripheral shadows further than most would desire. In spite of our natural reluctance we follow owing to our curious nature being stronger than our caution at times. Or at least that has been the way of our nature for eons.
Poppy Seeds On A Grave is a collection of a dozen short stories set in the here and now that might tug at some long dormant fear in the readers collective memory of generations past. The collection gives the reader variety of stories so there should be at least one that grabs the attention of the reader. I will suggest that if you are like me and the first story begins to feel like getting a root canal….bare with it, or just skip it and move on. It is not, in my opinion, the best act in the book and certainly not a great opening act. Additionally, while this piece has gothic elements it is more post apocaylpse weird than gothic modern. Some may not like the fact that there are no happy endings, but life is not always about happy endings and sometimes the ending is more about how you see the world around you than what the world around you actually is, not sure what I mean, remember this when you read “In The Darkness.”
Confessing that I am an outsider Balkan girl, I would have liked to have seen more overtly Balkan lore themes in the stories, while I could see some of them in a few of the stories, owing to the title, I was expecting more undead and monsters of the dark forests to appear in the pages. Maybe that is some future work we will see.
Most of us are feeling the eternity of the pandemic. Wondering if the scars and damage will ever heal or if things will ever go back to some form of normal. A lot of people have either suffered harshly financially or have lived in constant stress and fear about their financial stability and survivability. In addition, many Americans are seeing the pandemic as shining the red-hot spotlight on American waning as the Economic Powerhouse of the World. And from watching the news and TV pundits and reading the business and economic articles all the experts agree with the common man.
But what if one ‘expert’, who makes his money from his own words, said The Rise Of America is something to come and not memories of the past…..
What if this ‘expert’ defies all the naysayers and points out what is really going on in the area of natural resources and exploitation of said resources…..
What if he explains the ins and outs of what is really going on with economies of the world, especially here in America….
Marin Katusa does exactly that in his work The Rise Of America Remaking The World Order. And it makes for a very interesting read. Most of us might think that economics and investing are truly beyond our understanding, as Katusa points out some of it is beyond the understanding of those in the middle of the wheeling and dealing as well. Thus, while you may not completely understand all the content of this work, you should understand enough to make you sit up and take notice of what you see and read in the news in a different light.
I have long held the belief that taking ANY currency off of the traditional gold-standard was a bad and destabilizing idea. I still hold that belief. But, unfortunately without a complete collapse of society on a global scale there is no hope of the gold-standard being returned and honestly, it would destroy economies to attempt to do so. My basis for supporting a gold-standard economy is the natural contraction that gold as a tangible and finite collateral placed on the economy. An economy could only grow to its limit of gold reserves, then it had to acquire more, plateau or rid itself of ‘dead weight’ and create new ideas, industries, and technology to fill those freed up areas, thus evolving and moving forward. Additionally, as a natural constrictor of the currency, gold-standard economies have a built in value feature that more modern economies lack. Those modern economic theories are the ones that Katusa focuses on in The Rise Of America and they are what we are stuck with for the foreseeable future, so we need to understand them and their impacts.
While America was the longest hold out of the major economies on the gold-standard; it was that coupled with their strong economic position after the war that made the dollar the economic franca lingua. This played into America’s ability to gain the dollar’s place as currency of trade for crude oil, even without a gold-standard. This is better explained in the pages of Katusa’s work. What we currently have is a fiscal-monetary coordination (FMC), which put too simply is the government agrees to provide certain “investments” whether they are tangible or not for the money supply that they are requesting. This is what I call a debt based system — all the currency is based on the future interest of current debt, or that a printed dollar today will be two dollars in 50 years; however, there is nothing backing today’s dollar other than the speculation of tomorrow’s profit and citizens’ ignorantly blind faith in it.
So what happens when this FMC theory becomes a near disaster? Well, that is when Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) can step in and be the (in my opinion) fake hero, saving the day. If it saves the day, how can it be a fake hero? In the same way that gloriously winning a losing battle does not win the war!
