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May
17

Hello ally and enemy. Welcome to the 7 Things I learned by being an Atheist. Just a quick background to explain certain attitudes or bias I could possess, for those who might care. I’m a second-generation atheist. Unlike most of my friends, I didn’t start my younger years by going to church and then put my illiterate ancestors’ myths behind me. I grew up with the profound lack of respect for dogmas and honestly, I couldn’t believe in any of the major religions, even if I wanted to. I just don’t have this kind neurological wiring.

I’m a post dogma dude.

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  1. I understand how the majority of a group can think something is correct and be completely wrong.

Whether it is a country or a classroom, knowing the majority of the people are wrong in one of their important beliefs becomes an interesting situation for a child during his formative years. People should be more careful throwing complete nonsense out there and then claiming they believe these random bronze aged peasants’ magical beliefs should guide their morality. If the majority of people can be so completely wrong in this case, what else are they telling which is full of what bull’s leave behind. Well what do you know, they were wrong about weed being bad too. The majority used to think owning slaves was normal, we evolved past such ideas in most of the world, too bad we can’t evolve past these imaginary paradigms of outdated mythology as well.

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  1. Religions are created to force people to act in a certain manner. Observe the manner and know how they wish you to behave.

Religions were created for a reason and it isn’t all a pre-scientific method for explaining the mysteries of the cosmos. This aspect could be a small part of the overall picture, but in the current major belief systems it gets less than 10% of the stage time. These desert herders were more concerned with molding the ethos of a population which was beginning to move into cities. Laws weren’t enough. They only worked if you thought you’d be caught. They needed something else to guard the wealth of the richer people. They had the stick, but they needed to control the souls. They had to create a morality which would support their positions of power and protect their property.

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Two of the major religions are clear evidence of trying to subdue the general population. Christianity asks its followers to respect other’s property and don’t overturn the apple cart. Some of these ethos might be sound, but telling the downtrodden not to worry because they’ll be rewarded after death sounds like grifting to me. Islam took a different bent. Quite to opposite and declared there should be no peace as long as lands are still controlled by infidels. Created by a warlord, it seeks violence and death for any who disagree. Sometimes it’s a sad world we live in.

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  1. People will argue about anything.

This one is simple. Once you learn people will go to great length to argue and passionately defend something so obviously fake, you can then imagine how headstrong they could be about something real or even half reasonable. This gives one a certain freedom, because you learn some folks are too far gone to waste your time on and not everyone can be saved from ignorance. This can streamline your life, give you less people to concern yourself with, and less things to do, how nice.

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  1. People have no problem lying.

People will lie to their children. Leaders lie to their people. Religious leaders lie to thousands and in some cases live well by doing it. Similar to 1 above, if they’re lying about this imagined nonsense, what else might they be lying to us about? It seems to me, if you can pretend to care about some stone aged prophets and their magical worlds, lying about anything else would come with much greater ease.

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  1. People do not enjoy opposition to their cultural world view.

When you present an opposing view to any concept, you put another into a crisis for you create the possibility they could be wrong by just suggesting there is another choice. One can fell secure if everyone around them is the same. Since everyone I meet agrees with me, we’re obviously right. Just being an atheist (or gay, of a different culture, sometimes of a different race, age…) means a person can survive and enjoy their life without some dark ages mythology to guide and control them. If I can, it means I could be right and then you’re wrong. Just my existence calls out your aged system and a big part of you feels it might not be a fight you can win. Don’t worry, violence has often worked for your religion in the past. I’m sure Jesus would be cool with it. Hell, you know Mohammad is.

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  1. Being an atheist is a quick method of determining if a person has an open mind, is intelligent, and most likely cool.

And to opposite is true. I’m not trying to be narrow, but if I know someone actually believes silly ideas, I know I probably can’t be too tight with them. Friendly banter at work, but I’m thinking camping and poker games are out. Sorry, but if someone can swallow two thousand years of nonsense, we aren’t going to be able to get too close, which is sad because I’d love to argue with them.

Conversely, I don’t like every atheist I’ve meet. Still since all my friends, I mean all of them, are atheists, being one can’t hurt your chances of being invited to my next BBQ.

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  1. People will do anything to figure out a way to control you and make you do what they want.

