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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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Forever Finite (part VI)

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May 23rd, 1969

Tank Island, Florida

He burst from the depths, gasping as he leaned back, dipping below the surface just once as he began to kick his legs, easily falling into a rhythm despite his burning lungs and the need for air. Opening his eyes he expected to see the home of one of his neighbors, which was usually empty as the owners were constantly on the move and owned other homes across the country. But that wasn’t what he saw.

Evan was no closer to the island than he’d been when he’d unknowingly submerged, but instead of the opulent homes and the occasional boat that was to be seen darting around or near the island he saw what looked like an undeveloped island where his home had been just moments before.

“What the hell?” he breathed, still kicking his legs to stay afloat.

“Man in the water!”

The cry startled him but also alerted Evan to the sudden presence of a very large ship that was bearing down on him to the left, coming dangerously close as he saw a few men looking over the rail at him, a few of them seeming kind of rough and perhaps in disbelief that he’d just appeared out of nowhere.

For whatever reason the sudden sight of an old-fashioned life preserver struck a chord of dread in him that he couldn’t explain, and even as the men were shouting at him Evan was diving, seeking the cool depths and the ring once more as his confused mind sought to leave the surface behind once again, if only to bring some semblance of sense to this strange development.

(to be continued)

Absolute Silence is not Absolute Ignorance

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To be silent is not weakness.

It is not the quiet cry of the meek.

In the quiet we seek stillness

A reprieve from the weak.

They shout to the heavens, to any that will hear

They cry for the things they think lost.

Yet knowledge of what they want when it’s near

And the ignorance of what it might cost.

Those fools that bring hatred and cruelty and rage

What they fight for they can’t or won’t say.

When asked their cause, their purpose on stage

Will retreat, to spew their hatred another day.

-Against those that think they stand for something they can’t fully describe, silence is sometimes the best weapon, since eventually their words will rebound back to them. Hopefully they’ll hear how foolish they sound.

Hopefully…..

Forever Finite (part V)

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May 23rd, 2019

Sunset Key, Florida

He could see the rink despite the murk that had descended upon his vision. Whether it was from the lack of air or light he could no longer tell, but before he knew it he was in front of the intricately-carved ring, his hands already brushing along the strange designs he could see etched into the stone that surrounded its opening, caressing it as though he’d seen it many times before and not just today.

A deep, rhythmic booming sound distracted him suddenly as it came from above, causing Evan to look up as he moved through the ring’s opening without thinking. He felt a brief tingle, then a faint pulling sensation, as though something was trying to resist and thrust him back through the other side. It didn’t take much effort as he forced himself away from the ring, but now his lungs were absolutely screaming for air as he pushed up from the sea floor without thought.

Propelling himself upward he fought against the need for air as he could see blackness beginning to develop at the corners of his sight, threatening to take over if he didn’t reach the surface soon. He could see the shimmering brightness above him, tantalizing in its closeness as it remained just out of reach. With one final burst of energy he reached for the surface with both hands, as though he could pull the water down so that he might lift his head up and take a life-saving breath of air.

And then his head broke through, and the first gasp seared his lungs as he crested, then fell back into the water, swallowing a mouthful of the salty fluid as he choked and sputtered. Evan’s muscles were screaming at him now, his lungs were like twin bellows that had been worked too hard, and his throat felt instantly raw as he continued to cough up the sea water that had entered his mouth unbidden.

But when he clear his eyes, the woes of his body became the least of his concerns.

(to be continued)

Talking to Protesters

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If you’ve learned anything in the last two years since Trump took office it’s this: protesters will never listen to anything that doesn’t involve agreeing with their ideals. While most of them will gladly talk your ear off about what they believe in and why, very few of them will stay quiet for long when you decide to disagree with them. You can probably guess where I’m going with this so I won’t delay the inevitable, Antifa is the worst among them all.

Why? If you’re asking that then you might have decided, like a lot of other rational beings, to simply stay out of it and not allow yourself to think about the black-clad, moronic musings of the supposedly anti-fascist group that seems to pop up whenever they catch a whiff of anything that smells like injustice or a good reason to provoke others. The moment anyone tries to speak to them, especially if that person doesn’t fully agree with their beliefs, they’re either a fascist, a Nazi, or a white supremacist, no matter what color, religion, or race they are. Yep, a group that preaches tolerance and a love for all humanity makes assumptions about others on little more than a minor disagreement of values and ideals, but they’re ‘tolerant’.