We have all used the phrase “money out of thin air,” which is at the very simplest level just what MMT is. The government or Wall Street needs money, just print it. The problem with that is two-fold; first, MMT is very dependent on the faith of the citizens of the currency, and second, there is no longer any real economic valuation for anything. Another words it really will not matter if a loaf of bread costs $1 or $100 cause the government will always have the ability to print the money that it needs for the loaf of bread. What will happen, more significantly than now, is how all this money, and make no mistake about it, there is way too much money in the system now, flows in the world of the economy.
All the economic theory aside, this book does focus on industrial needs and development and where and how America may or may not fair moving forward. And that should be of interest to all , American or not. Additionally, this book is a great companion read to Bright Green Lies, which covers some of the same topics as Rise Of America, from the opposite side of the debate.
In this post cataclysmic world, The Church is not just the law, but has declared itself God and created an existence where The Church is everything and everywhere. In true church fashion anyone whom The Church deems an enemy is labeled a witch or heretic and is handled in the same way witches and heretics have always been handled by Godly Men! Torture and burnings.
To maintain order, The Church, controls all aspects of the people’s lives, from their education to their occupation. Additionally, The Church is a vast and powerful entity with no equal and has been for a thousand years, now. Maintaining complete control means that The Church maintains a vast army of enforcers.
In that, Malachi seems to be The Church’s Rising Star. He is their best witchfinder. He is one of the most loyal members of The Church. His life seems complete and fulfilled. But everything is getting ready to change. Malachi finds himself in unbelievable situations and extraordinary circumstances. With that his whole belief structure will be challenged.
He will have to question everything he knows and everything he believes; and he still may not make it out alive. However, he is not the only one to face turmoil. The members of his team, which he considers his only friends, will also find themselves in precarious circumstances. Day-to-day existence becomes constant life and death situations. Yesterday’s enemies and allies will become tomorrow’s allies and enemies.
Malachi will be swept from one crisis to the next, each with its own horrors and pitfalls. Some of his charges and team will make it and others will not. But they will all have to face unimaginable realities that shatter the facade of The Church. The justice they imposed will become the justice that they face. Yet, justice is only as just as those imposing it. And truth is only that knowledge and wisdom that you seek for yourself. Their journey is long and arduous and only beginning by the closing page.
For years, and everyday in the last year, we have been being told to “Follow The Science!” In this last year the line has been that all the government measures have been ONLY following the science and or experts (read scientists). But, where did all this blind zealot faith in science come from? The foundation of science was not blind faith but ever present skepticism. However, the tower of science has become blind obedience with absolutely NO boat rocking. I have written on this shift previously, so I will try to not repeat myself, at least too much here, since this is more about someone else’s argument against scientism, specifically, material scientism.
I have long questioned the absoluteness of DNA, largely because if you do read the reports about the breakthroughs you can see holes so large that jumbo jets can be flown through them. Primary to me is how small the samplings are to “prove” a DNA trait, not to mention that the sample populations cannot be determined to be pure to begin with. Add to this the zealot dogma of science as being all-knowing and scientists as being infallible deities. The cult of science can be likened to Middle Age Catholicism in which neither the Church, nor her ‘holy men’ could be questioned or challenged.
Christopher points out that even in their labs they have tunnel vision, forget looking at the whole world with open eyes. This inability to even allow questions that might have physical, tangible, answers to exist and to crucify any one displaying such blatant impropriety has limited and distorted our understanding and knowledge of all things. Christopher points out that science has become a religion of materialism that only the physical attributes have value and, so much so in fact, that they are the only value.
We are being feed lines by the experts about everything about us and regarding us is “in the DNA”. The problem is that the research consistently fails to support that absolute and yet science still beats that drum so loudly as to drowned out anyone pointing that out or questioning it. Ironically, we used to consider those that could not understand the things that they could not see for themselves to be ignorant, currently we do not question those that will not attempt to understand anything they cannot see in their petri dishes.