I believe the same nonsense as you, so vote for me. The meek will inherit the earth, so don’t fight back no matter what we try to do. We are the best, right, so obviously anyone who disagrees with us should be put to the sword and doesn’t have rights. Things may have gotten better over the centuries. Not as many religious wars happen these days or at least they are disguised better. Slavery has been outlawed in most religions, although Islam still is down with it in many places. Outside of Islam, woman are gaining more rights and respect. Yeah, things are getting better, probably because…

We have more atheists than ever before.

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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May
12

This is my new thing, at least for the next month or so, I’m heading out into Arizona’s desert badlands on the week’s most off-days, Monday and Tuesday. Some people think you should only explore the desert in the winter. Forget such nonsense. One should experience an area’s true nature. You don’t become one with the saguaros hiking through them in January. This would be like trying to discover Mardi Gras in New Orleans in September. Also, with Phoenix now being the fifth largest city in the USA, if one wants a little Desert Solitaire, you need to avoid the spilling of the hundred thousands into the wilds by dodging the weekends. I want to be the only non-local around, damn it. Non-local = El Loco.

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Saquaro Clouds

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Before I go any further, I’d like to elaborate on something. I’ve had a few nick names throughout my life, but I’m sure Alex Bone isn’t one of them… When I was in middle school, my large feet and tall frame earned me the tag of Bigfoot. Later in high school, oh what a lovely time, I was called The Ghost due to my pale complexion. Is this reverse racism, being too white for whiteys? So since I endured the label of The Ghost for several years, I think I have the right to keep the term as I explore some of Arizona’s backroad quasi-ghost towns. (Side note: I did enjoy a heathy amount of retribution against the culprits who labeled me in my 90% jock high school, but as they say, this is quite a different story.)

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After spending the afternoon looking for a former mining town, small and old enough to draw me in, but also modern enough for me to have a roof and a bite for a least a night, I settle on Superior Arizona. Sean Penn stared in Uturn which was set here a few decades ago. Hollywood liked the looks of the place and felt it represented Arizona strangeness at its finest, but does the reality hold up to the fantasy? Still, it could be worse, I could end up at that Wrong Turn place with all the cannibals with bows. Such events can be very exciting as well, unless you get eaten and then it just bites.

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Waiting until nightfall, The Ghost heads into the what remains of Superior’s downtown. I travel under a bridge complete with a Troll’s lair and then move over the undulating streets which crumble under my shoes. The tangle of roads leaves me feeling disoriented until a glowing neon sign peeks between the burned-out shells of houses. It reminds me food and drink are possible if only one can find their way past these half-abandoned houses. A break in the fence later and I’m moving over brick streets and up old staircases lining the sides of empty buildings.

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Superior Path

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I’m woken up the next morning with a manic knock on my door. A young woman saw my children’s clothes in my car and came to the natural conclusion I had them locked in my trunk. I quickly realized this was schizophrenic logic and this poor gal had a serious mental illness. She wanted for a light for her smoke and took my lighter while asking me to open the trunk to prove there were no children locked inside. I figured this act would be better than a crazed call to the sheriff and obligated her. She walked away satisfied and yep, I got my lighter back before I headed off to the one open restaurant on a row with nine closed ones.

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Last Scene Update:

While at lunch, the aforementioned female broke into people’s rooms and was chased off by a very angry woman. Somehow, I’m the most paranoid guest who actually keeps the door locked?

Oh, another update. Last night’s quest for grub and dud, had also failed due to the twisted alleys and a shut down time of 7pm (It’s a small town). The long, also half lost, journey back to the hotel left me needing to complete my trek to the town’s one functioning tavern. Porter’s Saloon had been around a while. I can feel the whispers of the long dead miners mixing with real cowboys as they paid out their earnings on a small slice of civilization and four surrounding walls filled with a different kind of spirits.

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Bone at Porters

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Another type of ghost haunts the place now. The living ghosts clinging to a dying town. Little in the way of jobs or money comes in, but low, to no, rent as fourth generations cling to former miner’s homes balances this enough for many to stay. They bake through the low desert heat avoiding the chain stores, strip malls, and shopping in return for this blessing, they keep their original aspect. Nothing here is duplicated, the town is as individual as the people who made it.

Are people like towns/cities?

