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The Ode

Ode to the Writer

By Tom Foster

 

We are the lords and ladies of creation, yet we are still just players.
In the beginning we are as in the end.
We do not aspire, we simply do.
There is the dream, tempered by the reality, and given form by the thought.
By our thought, by our dreams, and by the reality we impose.
It’s a madness of the sort that only poets and writers can truly understand, and even among those only a few can comprehend.
Comprehension, that is a truly frightening thing.
We play with words, we are those that can immortalize, and those that can do what must be said and say what must be done.
It is confusion, this comprehension, and in the midst of it all, it is the single word that carries power, the one among all that is ever elusive, ever there, always waiting for us to return to, to remind us what it is that drives us, what keeps the fountain flowing.
Every last soul that has ever put ink to paper, ever put finger to key, every vague idea that swirls inward from the maelstrom we call the world, the universe, and everything in between and without.
For everything that could come, for everything that has and will come, we are there. We are the ones that do not deny the voice that tells us, “this must come to pass”, or “this must be remembered”.
It is who we are, what we do, and through everything, it is the lifeblood of those who cherish this timeless art form, this undeniable urge to say, in their own manner, “I AM”.
We are not gods, we create, and yet in the process, we are created. It is our words, penned and copied throughout the ages that have helped to shape the world, to say that, “WE ARE”, that “WE EXIST”.
Whether tyrant or savior, good or evil, saint or sinner, the words that are put to time’s test are those that will come to define the world we know. Memory is not enough, though it serves.
As do we.
We are the lords of creation, the ones whose words will last and echo into the ages, for all to see, and all to remember.
Is it truth?
The better question is: Does it matter?
We are the lords and ladies of creation, and by our words, the world we know is shaped, molded, and given to the next generation, and so on and so forth until the whole mess ends, only to be rebuilt, and to crumble again.
We are the lords and ladies of Creation, and this is our legacy.

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Think Like a Victim and You Will Be One…All Your Life…

victim mentality Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

Granted, it’s not just progressives that take on the victim mentality and no, I’m not about to say that I’m a victim since I’m not. But the whole idea of “It’s not my fault, there was no way out of my situation” can be very real in some instances, but like so many other situations in life, it’s one that gets taken advantage of without cease considering that too many people will get to thinking that maybe being the victim isn’t so bad. After all, it absolves them of any personal responsibility, which is just too hard for some folks to take on apparently. Life isn’t fair? Blame someone else. Work is hard? Blame someone else. You’re not where you want to be in life? Blame someone else.

Do you see a pattern emerging?

Those that choose to be victims won’t since they’ll actually look for the path that gets them sympathy and yell at anyone that points this out that they don’t want to be miserable, they don’t want to be taken advantage of, but it just happens. And once one person starts feeling sorry for them it’s likely that this victim mentality will grow stronger, they’ll want more of that sympathy, they’ll believe that they can’t do it on their own, that they can’t stand on their own two feet and do something positive. It’s a mentality that’s taken root and become an ideology that many have decided is worth pursuing, and unfortunately, it’s why a lot of people aren’t where they want to be.

If life is hard, then be harder, or be smarter. Victims think they have a spine when they stand up to their ‘oppressors’ by causing a ruckus or a disturbance. A spine is what you have when you learn to take control of your own life without making it everyone else’s problem. A heart is what you have when you look forward to seeing how you can better your life, not leave drama and destruction in your wake because you ‘stood up’. There are a lot of differences between a victor and a victim, but one of the most important is that a victor pushes forward without blaming anyone for their lot in life, a victim will single out everyone that’s ever wronged them and make it the world’s problem, not theirs.

It’s Better to Have a Conditional Ally than A Certain Enemy

Enemies And Allies Quotes: top 25 famous quotes about Enemies And Allies

Whatever cause a person champions, be it an issue dealing with race, sex, gender, whatever it might be, it’s often better to earn an ally and possibly a friend than to create another enemy. Unfortunately, this is what ultimatums and the idea that if one isn’t an ally they’re an enemy can do. The distinction between an ally and an enemy is quite easy to figure out. An ally is someone that might not experience the same plight as a given community and/or group, but will do and say whatever they can to show their support for those that believe themselves to be disenfranchised, whether they really are or are not. An enemy is the exact opposite obviously, someone that does not agree and will not agree with those to whose ideals they are opposed. That’s a pretty easy distinction, as it’s black and white, which is sometimes the case.

But what happens when those that are neither an ally or an enemy are given ultimatums by those they don’t know and don’t associate with?