Christopher presents valid arguments against the scientism of today. The work can be a challenging read, especially considering the author’s abusive love of the apostrophes. You will come across sentences that you have to decipher. Here’s your key….if the ‘s blows your mind, drop it and or add in ‘has’, that should make those sentences readable. In spite of the proof errors the information is worth the time.
If you are like most people, you are or have struggled with your weight. Dieting and trying to loose a few pounds has probably stressed you out on more than one occasion. It may seem like nothing that you do will truly make a difference not only with your weight, but your health, self-image, and most importantly your self-concept.
Unfortunately, the most common reason for our failure to reach those ideal images that we see in media everyday are two-fold. The first is the media onslaught of “their” perfection, which is an illusion. We seem to ignore that most of those images are actually unreal. They are of models and actors that have stylists, hairstylists, and makeup artists making sure that they are perfectly done. They have the resources and support (positive or negative) to achieve their “perfect” self (usually as they have been told it is or should be by others). Their perfect images are captured by professional photographers in studios or locations with all the lighting and backdrops needed to create perfection. And, after all that the images are still edited and manipulated to create an even more unrealistic “ideal” image.
The second aspect of our failure is something more personal that we can have more success in dealing with and turning into an asset in our life instead of the battle that it has probably been thus far. Our relationship with food can be either our best tool or greatest challenge in how we treat ourselves when it comes to food and eating. The truth is the more positive our relationship with food is the healthier and happier we will be. And this is where Daniel Zane Bryan’s book, Decode The Secrets To Weight Loss can help you out.
Bryan opens his work by explaining what some of us know and others may have never considered. That our relationship with food and how we think about food or eating is the foundation for a healthy life. However, he doesn’t just say that a bad relationship is bad so you need to change it and have a good one for success; he provides you with information that you can use to work on how you look at food and then how you choose what and how you eat. Furthermore, he goes on to provide you with tools that you can use to improve your relationship with food, improving your health and life along the way.
Food is one of the most important external parts of our life. We cannot survive without nourishment. To thrive we need food. It was this basic understanding that contributed to food, feasts and eating becoming such an important and social part of our human experience. Then somewhere along the recent way our millenniums long understanding of food’s importance to our health became warped and we not only became less healthy, we also became less happy.
We need to reverse this dilemma and the best way for a lot of us to begin this process is to pick up Bryan’s book to learn how to have a positive, healthy relationship with food. We need to bring food back to our hearts, souls and our dining room tables.
It’s a fact of life that after a break-up we all look for a rebound. It’s human nature. We want hope. We want to know that “we still have it.” That there is still a chance at that fairy tale happy ending, even if we know the originals were dark and rarely with the Disney Happily Ever Afters. We want to feel the things we miss most about being in a relationship.
After my decision to walk away from Windows completely, I checked out a lot of Linux options. As I stated previously, I decided that Zorin and Mint were at the top of my rebound list. If you are still unsure about ditching Windows and making the leap of faith to a Linux distro check out both of these:
When it came to Mint, I loved the clean modern look and the DE (desktop environment) options. I also, liked that they had different options for differing machines/systems and one of the most active support forums of all the distros available. Almost all previous versions of Mint can still be found for download. Also, Mint always has a LTS (long term support) version, as well as beta/developer versions for advanced users. In addition, right out-of-the-box there are lots of ways to personalize everything about Mint. These were the reasons that Mint was on the top of my rebound list.
But, so was Zorin.
The first thing that any long-term Windows user will notice when checking out Zorin’s website is how comfortable it is. You get a very Windows’ish sense about everything and that is intentional. Zorin is the brainchild of two brothers from Ireland. Their whole concept is to create a Linux distro that the ordinary, non-tech Windows user can master as easily and comfortably as Windows.
One of the things that, I think, really sells Zorin are their focused versions. They have a Lite that is very basic and designed for older machines, think Windows XP systems, still hanging on. They have other versions that can be just as easily compared to Windows’ versions. If you are a simple Windows Home user then Zorin Core would be the cross-over for you. However, if you are a hard-core Windows Pro guru you will be impressed with Zorin’s Ultimate version. It comes packed with all the business, entertainment, gaming and content creation programs and apps you need. Zorin also has an extra version that is virtually ignored by all other OS teams, which impressed me greatly. Zorin Education comes pre-loaded with lots of programs and apps for learners of all ages and most interests. Of course their strongest areas are math, science, and programming, but they do have other areas covered or easily added.