Some are just copies of other things we see, a mass following of ideas, fast food chains, exercise studios, and cross-country commodities. From Miami to Seattle kids can dress the same and follow the same trends. While in some towns there’s an indifference to commonality.  People follow a similar path. Many let themselves be taken in by mass movements which spread over countries and continents. Whether one is Christian, Liberal, or into War-Porn, opps I mean Sports, you’re all waiting in the back of a huge line with millions if not billions of smucks.

FYI the bigger the line the more smucks.

Some people, like Superior, use whatever resources they have to shape themselves in the best manner they can manage. They borrow and trade with the outside world, but after they mold it to their needs, it is unique and unrecognizable.

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Many mass thought patterns and movements have merit and one need not waste their whole live reinventing the wheel. However important issues, concepts and movements should not be taken for granted. It is when we insist the way a huge group of people think is right, when we are most likely to be wrong. Things like avoiding racism, environmentalism, and a positive based life are examples of philosophies I hope the whole species will evolve into embracing.

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So what is the answer? How can one know the right path to tread and which is a huge waste of time or worse… evil?

Here is a handy backward paradigm checklist. If you follow a system or leader who does these things duck, cover, and then run away.

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Bridge View

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Backward Paradigm Warning Signs:

  • Paradigm is based on Fear
  • Is inflexible in regards to how it has all the answers
  • Hate and blaming others rules the words of the leaders
  • Seeks to eliminate outsiders
  • Ignores facts
  • Asks one to take things on faith instead of proof

How can we balance the individualism of avoiding interference with the bombardment of the modern world while it’s now more important than ever to be involved with saving our planet and way of life?

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Trump's favorite Nature View

Trump’s Favorite Nature View

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I really think we will either have to evolve our consciousness or die. How many planets have failed when they reached this stage and how many have moved ahead? I would love to know the odds before I start placing my bets. Just kidding, I’ll bet on us every time. I’m a glass half full kind of a…

Oh crap, what am I?

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Boneand Yig

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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Superior Sunset

May
04

Prelude:

I sit at the eastern edge of the Cochise Stronghold. I’ve camped in the Stronghold many times, but this is the first time I’ve camped on the east side of the massive sky island. It’s also my first solo trip. Blue birds of happiness steal my food, I’m hoping they trade some of their happiness for it. It’s been a long while since I went solo into the wilds and as usual the quiet sets my mind into action and as I look up from my Daily Action Dash of goals, the choice for this instalment of WildernessPunk becomes clear.

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Goals:

We all have goals or at least I hope we do. A life without goals seems like it wouldn’t be worth the effort for me. Why bother getting out of bed in the morning if you didn’t have a reason to or in my case about eighty reasons. Yet, like most of life, what I consider a goal might not be the same as my son, or neighbor, or enemy, or you. So let’s try to define them first.

My definition would be: Goals are a measurable task or project which can be achieved and upon completion will make one’s life or the world better.

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This being said, I would also go forth and add we could have very different types of goals we’re out pursuing during the same day. A parent could work to earn extra money for their family, exercise, help their child learn math, and finish a sculpture all within the same day. These goals are all quite different, but each benefits the parent and most likely others.

This brings up another type of distinction, the length or perhaps the repetition of our diverse goals. Deciding to exercise for thirty minutes a day is not the same as seeking a publisher for my new novel.

Length of Goals:

  • Daily: Exercise, Educating Children, Cleaning, Reading
  • Weekly: Creation, Social Time, Maintenance Tasks
  • Long Term: Finish Writing a Novel, Learn French, Prepare for a Big Vacation, Add a Deck to Your Home

Sometimes one might have goals which could be done daily, but might be better to record on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Creative goals fit into this. “I want to have three new paintings before the month is over.” It’s a defined and measurable goal, but I might work eight hours one day and then skip doing anything for the next three.

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Some might wonder why having a goal be measurable is so important. Being able to measure a goal creates accountability. It also allows you to know how well you are proceeding toward your end game and also when you are complete. Goals like…. I’m going to be less depressed, be a better parent, or find love are difficult if not impossible to measure. Why have a goal which is so nebulous you can’t even determine when it is complete?

On a personal level, I feel it’s a strong plan to have weekly goals while keeping track of your long-term goals. In life it is your long-term goals which set you apart from the herd and allow you to accomplish your bigger dreams, while your weekly goals give you the ability to do so.