There are people out there that don’t associate with one cause or another, preferring instead to live their lives and show the common respect that is wise to show to their fellow human beings. According to some groups however, not allying with their cause is instant grounds to be labeled as an enemy, as simple respect for other human beings and their lifestyles isn’t enough. In fact, should a person not ally with those that feel that they are in the right, they might very well be labeled in one way or another that paints them in a rather negative light. Thankfully this isn’t a universal method that is practiced by everyone, otherwise the entire world might be resting behind one flimsy dividing line or another. But the practice of claiming that even if one is an ally that it’s not enough, that they need to go above and beyond for a cause that’s not their own, has been seen to grate on some folks, and it’s understandable why this is so.

A conditional ally, someone that is willing to support a cause, is also someone that will do so providing that they are not given ultimatums that make little to no sense. These individuals will do what they can to support those that want their respect, but to ask more of them is not only a poor idea, it’s in poor taste to claim that if they’re not doing ‘enough’ that they’re not true allies. One might think that any cause would be happy to have a conditional ally over an uncertain supporter that might turn on them at any moment if they push too hard. In fact, that’s one of the best ways to make a certain enemy.

To those who champion one cause or another in this world, ease up a bit. Realize that people see you, and that they will respect you, but on their terms. Pushing an ultimatum on those that show support is less likely to win them over, but it’s a great way to make enemies, and thereby give oneself a reason to play the victim card as much as possible.

Accept conditional allies, and realize that respect will be given, but allies and friends have to be earned.

The Goalpost Isn’t Moving, It’s Spinning Out of Control

There are more than a few arguments happening today that could be ended quickly if either side simply admitted fault or, even better, came to an agreeable compromise. Sadly, that last solution appears to be anathema to many individuals who so badly want to be right that even admitting as much is too painful and might cause them to lose whatever societal credit they believe they have.

Moving the Goalposts

There have been compromises made to be certain, some that are voluntary, others that are passed without the consent of those that realize too late that the compromise being made is not in the best interest of both parties, but instead favors those that believe they have the moral high ground when in truth, the ‘victory’ has been stolen using shady circumstances that will continue or begin the argument anew.

Moving the goalposts is a common trait of those that seek to retain power, no matter which side is currently holding said power. As of now, that goalpost is spinning out of control even as it’s teetering on a cliff leading straight into an abyss that likely won’t be to anyone’s liking.

Face It, People WANT to Argue, They Don’t NEED To

Our world has problems, that’s an indisputable fact, and it’s had problems for quite a while. But instead of finding solutions that can work for everyone, y’know, those things called ‘compromises’, a lot of people want to sit and argue with one another. But why? Does it enrich their lives somehow to simply disagree with each other without coming to an agreement of what needs to be done? There’s no one that’s innocent in this matter, since no matter how righteous or misguided a person is, they’re going to stand up for their beliefs, as they’re allowed to do. But in the interest of moving forward, instead of stagnating, why not figure something out that can work for everyone?

Transgender sports debate polarizes women's advocates

One great example is the current argument about transgender athletes. Is it too difficult to come to a compromise here? It might be tough to form a new league, but it’s easy to think that it could, at some level, appease everyone since transgender athletes would have their own league to compete in, those that identify as boys, girls, women, and men would have their own leagues, and people would be able to do as they please. It’s even reasonable to think that plenty of people would be willing to donate to open a new league that could very easily thrive. But the argument appears to be more important than the solution. People are more willing to air their grievances and bring up articles, studies, and various other opinions and bits of research rather than discuss the possible solution.

As of now, the argument appears to be the goal, not the solution.

The Perception of History is Flawed, Not the History Itself

First, how one perceives this flag is up to them, the truth is that no one can force a perception on you if you’re not willing to buy into it. But it is important to remember that this:

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is intended to represent the personal freedoms of every United State citizen. EVERY, United States citizen, not just a select group, not just a certain clique, not anyone who has a specific skin color, religion, ethnic background, but EVERYONE. In fact, this symbol makes it possible for these:

The new rainbow pride flag is a design disaster—but a triumph for LGBTQ  inclusiveness — Quartz
Black Lives Matter Flag - BLM Flag | Visibly Black
antifa flag - The Frontier

to be flown in the first place without fear of being shot on sight or persecuted for speaking one’s beliefs. Obviously there are plenty of arguments against this, the idea that cops are hunting people of color, that there’s no such thing as equal opportunity, and the inane idea that this is a racist country run by white supremacists. Those that fought and held the first image high did so in order that these images below could be flown proudly. It’s true, there’s been persecution, racism, horrors that no person should have had to go through. But continuing that cycle by continuing to divide the nation rather than find a way to heal it and accept the various banners that people employ is not an answer. It’s the cry of spoiled children that haven’t figured out how to stop the cycle by seeking unity instead of division.