For me, the advantage went to Mint, as my tech rebound.
Why, you ask?
The biggest reason, even though I found Zorin much more appealing and their Education version melted my heart, I was not, yet, quite ready to have a Linux relationship on my own. I needed the security of a loving safety net and D at the time was using Mint. So, I went with the safety and security of Mint. After all isn’t that what rebounds are all about?
It was a good choice for me. With blogging, taking classes, running FB groups and other ‘online needs’, I just wanted to get back to focusing on what was important to me, instead of having Windows changing my system when it suited them and creating chaos seemingly for their own entertainment. It was also an easy way for me to dump Windows without excessive stress; since I could always ask D to bail me out or make it work for me. Yes, I can be spoiled by D!
But, like all rebounds, comfort with Mint was a temporary fix for a growth problem. And after catching my breath and regaining my confidence, I knew that I wanted more than the comfort of Mint, especially as that comfort recreated some of the same annoyances that Windows had.
Don’t get me wrong, Mint is one of the most popular and widely used Linux distros available. And for most non-techy and tech savvy users alike it is a great choice and can provide many years of great computing. It just didn’t meet my needs after getting over Windows!
While most of what I read is in the non-fiction section of the library…
I Love A Good Novel!
So, what makes a good novel for me? Honestly, it depends on my mood, but for sure the characters have to have depth and intelligence and the plot has to have enough challenges and interest too that I don’t already know the ending before the end of Chapter 1.
I must confess, also, that I really love having that in a series! And I like being a little late to the series party. Why, you might ask? Cause, I am a committed reader. Thus, if I get a hold of a really good book, I can finish it in a weekend (please read here, couple of days) if not a night! Therefore, it is in my emotional reading interest that I have at least a couple, if not the whole series published first, so I do not have to feel let down to have to wait for the next one.
For any authors that might be reading this; do not take me wrong, I know that those of you, with a passion for your craft put a lot of time and effort into your finished works and that to publish high quality content takes time. And I do greatly appreciate the time that you take in creating such joy for the readers of the world!
Another fact that I should state upfront, I do not believe in “age-appropriate” books! Do not get me wrong, I would not suggest the 50 Shades series to a 10 year old, but from what I have heard the writing of the story is sub-par, I do not know, I have never read any of it. I think I was turned off by the trending of it as “Mommy Porn”; what is that, even? Either it is porn or it isn’t. And if it was porn that made mainstream, good on it! But, I digress.
Back to our focus, I have read and continue to read many books and series that are labeled as Young Adult, such as the Harry Potter series and the Hunger Games series. So last year sometime, summer, I think, I discovered a series from James Patterson Presents. The author is Kerri Maniscalco and the series is Stalking Jack The Ripper, also the title of the first book in the 4 book series. (I have bittersweet feelings about only 4 books in this series)
The main character is an intelligent, strong willed and minded, young lady from an affluent titled family in 19th century London, Audrey Rose. Maniscalco does a great job of not only weaving an intricate plot with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing and sometimes even second guessing their suspicions, but, also, providing great insight into the challenges of being an intellectual and a lady in Victorian England and the world for that matter then and now.
The plot stays mostly true to the known or accepted facts of the case, where Maniscalco shines is her filing in the blank spaces that have been supposed and hypothesized for decades. Her version of the unknown aspects of the most famous violent murderer of all-time is both plausible and captivating for the reader. There are plenty of secondary plots to give the whole world of Audrey Rose depth and substance, drawing the reader into the pages heart and soul. And after you get through all the meat of the story, Maniscalco presents extras including notes on the historic liberties she has taken in retelling the story as well as juicy tidbits that while mentioned in the story were not shared, like letters to main characters.