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I collect data on my weekly goals twice a week roughly covering the weekdays along with the weekend. Why collect data? As I hope to illustrate, with the use of well organized data collection, I am able to easily determine how well I’m doing in regards to living the type of life I wish to live as well as calculating how well I’m accomplishing my personal goals.

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Alex Bone’s Weekly Goals:

  • X = Exercise: The equivalent of 1400 sit-ups a week.
  • W = Writing: 20 pages a week.
  • R = Reading: 200 Pages a week.
  • CWN = Commune with Nature: Be outside a minimum of 7 hours a week.
  • WL = Write Letters: Stay in contact with family, friends, and allies 28 times a week.
  • A = Alternative: Accomplish daily tasks or make steps toward long terms goals at least 7 times a week.
  • B = Bonus: Make extra profit and reward myself for each time I accomplish all eight goals daily.
  • Ki = Ki: Attend to spiritual goals and/or make time for my mental health

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I’m certainly not suggesting people should imitate me or my goals are better than those held by other people. I just do what works for me and since I’m coming up on my 20 year anniversary of measuring my goals, I guess I’m either pretty good at it or have a higher level of OCD than most people you’ve met. (I suppose both of those statements can also be true.)

Just because I measure these, doesn’t mean I attain them each week or limit myself in the level I might accomplish them. I often write less than 10 pages a week, (Don’t tell anyone) Reading also fails below my standard more often than not. However, things like Alterative can reach as high as 100 for even a bi-weekly measure.

So… what is the point of all this? Again no one is required to follow my path. It probably wouldn’t work for most people. However, it might be useful to think about your own goals in long term and short term formats. Perhaps writing them out and setting benchmarks would also be useful.

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When I see I had a bad week I can try to figure out why and adjust my life accordingly. Same is true with a great week. I can look back and see what worked so well for me.

Also, if a particular goal is doing poorly, say I only read 30 pages during the weekends, I can try to figure out why this occurred and change my schedule or adjust my modalities.

Jumping on the accomplishment bus never hurt anyone. Life it to be enjoyed, but part of our happiness comes from our feelings of accomplishment. Also, when we reach many of our goals, new doors might open for us or we may rise our standards of living in other manners. With a bit of forethought and the proper effort, who knows what you might be able to do?

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Bone hat

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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Apr
18

Genre:  Horror

Publisher:  Samhain

Published: 2012

Reviewer Rating:  4.5

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer is a horror novel which takes it up a notch by combining as many different types of the horror subgenres as it can all at once. This creates a dangerous explosion of more types of terror and villains than you can shake a dozen sticks at. I had never read anything quite like it and enjoyed this novel more than most.

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B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer

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Andy is the nephew of a stage magician who mysteriously brought about the death of dozens of people. His Uncle Ned asks him to take over the house of the dead magician. Andy thinks this will be a great place to review a bunch of old horror movies for his professor, but when his projector breaks, and he uses the dead magician’s cursed one, all the monsters, villains, and undead he views come to life and begin to destroy the small town.

Soon only four survivors are left to do their best to shut down this projector. The horror movie villains range from serial killers, to supernatural serial killers, vampires, plagues of flesh devouring locusts, zombies, giant rats, and many more types of human slaying nasties.

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I really enjoyed how this gave us an excuse to have so many archetypes of different terrors in one place in one book. Very interesting concept and quite a bit of fun if you are a lover of horror movies. I liked how sometimes these evil groups would also work together, which just made it all the harder for the few survivors.

If you love horror movies and novels, I have a hard time seeing to many downsides. The characters could have been a bit stronger, some of their backgrounds seems to be more of an afterthought.

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Yet, nothing took away from the entertainment of this explosion of deadly chaos erupting on this small town and seeing how ill prepared they were to deal with this influx of monsters and mayhem. This should be something all horror addicts enjoy.

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Learn more here

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

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Apr
06

As I have stated on more than one occasion, WildernessPunk has never been meant to be just an upscale journal chronicling my misadventures. However, WildernessPunk did begin after I was tossed into a dark well of unintended Chaos. This Chaos became full of moments both good and ill, uplifting and difficult. This week held the main three dates which mark the two-year anniversary or perhaps in my case, adversity, of when these changes began.