It’s easy to call out individuals in these groups, and Luis Marquez, a known instigator that’s been arrested more than once, is among the worst of them. He’s one of the black-clad individuals that will actually provoke a fight, will talk as much as he can while backed by dozens of his fellow Antifa members, and then call other people out because they won’t do anything. The moment he’s challenged however his mouth starts to run, unless someone says something that shuts him up, you know, something logical that he can’t possibly argue against.

This is how it is however, while many of the groups that have decided to march and protest in support of their ideals are free to do this and free to say what they want, it doesn’t make them free to block roadways, destroy property, or be a general nuisance to those that are stuck in the middle just trying to get through their day. The ‘good’ they believe they’re doing is more harmful than anything that’s happened in the last two years, but trying to tell them this is about as productive as banging your head against a wall. At least that headache can be alleviated by painkillers.

With Antifa and all the rest there’s no set solution yet that won’t go against everything that people on both sides believe in.

Forever Finite (part IV)

MUSA-Cancun-underwater-park-sculptures-by-Karen-Salinas-Martínez

May 23rd, 2019

Sunset Key, Florida

The water was warm as it folded around him, welcoming Evan as it always did, almost as though it had expected him to come at this time. His father’s voice was still a dim sound in the distance, but as his head slipped beneath the surface it was erased entirely as a new sound began to come to him through the shifting currents, beckoning Evan forward as he moved even deeper, feeling the rough surface of the sea floor beneath his feet as he continued to move along, knowing that the surface would descend for only a short bit as he pictured the site he was surely moving towards in his mind.

He didn’t know why his mother thought it was her right to tell him what to do, but it didn’t matter. Evan was going to do what he wanted no matter what she said, he wasn’t a child any longer after all. The stories of his grandfather couldn’t have been true anyway, the old man had likely just lost his way no matter what anyone said.

Wait, what?

He shook his head, wondering where that thought had come from. His grandfather had known these waters better than most and couldn’t have possibly gotten lost, or even disoriented. Plus, he’d never had a negative thought about the old man in his life. So why was he now?

In the next second it didn’t matter as he stopped walking and began to swim, holding his breath on instinct as the tingle in his lungs told him that he’d been close to forgetting that he was beneath the waves now. He would have to find the gate soon or risk having to come up and be found by his father or worse, his mother. The lecture she’d be likely to give him would be epic he could imagine, but he wanted find…

The ring.

He saw it as he turned to his left, frowning slightly. Hadn’t it been a little further from shore when he’d last come this way? Turning to look back in the direction he’d come Evan felt his eyes widen as he realized he could barely see the surface where he’d come from. Somehow he’d crossed the distance from the shore to this point without realizing it, and all on a single lungful of air. Last time he’d had to swim the surface and dive several times to find the spot.

So how…?

Once again, as something took control it didn’t matter. Evan began to make his way towards the stone ring, his lungs beginning to burn as strangely he disregarded the feeling.

Getting to the ring was the only thing that mattered.

(to be continued)

Lowering the Bar

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Take a good look, this is what we’re promoting on YouTube and the kind of girls, GIRLS mind you, not ladies, that are gaining popularity these days. Thankfully they’re not the bar that many others aspire to, but the damage they do is more than enough that they seem to inspire millions still that think their lifestyles are worth emulating.

If you don’t know who they are then here’s a little refresher course.

On the left you have a rather sad case called Woah Vicky, a seeming YouTube sensation, a white girl that thinks she’s black somehow and yet talks in a manner that no black or white woman would ever recognize as an actual accent. There are third graders that speak with more eloquence than she does, and likely have a much better time understanding what it means when your skin is pure white and doesn’t contain a trace of darkness that isn’t brought on by tanning.

On the right is the ‘cash me ousside’ girl, Danielle Bregoli, who came to fame as an internet meme after appearing on Dr. Phil to show the world just how much of a spoiled brat she really was and how cool she thought she sounded.

Both of them are white folks, without apologies they are white. Yet they both want to act in a stereotypical way that, somehow, has gotten them noticed since the idea of popularity these days seems to stem from looking at what seems like the most ridiculous thing you can find in the media and running with it to appease the people that want to laugh. Unfortunately this also means that some demented wingnuts are going to find it appealing and think that the people being put in the spotlight are genuine talents.

The bar is lowering when it comes to entertainment, no matter how both young women need a serious reality check. In fact it’s safe to say the bar has lowered if young women with this kind of inane attitude and self-delusions can gain a following of a million or more.

 

No Country for Conversation

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It’s no country for conversation any longer. Why would I say that? Have you seen the webcasts and news lately? It doesn’t matter if there’s a protest or just a conversation happening on TV, the likelihood that it won’t devolve into a shouting match or at least a heated moment between two or more individuals is getting lower and lower by the day.