The whole package and delivery are just extraordinary and completely refreshing in this age of seemingly reused, recycled and reduced repeats of plots with shallow characters and poor editing. While self-publishing allows for some really good writers with some not so mainstream works to make it to the public, it has also created the illusion that anyone can be a best-selling author. And Kerri Maniscalco is the whole package of a best-selling author.
One thing that the virtual world has, some would say, more than enough of is social media platforms and one thing that those same some would say social media platforms have more than enough of are influencers! And while it is true that a lot of most people’s waking time is spent on social media, wanted or not, this has somehow created influencers, the newest sensationalism profession. And yet there seems to always be room for one more. But how often does the next one more actually have the dressings of something more? That being said, there’s a new kid on the block that looks and talks and walks like something new; Clubhouse!
So what makes Clubhouse the cool new kid on the social media block? Well, a few things actually.
First, Clubhouse is brand newish (it’s actually been around for about 14 months or so), And everyone loves something brand new. But, being brand new only takes you so far and in today’s society not as far as it used to take you.
Second, Clubhouse is invite only! And the formula for the invites creates an air of exclusiveness (which might actually also create a limiting user base down the road). You can only invite 2 others and you have to know them well enough to have their phone numbers as the invite links are sent via text (SMS) message to the recipients’ mobile phones. Current users include both Oprah and Elon, but also includes more normal and or regular people, not sure how they got so lucky, but good for them! (Actually, we will touch on this later.)
Third, Clubhouse is audio only. What does that actually mean? Well, it is a mix between live talk radio/podcast and town hall type events. All interaction occurs in a talk or conversation; either a table forum for smaller and or private rooms or for larger rooms with more participants it works like the town hall type event with speakers and an audience. And like with live talk radio and town hall meetings lucky audience members get to ask questions or give feedback during the conversation. So you could actually interact with a celebrity or industry leader on a topic of interest to you.
Lastly, it is another place for influencers to build their clout by directly interacting with their followers. One way of doing this is that your Clubhouse account can be linked to your Instagram and or Twitter account, which is currently the only way that you can have private chats via DM with other Clubhousers. But by hosting or participating in talks you can gain more followers by demonstrating that you know what you are talking about or what you know about relevant topics to your field.
So you want to know more…… like how to get in on the action or what to do after receiving your invite?
While, I cannot give you the 411 from personal experience, I am not on anyone’s contact list that is in, so far. And honestly, it is likely to stay that way for a long time, I am not the type to give my mobile number to everyone or to anyone without some specific need for them having it. That being said, supposedly if you look hard enough or at least in the right places, you can buy invite codes and or you can put your name on invite chains. But, I digress; so, back on track, what I have shared comes from someone that is in the know personally.
I was given the opportunity to read a New Release by author J.L. Fehr, Influencer Marketing High On Clubhouse and after reading the book last night, I can say that I feel comfortable saying that “I know Clubhouse” even if I am an outsider! This work is efficient and informative. The focus is on what to do, how to do, and why you are doing. It is direct to those questions, but is not a bullet point list with NO personality. Fehr uses his own experiences both good and bad to provide real and accurate support for his advice. In doing so, he has created a valuable resource for those influencers or just regular users that find themselves invited to the Clubhouse!
Many years ago there was an environmental movement. It began long before anyone knew Al Gore or Gretta and it was full grown before carbon footprint consciousness was trendy or cool. These activists that were screaming about every single creature lost and every blade of grass turned into concrete seemed about as extreme and crazy as anyone could be. Most were considered left over hippies with a new cause. In those long ago days, they were also treated like any extreme fanatical crazy would be treated. They were demeaned, arrested, sued and denounced by their opponents and they were mostly ignored or laughed at by the regular people.