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Camp 1 wetter

 

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To drive these dates home even further, I also had my last (scheduled) court date two years to the day I ran from the cops and spent a night half frozen in the forest. Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of me spending a night in jail, while today, two years ago, was the morning, for better with some worse, I started my new life. Now, here I sit in a Flagstaff hotel, with my court dates over, getting ready to pick up my children and take them to Tucson with me once my oldest boy is done with school.

Yes, things have changed quite a bit in two years.

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I spend enriching days with my children, see little of the demon queen of gaslighting(DQG), and have the freedom to enjoy great times with my friends and family. I am also truly blessed with the best girlfriend I’ve ever had.

Alright, I’m starting to sound like Agent Smith in Matrix two. “Me, me, me.” Yet I am going somewhere with this or perhaps two-wheres. First one is simple. For those of you following either my life or WildernessPunk, this is a milestone and in many respects reaching an endgame. The BS which got me living in the woods and starting this blog has mostly come to a close, despite the efforts of DQG to make it malinger. Sure, I’ll continue to have trials and tribs, like all humans, but this chapter is closed, moving on…

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The second and certainly more universal point has to do with Chaos and the Warrior’s Path. It is easy for all of us to get stuck in our mundane. Life can be trying, but the known, despite its drawbacks, becomes more comfortable than the unknown and we allow ourselves to stay within situations, be they relationships, jobs, or friendships, which can be unhealthy and uninspiring. We feel exhausted and just sigh, while our life dribbles by.

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The alternative to this is entering the stream of chaos. Sometimes we do it on purpose and other times it is forced on us. Chaos is the dark and scary unknown. People will tell you not try it, it might be too dangerous, but this is also how heroes are born and how we grow as individuals.

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Creepy Gate

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We’re always growing and learning, but growth accelerates when we have our world yanked out from under us and we enter the Warrior’s Path. We could experience more in a month than we did over the last three years.

Warriors change.

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Surviving the Chaos forces us to self-actualize. We can step back and analyze our life and experiences.  With luck and knowledge, we make new and stronger choices. Below are a few examples of the benefits of striking out into uncertainty and returning reborn.

 

  • Increased Wisdom and a greater understanding of how the world works

 

  • More positive self-regard

 

  • Realizing what you will no longer put up with

 

  • The pleasure of only allowing decent people to be part of your life

 

  • Understanding what is really important to your life

 

  • Motivating to follow your true goals

 

  • Triumphing over evil

 

There are of course many more, but this is a good start. I’ll leave you with this. Hardships may mostly seem to well… suck, at least at the time, but hardships often become an opportunity, Not just for a better life, but also a better you. Stagnation can’t compete with adventures. Adventures may be hard and could find you shivering in the rain with blisters on your feet, but one month of adventures might be worth ten years of mundania and you’ll always have a few interesting stories to tell.

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warrior woman

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you these people are on the Hero’s path.

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Mar
14

Another Roadside Attraction, by Tom Robbins

 

Genre:  Fantasy

Publisher:  Bantam Books

Published: 1971

Reviewer Rating:  4.5 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

 

 

Another Roadside Attraction, by Tom Robbins was published in part as a tribute to the creativity and individuality which developed out of the 60s. The story centers around a free thinking and beautiful young clairvoyant, named Amanda, who questions all reality and makes up her own mind about what is right and then behaves accordingly. She marries a magician, complete with a pet baboon, and they set out to make their own type of roadside attraction in the woods of Washington State.

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They live off the land and expand their minds in an Eden of sorts which they perfect for themselves. All might have continued this way had not a spirit of chaos, in the form of Plucky Purcell, who quite by accident, joined a secret sect of military Catholics serving the pope.

He gets assigned to the Vatican, and one random earthquake later, he discovers the corpse of Jesus Christ. This of course questions the legitimacy of the creator of Christianity being a divine being. After stealing the body, he brings it to what has become perhaps the most controversial road attraction in the history of mankind.

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Robbins is a splendid writer. Like an artist with a blank canvas, he paints Amanda as a dashing anarchistic figure with a wisdom as deep as the earth. The book examines and reexamines both popular and novel philosophical content, against a backdrop of colorful freedom..

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Such a well written book has few downsides, but any supernatural feats are downplayed and this book is more literary, thoughtful, and comic over fantasy or action.

If someone would like to veer away from the norm and enjoy a brilliant novel which sets out not only to entertain, but perhaps expand your mind, this book should be part of your A list.