Why is that? Well, if one person can’t get their way and convince someone that they’re right then the volume tends to go up. If the volume goes up without any resolution then the aggression begins to go up. And when that happens something usually seems ready to pop off at any moment.

There’s few conversations that go on between those with opposing ideals in this day and age that don’t devolve into something that ends up hurting the feelings of someone and angering another. The saddest part of this is that it would be so easy to just it, relax, and speak one’s viewpoint in a respectful and peaceful manner. There’s really no need to block roadways, shout at others, and instigate the kind of violence that’s come around as of late.

Arguing is all well and good, we’re human, we’re not going to agree all the time since our ideologies are always going to be different between one person and another. When we sit down and discuss whatever facts there are to be contributed and agree to disagree then it’s possible to be civil. The moment someone starts name-calling and throwing shade of any type at another the discourse breaks down and, well, we get what we’ve had for the past couple of years, and longer.

It’s no country for conversation any longer.

The Obsession with Weight

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Let’s get this out there to start with: being obese is a difficult thing for some people to talk about. Some don’t care, others don’t want to speak on it, and still others would argue that being obese and being healthy is entirely possible.

Um, no.

It’s very easy to argue with people over what qualifies them as being obese since looking at the charts that have been created it seems kind of ludicrous to say that an average man that stands over six feet tall shouldn’t be over 200 lbs. in weight. Personally I’m 6’2″ and when I was in the best shape of my life in college I was still weight in around 225 if not a little more. So technically I was overweight, but just as technically it felt as though my weight couldn’t lower without causing serious harm to my body as I’d grown accustomed to packing around the weight I had.

This is where disagreements come from and where harm begins to emerge on both sides of the argument. Being obese is in fact very harmful, and it’s even classified as a disease.

Okay, again, no.

Being obese can certainly LEAD to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, but it’s not the disease itself. Is the disease responsible for compulsive eating? Does it force a person to shovel food into their mouth? No, not really? Then it’s not a disease, it’s a lack of willpower that keeps people from being able to say no and shove the bag of donuts or chips or whatever away. Many people want to replace the idea of self-control with the idea that they simply can’t say no to that tasty-looking slice of pie that has more calories in it than a full meal that might fulfill their dietary needs in a much better fashion.

Dieting isn’t the trick, but neither is shoveling food into your mouth to make you feel better. Exercise is a good idea, so is getting up and doing things that you normally don’t do, like walking to the store instead of driving, or maybe even get up and walk around the house a few times instead of sitting in front of the TV doing nothing.

Our obsession with obesity is that it’s easier to combat than people think. The trick is getting your butt up and doing something instead of sitting there and letting it get wider.

Antifa, the Crows of Society

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There’s a very good reason why I get so down on Antifa and not the other side, the other side doesn’t cause as many problems throughout society as Antifa does. Don’t believe me? Watch a few YouTube clips and you might change your mind, or not. Those groups that Antifa frequently squares off with have their faults without a doubt, but unlike Antifa they aren’t causing massive problems within the spaces they choose to march.

It’s true, both groups contribute to a part of the problem with this country when it comes to how ideals are presented and how they’re slavishly adhered to in some cases. But while both groups tend to come prepared for trouble to break out, it’s usually Antifa that starts it. Is that really the message that needs to be sent? Plus, the idea of wearing a mask, hiding your identity, and yet claiming that you have such strong beliefs is more than a little contradictory. If you’re going to believe in something then have the kind of pride that it takes to stand up and be counted, don’t cower behind a mask so you can break the law and get away with it. Cowards do that, which is why Antifa is little more than a social gathering for those that can’t fight their own battles.

But to the article…..

Why would I liken Antifa to crows? To be honest it’s kind of an insult to the avian species since they at least serve some purpose within nature, though it’s hard to figure out what it is sometimes. Much like a crow however, Antifa are highly annoying creatures that are insanely repetitive and either continue to say the same thing over and over or make no noise at all. Antifa members are particularly good at both when someone challenges their belief, especially when someone trumps them with a bit of knowledge they weren’t prepared for.

Also take note, you’ll hardly ever see a crow fight on their own unless they have no choice. Antifa members are much the same, they’re nothing without numbers and they know this, as with at least dozen or more members they’re insanely brave, but when faced with a situation where the numbers are against them they’ll either clam up or seek the best route that offers them an escape from the beatdown they might be facing. Ever see a murder of crows mob other birds in nature? That’s more or less what Antifa members will do when they know the numbers are on their side.

More than anything, Antifa are the crows of society since they’re an annoying presence that never seems to go away and simply has to croak their garbage rhetoric in the hopes that they’ll be taken seriously. Yes the other groups they stand against are just as ridiculous, but Antifa takes the bar and raises it to a level that most groups can’t reach and wouldn’t even try.