The sad thing is that now we know that they really were onto something. It can be a really hard thing for someone who is busting their ass to pay the bills and maybe get just ahead enough to have some comfort to find the time, energy, and or motivation to give a damn about some disaster to the planet and nature half a world away. It is a challenging thing to understand that what happens in some remote mountain village in Asia or South American can have profound and direct impact on your life and or your way of life. Heck, it is even hard to care about what happens in places like Love Canal, New York or Picher, Oklahoma or any of the other more than 1300 Superfund Toxic Sties in the United States. The problem is that like a cancer in the body, if you do not care about what happens because the cancer is not somewhere important, by the time it spreads to somewhere important it will be too late to stop it. The same holds true with industrial practices that destroy the planet wherever they go. They strip out every usable resource and squeeze every bit of profit and then leave a permanent scar and move on to the next site with resources to strip bare and they will continue to do so as long as there is a profit to be made. No location on the planet is safe from their greed.
Even if you are proactive, unlike the cancer patient above, and go to the doctor and get the tumor removed; but now you have not a life but an existence scheduled around chemo treatments and down days and check-ups and tests and more down days you get a cure that is more damaging and destructive than the original tumor (depending on your priorities and definitions). There is NO perfect solution to ANY problem. That is part of the challenge of life, solving problems the best way possible and then dealing with not only the known or foreseen side effects but more importantly recognizing and understanding and learning from the unintended and unforeseen side effects. And there are ALWAYS unintended and unforeseen side effects. How do we make the best choices and decisions and pick the best solutions to the most daunting problems facing us? Hopefully, we use our minds, our intelligence and creativity, our morals, our sense of fairness and right over wrong, our hearts, our compassion and our humanity. Most importantly, we have to have clear worthy goals and be willing to make hard choices to reach those worthy goals and live with those solutions.
In the environmental movement this is not what happened. Instead, the movement was usurped by opportunists that could see a whole profitable movement sweep the world. Enter the age of the trendy, shiny, and very cool Bright Greens. They took the 3 R’s of the Green Movement and reduced them to the 1 that would be inline with profit margins and consumerism. Well done Corporate America and Corporate World. The original 3 R’s were to reduce the amount of waste that one created, presumably by reducing the amount of things that one threw out by reducing the amount of consumption and or being aware of the waste from each purchase or product, to reuse or repurpose those things that no longer worked in their original role, but could serve another purpose which would in essence also reduce, and the surviving R, recycle, the R that could be made into profit for the corporate world.
Most people today, consider themselves to be environmentally concerned citizens, but when you strip away all the marketing and trending hashtags, do you know just how you stack up in your roll of Steward Of The Planet? You might think that you are doing your best, buying products that are “organically” grown and packaged in recyclable packaging. Donating to the right causes. Voting for the right candidates. Supporting the right parties. But are you still buying the latest iPhone, every release date and remote working from your favorite coffee shop on your Mac Pro? Going home and still binging Netflix most nights while you order take out Sushi or pho delivered by your Uber Eats, Door Dash guy in his electric Mini, your water from bottles, cause tap water, GROSS! You have sworn off meat cause cow farts are second behind humans for causing CO2 emissions. You’ve gone vegan cause all the pretty people are and science proves we are herd animals so we should be eating plants and fake things.
However, there is a kink in your movement! It is built on a foundation of half-truths with walls of lies surrounding delusions of a Happily Ever After that cannot be. For every scientific study that proves one of the Bright Greens slogans there is at least one that disproves and more that find flaws with it. No this is not an article to bash lifestyles or living choices, but to ask you to make them with your eyes wide open and to engage in preferred behavior understanding all the implications. How do you do that, you ask.
Pick up or order the new work Bright Green Lies by Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, and Max Wilbert. I recently received a copy of the book and wow. First, it is a long read, but it is worth it, so stick it out if you really care about Planet Earth. Second, if you read it with an open mind and with the intention of learning and understanding it is full of information, a lot of it stuff that we really truly should know, but we do not think about and some that we might have had some idea about but not the full and complete implications. To keep things balanced, the authors are original, dyed in the wool environmentalists, not the chic, trendy brand influencers of social media. So while a lot of their suggestions for solving the problem might seem out there and or crazy extreme, they, themselves, are aware that most of us cannot be that committed and or dedicated. And in that regard they show their humanness by openly sharing their short comings in reaching the ultimate goals that they layout. That being said, most of us can be more intentional and more aware and make better informed decisions about how we live our lives and how we spend our money and how we focus our lives.