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Learn more here

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

 

Feb
24

Is it just me or has the occurrence of foolish drama increased over the past year or so? Could this be because we have a president who seeks to make our government into a reality TV show? Perhaps we’re more sensitive to malicious plotting than we used to be or more informed in regards to how to identify these malign activities? It could also be we hold ourselves and others to a higher standard than past generations.

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Another thing which has become a focal point for the last year of our lives is how often reality is rewritten to meet the needs of the speaker with little thought to recognize either facts or consistency. Many have become desensitized to lying and contradictions, while others have given up a part of their optimism.

I am not here to discuss politics. We’re all under the government’s controlling umbrella to a greater or lesser extent. It bugs, bothers, and infuriates us, but remains distant. It might impact my life, but I can do little to affect it.

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The real question I am posing is how it might give some the impression there’s nothing wrong with their own lies. If the people we elect for government posts can lie to meet their needs and change their opinions daily, why shouldn’t a person, who has only a small circle of influence, concern themselves with the truth. Hell, almost no one is even watching them.

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For many, honor has been replaced by a self-serving agenda, which disregards, facts, other people’s needs and emotions, and gives no consideration to the well-being of children and other impressionable people. For some people, a simple cliché such as, “Put yourself into the other’s shoes,” is beyond their capabilities.

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So what happens when you mix drama and lies… most would agree it would be called Gaslighting. Just in case you haven’t heard about this one, it was based on the movie Gaslight which won Ingrid Bergman her first Academy Award.

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The film’s plot, faithfully adapted by its screenwriters, was about a diabolical, Victorian criminal husband (Charles Boyer playing against type) who systematically and methodically attempts to torment, menace, and drive his bedeviled, fragile wife (Ingrid Bergman) mad. Its title was derived from the frequent dimming and flickering of the gaslights. The phrase “to gaslight” someone (to deliberately drive someone insane by psychologically manipulating their environment and tricking someone into believing that they are insane), was derived from the film.” — Tim Dirk.

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gaslight — (verb) gaslights (third-person singular simple present), gaslighting (present participle), gaslighted (simple past and past participle).

  1. (slang; origin UK) To manipulate someone psychologically such that they question their own sanity.

So, whether it’s in front of the whole nation or just an individual trying to twist a single/a handful of minds, what makes someone think it’s acceptable to abandon any facts which don’t aid their agenda and recreate reality as they see fit?

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GL

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Narcissism doesn’t hurt. When you believe your life is the only one which matters, then your interpretation of the facts is the only thing you need to concern yourself with.. Or looking at it from another angle, to the narcissist, getting what you want for yourself overrides all else. Things like facts, the needs, desires, and emotions of others, logic, and consistency are all just chips to be ground into the carpet as they pursue their one goal, to better their own lives.

Others are just looked at in reference as to how they can be used. Whether is be as a source of income, a servant, or a pawn, all people are just ranked by their usefulness.

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But why does this happen? How do people get so wrapped up in themselves and their own agenda the rest of the world dims? Trauma and abuse can cause this disorder as can a poor upbringing. Although there’s also some evidence, as with many other disorders, like Schizophrenia and Cognitive Disabilities, a certain small percentage of people may be born this way.

Why would a percentage of humans, be born more or less evil, would be another interesting avenue to explore, but let’s stick to the disorder, for disorder it is. Although Narcissism, personality disorders, and gaslighting have caused undue suffering over the years, with a clear head, such things can’t hold up. Logic and common sense wins out over manipulation and lies in the end.

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If the gaslighter has an Achilles heel, it would certainly be their ego. They are so convinced their great intellect along with their plots are molding others into getting them what they want, they refuse to notice when these lies go poorly. Soon they can find themselves with little of no allies or resources but will only blame others for their woe. They attempt their old tricks, but they can’t last forever with the same people, so eventually the gaslighter is forced to move on and seek new victims. Unless they move, this gets harder, for stories spread and most of us become suspicious of people with no friends who are estranged from half their family. If this isn’t a red flag for you already, perhaps this idea can be the biggest take away of this article for you.

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So what is the best things to do if confronted by someone trying to gaslight you?

