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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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Why It’s Hard to be Friends with Feminists

Let me rephrase that before anyone decides to take it the wrong way, as can happen in a big damned hurry. It’s not hard to be friends with a feminist, it’s hard to be friends with a feminist that uses the definition of feminism to gain an advantage over those that they think have wronged them. That might still draw the ire of those that believe that anyone and everyone that argues with their point of view of how women should be ruling the world and men should be made to understand their point of view by taking a back seat.

Sorry, that’s not how feminism works. If you want the definition, here you go:

Feminism is a range of political movementsideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.

Is that clear enough for the social justice warriors? “Equality of the sexes”, not just equality for women but equality for the sexes, meaning man and woman alike. And before we get into the different genders that have somehow sprung forth from the two biological genders that were established at the dawn of creation, consider this. Women that want more than their share of equality tend to want things to go their way but then decide they want to shirk the responsibility that comes with it. A good example would be a hardcore feminist that wants to be paid as much as a man, which isn’t an unreasonable expectation, but is only to work half as hard.

How does that work? It might work fine in the mind of the person getting the benefit, but to those that don’t live in the delusional world between that person’s ears working harder to gain more is an immutable fact of life that doesn’t get trumped by someone’s desire to work less and get paid just as much. If you want the equality then you work for it, you earn it, and hopefully if there’s any justice in our system you will get it.

There’s no doubt that for quite some time women have gotten a raw deal, and that feminism is not inherently bad, so long as its tenets are followed and people don’t start using it much in the same way many religious figures want to use their religion, as a means to justify what is done and how they believe when it’s convenient. If that’s the case then feminism has lost its meaning in that moment, and is less of an idea than a social demand that carries little to no weight.

If you want an example of failed feminists, here you go:

Antifa: Are They Doing Any Good?

Let’s put it this way, Antifa isn’t just another kind of evil that’s being gathered to combat an evil bigger evil. They most definitely think that Trump is evil, that fascism is evil, and that anything they’re opposed to is some level of evil or at least negative that they’re willing to march against, but one thing that seems to get lost in the endless marching and chanting that’s used to drown people out or intimidate them is that right now they’re making a lot of noise that doesn’t help absolutely everyone.

That’s right, I said it. Antifa might stand for something, without a doubt, but in some areas the groups that band together seem to have forgotten that they’re a preventative measure, not an impromptu gang out for a stroll to bust in the heads of a few alt-righters.

Also, the black might be used to unify them, to intimidate their ‘oppressors’ and even show their solidarity, but quite honestly those that wear the masks seem a bit cowardly. They don’t want to be taped, they don’t want to talk to proclaim just why they’re out there, and unfortunately some of them don’t have a single clue why they are. Many times when a person dares to approach an Antifa group a lot of the members will suddenly lose the ability to speak or even go so far as to charge forward like a maddened bull and demand that the person simply go away.

What’s that saying to people? What’s the point of protesting if you won’t talk? How does that get a message across? Antifa has a definite message, there’s no doubt of this: they’re going to shut down the free speech of those they don’t like so that they can have their say. In other words the hypocrisy is real. Those they’re going against might be bad and every bit as vile as people say, but unfortunately in this country they get to talk. That doesn’t mean everyone has to listen.

In Portland for instance, Antifa is little more than an annoyance as they clog the streets, they’ve caused property damage in the past, and they’ve inconvenienced more than just the opponents they’ve gone up against. Collateral damage, right? The price to pay for being in-between two warring factions and remaining undecided?

Wrong.

Antifa is at this point no better than the people they’re standing against, as they’ve allowed their agenda to spill over onto those that have nothing to do with the fight they wage against fascism.

It’s amusing at this point when Antifa members, who actively shout at and deride police officers that are trying to keep the peace during protests, will cry out for those same police to do something when one of their own is being so much as pushed aside so that the average person can get to work or simply make their way down the street.

Also, think about this. If they were successful, and they managed to defeat fascism, think about what would replace it. The side that’s victorious usually ends up becoming the system, then the flawed system, and then anti-fascists will have to own up to their hypocrisy one way or another.

In a war of political ideals such as that which is currently being waged, neither side is ever fully in the right, and in some cases they’re both firmly in the wrong.

What Does “Be a man” Mean?