While the book addresses most of the impacts of today’s most common way of life and supports their arguments regarding the pros and cons of all the popular trendy solutions, they also provide references to a multitude of other sources for you to research for yourself. Another words, unlike the politicians and CEOs and even popular activists their stance is not “take our word for it” but go do your own research and make up your own mind. To get your started I have included a couple links in the article that are short reads and barely scratch the surface of existing damage. Or you could continue letting industry lead the way to solving any environmental problems, most of their own making while claiming that they care.
I can honestly say that I will never live up to the goals of the book. However, having hard numbers and even theorized numbers from ‘expert’ solutions spelled out has brought details that I knew superficially into much better focus. The result is that I want to strive to live a much more intentional life and make more intentional choices in every aspect of my life. Most importantly, I want to be able to live with my choices, because I make them as informed as I can be. Will all my choices be perfect, no, they will not, but, it is my goal that they will be the best choices that causes the least negative impact all the way around. And that in my opinion is a very good start.
For your sake, for my sake, for the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of strangers read Bright Green Lies and make up your own mind, based on the research and not the trending hashtags.
I was and am one of the luckiest people in the world. I have managed to find the best best friend and the most perfect for me partner, both in the same person. This is something that I think we have lost and it explains why divorce has become such a common fact and people deciding to just live together or just date a more common reality. We now have the friend zone and the dating pool and they rarely, if ever, merge and that is a bad thing. If we want the most from a relationship, our best chance of success, we should only look for love in our friend zone! Think about it, these are already the people that we like, that we trust, that we have things in common with. Not to mention they are the ones that have seen our good and bad and are still there. All the things that we say we want from a partner, yet, we look at strangers in the club or on match-making apps for our perfect mate, completely ignoring the best resource closest to us.
Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying to tear through your Friend Zone like Hurricane Andrew through South Florida. What I am saying is that refusing to follow the chemistry and or natural desires just because the other is in your friend zone is setting yourself up for failure. First, if you are true friends, then seeing where dating will lead will not end the friendship. More importantly, if the dating leads to the happily ever after turn off, you have a much greater chance of success since you are friends first.
My partner and I started as friends first, matter of fact, neither of us wanted more than friendship. And that friendship very quickly ignited into a blazing fire that shot like a rocket to the intersection of No Return and Happily Ever After! And sure because our little embers of friendship blew up into a raging wildfire we did have some growing pains and lots of challenges. Our best advantage for overcoming them all; our foundation was our friendship! No, we were not life long friends, but, we clicked from the “friends” part from the start and we have never lost it or forgotten it. And these prompts from the beginning are more true today than they were then:
An Engaging Conversation . . . . .
The last person that I had a really great conversation with is the same person that I always have really great conversations with, from the first day we met. That person is the love of my life. He is smart and engaging and one of the most interesting people I have ever had the privilege of spending time with. Words are not adequate to properly express how much I enjoy my time with the most important person in my life. I can honestly say that he is the first person that I have ever met that I truly want to spend every minute with. I have met others that I do enjoy my time with them, but I also enjoy my time apart. Not so with my favorite man, I never seem to have enough time to spend with him and unlike others where I knew that the interest was temporary. I cannot imagine ever losing any interest, matter of fact my interest grows everyday. I look forward to every minute with him and I dislike every minute away from him.
If I couldn’t be me with you…..
If I couldn’t be me with you,
I wish to have been a cotton plant
grown and cultivated
to be the finest thread of Egyptian cotton,
dyed your favorite shade of your favorite color.
To be spun into the strongest softest thread,
woven into sheets that wrap around you each and every night….
keeping your dreams safe
surrounding you with love
The nights with you would be the most perfect
I could imagine or hope for.
I would be the envy of every angel in the heavens,
to be able to be so close to you
to feel your skin
to bask in your warmth,
not even heaven could compare to you.