My Chat with Gates McFadden

Who Do You Think You Are? is the new podcast with Gates McFadden

It’s not every day that an average person gets to talk with a celebrity, and to be fair it’s kind of nice even if I had to admit when speaking to Gates McFadden that I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan. The upside of the conversation is that apart from mentioning her costars and how she came to the show, and a few things I might have asked just out of curiosity, Gates didn’t really seem inclined to talk about the show or the movies that much. She was ecstatic to talk about her friend and former costar LeVar Burton when it was mentioned that his turn as a guest host on Jeopardy! is coming up, and in truth that’s how I was contacted to have this little chat for her new podcast, ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’. Writing an article on the fact that Burton is getting his shot managed to gain me at least passing notice which led to the 10 minutes that were an absolute blast talking to this very intriguing actress.

Needless to say the conversation didn’t last as long as it could have since unfortunately, being an introvert, my own fumbling and bumbling cut things short. My only hope is that Gates didn’t think she was speaking to a tongue-tied fool, but I’ll admit that I was content to listen to her speak, since she had a few interesting things to say and did her best to tug a few words out of me. Yes, I’m kind of a quiet person that doesn’t talk much, as my words are sometimes far more eloquent and readily available than my power of speech. But I’ll say this, Gates is a very eloquent and intriguing woman. Some folks might ask ‘how would you know after 10 minutes?’. Well, if you listen, pay attention, and listen to a person’s tone as much as their words, you’ll hear far more than if you simply listen to the gathering of syllables and consonants that a lot of us take for granted so often.

Her career started before Star Trek, which was fun to talk and hear about, as she spent a great deal of time on and around the stage, and was even a teacher at one point. When she took the time to ask anything about me I’ll admit, I fumbled and sputtered a bit since it’s not everyday I get to talk to someone famous, and as someone who barely speaks ten words to anyone other than my family in a month’s time, I don’t always have the words I want to say on hand. My only hope is that Gates didn’t think I was too much of a stuttering bumbler to take seriously when I told her the most important words I feel could describe me to anyone, “I’m all about the story.”

Take that as you will, but there’s more truth in that than in any long-winded explanation I could give to anyone, and it describes what I believe in and what I value, outside of my family and friends, to a tee. All I have to say at this point is a hearty thank you to Gates McFadden for taking the time to speak with me, it was an enjoyable 10 minutes, and I’m going to make sure I don’t forget it.

“Pick and Choose Day” Media-Style

Comparing George Floyd to Cannon Hinnant: A Massive Mistake | by Jay's Pen  | Medium

Aww, does that piss anyone off? No? Yes? There are all sorts of villains out there, but the media is the one that people should be pissed off at the most. It’s a big strange that people don’t want to be called sheep, but they’ll so easily be led about by those that inform them which crimes they need to pay attention to and convince them to forget those they don’t care that much about. I would ask if anyone is feeling stupid right about now, but it’s kind of pointless since unless the media tells you to feel ashamed, you won’t.

Wish for Generational Mental Health, THEN Generational Wealth

I just don't want a heart attack whenever I'm pulled over |  /r/BlackPeopleTwitter | Black Twitter | Know Your Meme

One of the least intelligent things to say, and there are a lot of them, is that generational wealth belongs to one race and one race alone. This makes it obvious that some folks don’t understand how generational wealth works, or that it’s the problem of those that are born into wealth since they didn’t have the choice which family they were born to. But the whole idea of creating a racial divide using generational wealth is beyond disturbing, it’s moronic.

White people have generational wealth, that’s true.

Black people have generational wealth, that’s also true. People of all colors and races can and do have generational wealth, that’s also just as true, but those that cry and moan about generational wealth and how it’s not always shared among those who have so little forget one thing: general wealth and to be generated first by the initial generation that earned those riches, that made sure their descendants might be well off, and worked and sacrificed so that their family would be taken care of. Who are you to these folks? Are you a long-lost relative? Are you someone that did something for them way back in the past? Why in the world would anyone be willing to give up what their family worked so hard to maintain just to please you?

It’s very true that some folks take generational wealth for granted and get away with quite a bit because they have money, but there’s a way to get ahead and create your own wealth.

Work for it. Learn how to earn the kind of money you want, instead of crying and moaning over what you don’t have. Generational wealth isn’t an issue, nor is it something that anyone should be bothering with since the creation of another’s wealth has little if anything to do with anyone other than those that are directly affected by those with generational wealth. Stop crying, start learning, and start earning, those are three steps that are necessary to build your own wealth.

You want to have more money than you know what to do with, and you want to pass it on to your kids? Then earn it, and stop pining over the life you don’t have so that you can earn the life you want.