 

  • Don’t let yourself be separated from your support network and check in with them often. They can remind you A) you aren’t crazy. And B) what really happened and what any sane person would do about it.
  • Use simple tricks to weed out Narcissists. My favorite is, “Name five of your weaknesses, or things you don’t like about yourself.” If they balk at this easy task, you got trouble in your living room.
  • Many suggest you keep a journal. This will help you fact check.
  • If someone is coming down on you, like a boss who is harder to escape from, remember all they care about is themselves, so any request should be wrapped around a concept which makes their life better or at least keeps it from getting worse.
  • Statements which can befuddle a gaslighter would be saying things such as, “I would never dare to presume I have the right to control how you think about me.”

 

The bottom line is, if you are in a situation and its all about them, it should be all about you getting your butt anywhere else. So stay safe and smart out there and watch your step leaving for I smashed all the gaslights and left them on my front porch.

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Gotham-by-Gaslight-600x338

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You can grab some of my fiction here, and I can promise you only the villains use gaslighting.

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the-gaslight-factory-terracottanavigator-s

Feb
21

Genre:  Super Hero

Publisher:  Marvel

Published: 2014

Reviewer Rating:  4.5 Stars

Reviewer:  Michael D. Griffiths

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I received Marvel’s Secret Wars as a gift and let it sit a while, but during the middle of this Winter, I figured I would check it out. I have always, since I was about eight, been a Marvel fan, but this originally was released in 1983, which was about when I had friends with cars for the first time and thought about the possibility of one day perhaps kissing a cute girl. So, as you might have already guessed, I never got copies of these while they came out.

There are twelve issues in all and the plot follows the characters as a being with God-like powers grabs, not only the most powerful heroes in the Marvel Multiverse, but also cherry picks from the villains. Both groups end up on a world complete with villages, high tech castles, and powerful weapons.

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From the hero team we have Spider Man, Hulk. members of The Avengers, the Fantastic Four, and the X-men including Xavier. Also working with the X-Men is Magneto, which creates more than a bit of conflict. The villains were stranger picks for me. They are led by Dr. Doom, who gains control over Ultron and even fights Galactus.

While Doom plots to destroy them all and worse things, the Heroes pick Captain America to lead them and attempt to discover why they are involved in this strange contest, how to survive, and perhaps somehow figure out a way to return to Earth.

The action is fast and furious. Also, despite the huge cast of very popular and well-known characters, they try to give most of them a voice and even have several subplots and unexpected twists. Things grow more intense as they battle against insane setbacks, like having a mountain dropped on them or friends die.

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If marvel heroes get you going, then not many bad things to say here. They invented something new, explored concepts no one had ever done before, and the comics broke a 25-year sales record. If I had to throw some dirt, I might have liked to see more villains in the fray.  When the Hulk and Thor are just two of your players, I think the bad guys should have had more fire power.

Obviously, this is a must read for any Marvel fan. If you never experienced, this fight to end all fights, this new collection makes it easy. If you like these heroes even a little and do not need to only see the stories through a glowing rectangle, grab this graphic novel.

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Learn more here

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Grab some of my Fiction Here

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Feb
09

They say, “You can’t go back.” Which is of course false, because you can go back, it just might not feel the same way. Yet, what makes it different? I often look back at even recent times in my life and marvel over how much has changed in just a couple of years, but things can become dissimilar for us in just a few months as well.

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Preroof and tarp

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Sometimes situations change for the worse, but as darker fluctuations occur, at times they can also force us out of stagnation. Although many of us like to feel cozy and warm in a predicable life, one also runs the risk of trading the unknown for the known and lack of variety and adventure can often be the price you pay.

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Boney Utah

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As the sun begins to set on this mystic Baccanaught, I look back at where I was when I started WildernessPunk 18 months ago. I lived much of my time in camp 1 between Flagstaff and Walnut Canyon. I spent the days and nights alone with only the minimal equipment I could transport to the forest by bike. No fires, simple foods, mostly reading and writing until the battery on my loaned laptop died.

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Now, not too long after, I’m living in a home with heat and water, dating a lovely goddess of a woman, seeing friends every week, and most importantly getting to have my boys stay with me.

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Yes, much can change quickly, but this only made it more exciting when I had a chance to return to Camp 1 recently. It felt fitting I hiked up into the forest alone. Within are pictures of Camp 1 taken in 2018, 15 months after the last night I slept there.4.