Reparations? Really?

“Making people that never ascribed to slavery pay people that were never slaves any reparations for a past they didn’t live is like paying someone that says you hurt their feelings, it’s one-sided and makes no sense.”
-Anonymous

Chanelle Helm has made it clear, some time ago, that black people in this country seem to be at a distinct disadvantage, you know, besides the black folks that have risen to the great heights in the music, film, business, and, ah hell, any industry in which a black individual has chosen to elevate themselves. Wow, that argument became a bit invalid the moment it came out since like white people, Asian people, Mexican people, just about anyone and everyone in this country, there are disadvantaged, poor, and downtrodden individuals that don’t seem to understand that hard work, no matter how much it doesn’t seem to benefit them, is one of the only ways you lift yourself up and make any forward progress. It doesn’t work for you? Find another way. You’re being oppressed? No you’re not, especially if you’re out on a roadway or in a public space protesting, using your FREEDOM OF SPEECH to condemn those you think are oppressing you but are in truth sitting back and laughing as they wait for you to go back to work and try to make your lives better.

No one is oppressing you, and each and every time a person, ANY person, demands that people give into their demands or their needs they’re saying one thing “I don’t want to do it, I just want it to be given to me.”

No I don’t support Trump, no I don’t support Hillary, but I do support hard work and the effort it takes to make your life mean something. When you’re blocking a road, just think about who you’re stopping from getting to work, the same hard-working individuals you claim to be.

Oh, and while we’re here, let’s make it clear to Chanelle Helm that this little list of hers is about as ridiculous as it gets.

1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.

Unless those black or brown people are family, I don’t think so. The state will get the property if there’s no one else before anyone that simply ‘wants’ it. You want it? Pay for it like everyone else, EARN it.

2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.

Once again, there’s that word ‘give’. Is this indicating that people of color can’t EARN anything? If it is then a lot of folks both black and white would probably have an issue since that would be a pretty big insult. And as far as privileged goes, yes, working your butt off and saving up for years is SUCH a privilege.

3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.

Then it wouldn’t be sustainable would it? The problem with giving things out for free is that far too many people think that means they have run of the joint entirely and can do whatever they want. Guess what? It costs money for upkeep, it costs money for taxes, and no landlord in their right mind is going to accept this kind of thing unless they’re the type that doesn’t have to worry about money. Maybe hit up Bill Gates or some other multi-billionaire and hope they don’t laugh you out of the office.

4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

Hold on, I need to stop laughing for a moment. You want people to just give up their home, downsize, and give their home to you? Maybe it wasn’t clear that the word ‘give’ isn’t the best word to use. There are many things that people might ‘give’ you after a suggestion like this, but their home isn’t one of them.

5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

Now we want to get personal and really dig in eh? Listen closely, it doesn’t matter who the land or home is given to, because unless you’re family or someone that’s trusted with it, the odds aren’t too great that you’re going to get it just because you want it. What you NEED to do is earn your own way and buy your own home.

6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.

There’s a lot of call for white people to do something in this missive, and why is that? Oh, because we’re inherently racist according to some and no matter that generations have gone by since anyone owned a slave we’re being made to pay for those sins over, and over, and over, and over, and….see how ridiculous that repetitive nonsense sounds?

7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.

So, ruin someone’s life because they’re racist? Now honestly it would be kind of a shock and a pain in the ass to work for a racist boss. But unless they’re physically harming anyone or actively calling for harm against other people then you might want to tone it down just a tad. Racists aren’t pleasant people, but they occupy this nation too, and like it or not, they still have freedom of speech and the same rights you do. Ease down on the rhetoric as you’re coming close to the line.

8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.

And the insults continue. So who counts when it comes to looking suspicious? You know us white folks, we all look alike at times right? I mean come on, our white skin and different hair colors aren’t fooling anyone, right? We’re all just secretly racists plotting the downfall of the nation under white supremacy. And if you believe that I’ve got a bedsheet to sell you.

9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.

Now we’re calling for open violence eh? And yet for all that I did believe for a time that BLM was supposed to be a peaceful protest that didn’t want to advocate violence. I honestly don’t think she speaks for the entire group, but it’s still disturbing to think that anyone might actually take her seriously.

10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.

So basically screw white people, don’t care about anyone else but black people, and get down and dirty if you need to when it comes to outing racists no matter if they’re admitting they’re racist or insisting that they’re not. Got it.

Wow, I’m kind of with Adam Calhoun at this point, BLM really does stand for Being Lazy Matters. That’s right, I said it.