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There are so many definitions these days on what it means to be a man, but among them are those that others seem to think are non-negotiable and either are or aren’t the definitions of what a man should be. Well, speaking from a personal standpoint, because I won’t speak for anyone else, I’m a man for several reasons. Let’s count ’em down.

I’m not a hunter, but if pressed I can hunt and forage for food. Personally though I’d rather hit the market and see what’s there.

I don’t hike trails, climb mountains, or swim channels, but I’m physically fit enough to keep up with my kids and see to their well-being.

I don’t work outside the home, I do my work in a personal office that my kids constantly invade in an effort to spend time with me. I am a house husband by choice because daycare is too expensive.

I don’t seek out bar fights or other forms of violence to prove my superiority over others, mostly because the idea of any more jail time isn’t that appealing and I’m smart enough to know that caving in another guy’s face isn’t what I want to be remembered for.

I have an education and seek to use it. I appreciate and respect those that attend trade school since they’ve picked a path, but it’s not for me.

I can’t strip an engine down and then put it back together. Most days I figure it’s good enough that I can change my own oil, gas up my own rig and change out a tire if need be.

I don’t hold to the old ways of ‘being a man’ all the time largely because I was raised how to respect women for being more than a mother and housekeeper. My wife pays the mortgage and I pay the bills, and it works because we’re a TEAM.

I believe in violence but know how to temper it. If anyone happens to harm or even belittle my wife or kids however there’s a good chance that person will be hobbling away instead of walking.

I am a man, no matter what is said, because I know how to protect my own, I know how and when to be violent when the time comes, and at this point in life I have the wisdom to know better than to react in anger at any given time. Real men change throughout each era, and no matter what a ‘man’s man’ or a self-professed alpha says about being a man these days, the truth is that at the core of their being a man is a man when they take responsibility for the world that’s within their control. Anything else is just mindless posturing.

The Best of Kavanaugh vs. Ford Thus Far

Let’s say first off that I don’t support what happened to Ford, and I don’t support ruining a person’s life, but this entire trial has been a giant farce that was geared towards making Ford look ridiculous on TV and affirm that Kavanaugh is still the man the Republican’s want to back even after showing that he has the temperament of an emotional two-year old. If you’ve seen a different trial then the chances are that you’re looking from one side or the other and not distancing yourself as many would like to from the moronic and very lopsided nature of the event that has garnered far too much publicity at this point.

But there are reasons why I love this show and one of the biggest is that John Oliver will go there continuously and he’ll give you the facts while doing it. The Old White Man’s club that continues to hold sway in Washington seems content to stick it to people by showing that as bad as Kavanaugh’s performance was, they’re still backing him and he’ll still be likely to sit on the bench after all this. Isn’t that just great? A grown man that disrespects senators and can’t answer a simple question without one clumsy evasion after another will be passing judgment on some of the biggest cases in the nation.

Oh how did we get so lucky? Note the sarcasm.

 

No Trust (part IV)

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(continued)

Portland, OR
November 2nd, 2020

The words seemed to ring hollow in Milton’s skull, reverberating like a maddened group of hornets trying to get out as he kept his eyes fixed to the flatscreen. He knew that Chad was standing next to him, describing just what might happen if he decided to pull out of their deal once more, but the words buzzed about in his mind without any real meaning as he tried to reconcile the fact that his wife, his love, the woman whose hand he’d asked in holy matrimony, had been cutting him off at the knees the entire time he’d been trying to procure for their future.

“By the time you have kids and those kids are grown, you’ll have become a fully-integrated Democrat and ready to start cheering when Republicans like your wig-wearing tanning mishap are shown to be the cowards they really are. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a blessed moment to me.”

Chad was speaking directly to Milton, keeping his voice just low enough so that no one could hear, but there was such vehemence in the words that he couldn’t have missed it if he’d been shouting. The son of a bitch was gloating, and unfortunately he had every right too as Milton could see the tally of votes as it heavily favored the Democratic candidate. His side had lost, the Republicans were surely weeping at this point, and there was no telling just how long it would take to recover from the mess that had been created in the past four years.

“You won,” he said quietly, “I’ll honor our bet. But you’re a bigger loser than I am.”

Milton downed his drink in one gulp as he turned to face Chad, who was looking somewhat confused, as well as just a bit angry at the sudden outburst.