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Trail

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In theory, I had returned to clean up and perhaps salvage anything worth grabbing, but as I followed the old trail, which hid my homeless refuge, other more complex thoughts moved through my mind.

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in the distance 2018

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I felt grateful. Where so much had turned against me, now so many things have fallen into place. Yet as the readers of WildernessPunk might appreciate, with this turning of the tide, something was also lost.

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Camp 1 view

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One feels a pride persevering through obstacles and living low to the ground with limited resources. Nature is the great equalizer. Rich or poor, members of every race and belief are all treated the same. Only your ability to prepare and work to improve your state changes things in the real world.

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Was this the real world or is my normal house more real? Hard to say. I felt alive in a different fashion then. Am I more of a winner now or less? I’d get different answers from each person I could ask. Yet, the bottom line for many of us becomes our children, family, lover, and friends. Are you going to live for yourself and ideals, or jump into the mainstream so your can uphold different goals and ideals?

Perhaps one can do both. Wish me luck.

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AZSunset

 

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

Jan
26

“Whether a man is a criminal or a public servant is purely a matter of perspective”

Tom Robbins, 1990

Hello dear readers of the glowing light, it’s not talking about me, I mean your magic rectangle. I’m just here to address the vampire in the room. A year has passed since Trump has occupied the White House. Some people are still backing him, while others are inclined to think he’s the worse disaster to hit the USA since the Vietnam War.

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Put your opinions aside for a moment and let’s look at the positives Trump has done for us. Don’t get too excited Conservatives (Like there are any reading this…) because I not talking about policies or steering the country, as much as what he has helped us understand about ourselves from an anthropological or perhaps philosophical perspective.

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Starting with the simple observations, no need to make this complicated, we can all agree Trump has had a wild year. Where most Presidents strive for dignity and leadership, every 48 hours Trump gets away with more questionable behavior  than Nixon resigned for. The Presidency is a reality television show and if there is no scandal for a few days, Trump with think one up.

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He’s done much to alienate himself from women, foreign countries, GBLTQ folks, law enforcement, immigrants, Muslims, and journalists to name a few. Yet out of these various stunts and actions, the common thread moving through his Presidency is his racism. I’m not going to argue about his racism here or give details. Remember I’m keeping this simple. He’s a racist, moving forward. It you disagree, you are the 1 in 3 and I’ll get to you shortly.

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So, despite him being a racist and all the other violations of human rights and just common decency he’s trampled  his approval rating hovers around 33% or 1 in 3. Okay this will be important…1 in 3. The fact is, after doing almost everything he could do to turn caring people off, we know 33% of U.S. adults still support him, and this is where Trump has done us a favor.

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If you still like Trump, there are only 3 things you can be:

  • Ignorant
  • An Asshole
  • All of the above

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Am I being too harsh? Nope. If you support a racist, you are either raised so poorly and became isolated from experience and education to a point where you have to be just plain stupid enough to belief this is acceptable behavior or you’re a selfish hate driven scumbag. Or if you think things like your tax returns are more important than human rights you are an asshole. See I told you I’d keep this simple.

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And here’s where I thank Trump for his favor. He has finally allowed us to see the true percentage of stupid people and/or assholes in the USA. Good to know. So, if I walk out my door, I need to keep in mind 1 in 3 people in my path are stupid or assholes and most likely both.

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Obviously, this ratio is greatly dependent on the situation. If I’m seeing TWIGS and some other local bands play at Club Congress, the ratio might be more like 1 in 20. However, if I went to some Church of the Latter-Day Saints morning mass, I’d find things closer to 19 in 20. Also places like Bisbee and Seattle would have a very different ratio than say Jacksonville.

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Overall though 1 in 3. I’ve thought about what the true numbers of stupid asshole versus the rest of us might be throughout my entire life. In high school it would have been higher. In my free floater early college years much lower, but hey now we know. I mean, we really know. No ifs, waits, or bullshit.

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When you are combing your hair and getting ready to head out on a Saturday night, as you walk into a job interview, or are meeting your daughter’s new boyfriend… keep in mind you have a 1 in 3 chance to run face to face with someone who cares more about themselves than human decency.

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So watch your back out there. And again, thanks Trump, we couldn’t have figured it out without you.

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Dionysus Slick

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You can grab some of my fiction here, which I promise has nothing to do with this, Hell, my hero is a cop, go figure.

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Bone Desert