“And how is that?” Chad asked with a wolfish grin, “You were the one that welshed on the deal the last time, remember? How exactly am I the loser here when my side has clearly won?”

“Your candidate is going to take the White House,” Chad replied, feeling absolutely impotent as that hated smile widened, “But you had to run to my wife to make sure that I followed through. You had to tattle before I’d even done anything, which I wouldn’t have.”

“Don’t be a poor sport now Milty,” Chad said, offering him a mock pout as he reached out to pinch Milton’s cheek, something Milton hated profoundly. Instead of letting it happen he knocked Chad’s arm away, glaring at him as he could see his wife approaching from his peripheral vision.

“Milton?” she asked, “Honey is-”

“Stay away from me,” he said quietly, adding just enough force to his voice as he did before turning away, “Go make your back alley deals and leave me be.”

The shock on his wife’s face might have hurt if he’d stayed to watch it appear.

(to be continued)

Welcome to the Loop (part X)

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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

This would be her last day in the loop if she had anything to say about it. She’d been stewing over and over for countless days now since Amelia had kicked her and left her in this place. She almost hoped that she would be able to find the witch once she crossed over, especially considering that she had a bit of payback to exact. It didn’t seem fair in the depths of her mind, but she couldn’t give a damn about fair, she wanted out, and she wanted to let Amelia know just how pissed off she was.

It was childish, but she held onto it anyway.

Roxanne knew where the next door had appeared and she knew that accessing it would mean taking away from another person, this time someone she knew. But strange as it seemed she had no problem denying her parents, who were just starting to wake out of whatever effect the loop had forced upon so many. The door had appeared in the midst of their basement only a few days prior and for all she knew it would disappear soon if someone didn’t act on its presence. It should have been easy to just go right through, but something had kept her from doing so.

It wasn’t a sense of family, she had every hope that she would seem the on the other side, unchanged and yet still able to move forward rather than repeat the same actions over and over. It wasn’t morality, as she had let that fall to the wayside after what Amelia and Tony had done. But whatever it was she couldn’t explain it, as she’d known about the door for those few days and still hadn’t mustered up the courage to go through it.

Today was the day however, and as she made her way from her bedroom to the basement staircase she did her best to remain as quiet as possible, hoping that her parents wouldn’t notice her. Going into the basement wasn’t strange in any way, but it wasn’t part of the routine, and as she’d seen, if someone broke the routine then the whole system had revolve around it and things tended to get a bit, wonky.

As she made her way down the stairs however she remained unnoticed, until she came upon the doorway, where a single figure was standing in front of it, staring at the simple wooden structure as though unsure what to do next. Sighing inwardly Roxanne brought to bear the heavy object, a claw hammer taken from her father’s tools, as she approached.

“Hey,” he said in a calm voice as she swung, “That’s not for you.”

The End

Why Genetics are Valuable, but Dangerous

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Does the term “keys to the kingdom” mean anything to anyone these days? Genetics are a priceless commodity that we’re born with, we grow with, and determine what will happen to us in the years to come. Yet for all that our species has decided to meddle with genetics in ways that seem reprehensible to some and absolutely wonderful to others.

Let’s not mince words, the study of human genetics has yielded some great breakthroughs and has even shown us a bit more about ourselves than we would have known otherwise, but it’s also opened a dangerous door that some people should not be stepping through.

In terms of what genetic studies means for humanity, it can produce wonders that are simply breathtaking and quite possibly capable of saving our species from annihilating itself or allowing Mother Nature to do the job for us. But one thing that far too many people don’t seem to take into account is that Mother Nature is within the works no matter what we do. She’s the game-changer that will be in the background laughing as we attempt to reassemble or somehow fix the puzzle that was created so long ago.

Every creature on the face of this world is unique in their own way, but human beings seem to be the only ones that want to go against their nature when it’s discovered that they have the choice. Too often the debate over genetics has reared its ugly head in the past, and at this point as the search for a method to control our genes continues the expectations of what it means for our species is decidedly uncertain.

Want to be Controversial? Okay.

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This is a circus, nothing less. So Ford was attacked over thirty years ago? Okay, the trauma she felt is something that too many women have been going through to be comfortable with, but how real is her story? Oh yes, let the hate pour in as that sinks in, I dared to question a woman talking about her traumatized past and showed even an inkling of doubt. Why would I do such a thing?

Because that door was opened when the witch hunt of 2016 and then 2017 began. While many of the men that were taken to task during that time, let’s call the beginning of the Weinstein Scandal, were indeed guilty, there was at least a small percentage that were not, that were caught up in the storm that came about because women had decided to stand up and say something about it.

Fear of being exposed as liars, attention-seekers, and many other names that were far less complimentary kept a lot of women down, but the blowback that came years later was something that stormed through the nation on a wave of hatred disguised as activism. While it might have changed from hate into a positive attempt to get justice the idea of it is still burning in the throats of those that have been forced to swallow it.

And unfortunately for Ford the blowback wasn’t allowed to settle before she made her claim, thereby insuring that it would rise again and the bitterness caused would seek to consume her as much as it’s done to many others throughout the past couple of years.

Is she lying? Is Kavanaugh? At this point it seems that there’s something shady going on all around since the hearings have been little better than circus performances and the reaction of the people has been as virulent and varied as it was during the last election. Would you like to know why some people throw up their hands and ask “Who cares”?

Because the issue between men and women, the idea that men are able to dominate and get whatever they want, is all too real. Unfortunately the rise of women throughout the last many years has been in stiff opposition to this despite the claims that they want equality and nothing more. Women deserve to be seen as equal to men in many ways and as often as possible, meaning they should have their say and not be afraid to speak out when they need to. Yet for all that those in our nation still fall back to the same routines that have occurred for far too long.

Our system is broken people, and it has been for some time. The issue between Ford and Kavanaugh is just another bit of proof that Americans are willing to grab at anything and everything when it comes to making a big deal out of something. Her trauma seems all too real, and he seems far too shady to just look away.

Make the Change

You want change to happen? Don’t howl at the walls of Congress, hoping that a petition or an outcry from the public will change things. Learn the system, become the system, and then CHANGE the system.

Is it hard? Oh yes.

Is it worth it? That’s for every person to decide.

Will it take more than one generation? Probably.

Is it really worth it?

If you have to ask, then it might not be for you.

No Trust (part III)

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(continued)

Portland, OR
November 2nd, 2020

The gathering was supposed to be a friendly affair, but the animosity between certain parties was just barely being tempered by the flowing rivers of alcohol and polite conversation. Democrats and Republicans were typically able to coexist with one another in many different venues, but on election night it was something of a different matter when their views upon what would happen if their candidate won or lost would shift along with the polls as the votes kept coming in.

So far things weren’t looking good for the Republicans, and the Democrats in the room were loving it.

“It only makes sense,” Milton heard someone say, “The man was being backed by too many crooked investors and those that wanted to see a mouthpiece put in the White House, not an actual brain attached to a sensible mouth.”

Someone snorted, and Milton couldn’t help but roll his eyes as he took a pull from the whiskey he’d been nursing for the past ten minutes. He wanted to down it all and have another but he’d promised his wife that he wouldn’t be getting soused tonight, at least not until they got home after his ‘walking Cheetoh’ had lost. At this point he was going to be drinking himself into a stupor once they got home, as the flatscreen in Chad’s highrise condominium had been kept on to show the state of things as the votes were still being tallied.

“Not looking good, is it?” Chad said from his right. The man’s condo was simply lavish in the extreme, showing his own personal sense of taste as well as his need to throw his wealth in the face of those that managed to attend his little soirees now and again. Paintings from France, Italy, and other nations where he’d found influential artists to follow hung on the walls, rugs from China adorned the floors, and every bit of furniture in his home reeked of taste, and money.

“It’s looking as though the next four years will be run on revenge.”

Chad affected a look of mock hurt as he bumped Milton’s shoulder lightly, “Don’t be a sore loser buddy. And remember, you agreed to our deal, so no hedging.”

“I learned my lesson the last time,” Milton almost growled, “I get it.”

“Is that why your wife told me about the account you set up then?” Chad asked, sounding none too worried. Milton felt his jaw drop as he turned to look at Chad, who just shook his head.

“No worries Milt,” he said with a shark-like smile, “I kind of figured you would pull something like this, which is why I took out my own little bit of insurance.”

(to be continued)