Happy Holidays, Merry Mass of Christ and Improbable Heights

‘When you strip everything away from Batman, you are left with someone who doesn’t want to see anyone die.’ — KINGDOM COME by Alex Ross and Mark Waid

When I think of humanity in general, and the holiday season in particular it strikes me that that should be our goal. The pursuit of a world, where nobody dies in vain.

But the reality, particularly in America, this time of year is that with the eyes of the media diverted; government sponsored mass-murders actually ramp up, bombings ramp up (now of the drone and unmanned variety, machines murdering men.. what an unholy road we walk), the terrorism of the rich… ramps up.

I’ll not forget the media celebrating the death of Bin Laden. Death and Murder and Torture are never things to celebrate, no matter the justification.

While I am savage enough to know that killing may be a necessary evil, I am human and moral enough to know it is never a joy, never a victory, never a cause for celebration.

Be the murdered Bin Laden, or Hitler or insert bogieman here, bringing murder to murderers is never anything less than a soiling, and a failure, necessary though it may be, it is a failure of reason. And as such is a solemn time, not a glorious one.

Because to do otherwise, to take joy from death, and celebration from degradation and horror… is to devoid you of moral high-ground, is to make you (in ways stark and true) worse than those you would revile, worse than your Hitlers and Bin-Ladens. It makes you a lynchmob, a coward, and an opportunist of carnage.

We must strive to be better than that, otherwise your protestations of Christianity, and Holy Nights, and piety are just lies, are hypocrisy and mendacity most foul, that you use to conceal your roman desire to see people bleed and suffer and die.

You become that lowest form of life, a gibbering coward among cowards, you become nothing more than a grasping claw, a rolling eye, and a screeching mouth… in the creature we call lynchmob. And there is no lower, and ultimately, more inhuman form of life.

Our goal therefore must be to reject that, to reject the easy lies and the easy hates, and work toward this wildly improbable world where no one dies in vain.

But humanity’s very existence is an improbability, so we can bend that already fanciful existence to either improbable heights of good, or improbable depths of evil. We just have to pick a direction.

‘We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. ‘ — John Fitzgerald Kennedy when imploring men into space

Here, on this holiday season, more fiction than fact, ‘goodwill to all’; look into yourself and find what is hypocrisy, what is lies, and find it in yourself to make truths, and truly believe and act on this idea…. of a time of peace.

Here endeth the lesson.

Advertisements

A SOPA Bullet and 29 Gunmen: Meeting your Destiny on the road you took to avoid it

“Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed? We want them broken. You’d better get it straight that it’s not a bunch of boy scouts you’re up against – then you’ll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We’re after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you’d better get wise to it. There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens? What’s there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted – and you create a nation of law-breakers – and then you cash in on guilt. Now that’s the system, Mr. Rearden, that’s the game, and once you understand it, you’ll be much easier to deal with.”
-from Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

It’s not enough to defeat bills like HR 3261 (the Stop Online Piracy Act, which sounds like it might be a good thing, but is anything but. The full text can be found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.3261:)aka SOPA; the bill would criminalize much of what you can do on the internet today, would allow big business to shut down sites and blogs with impunity. With no real burden of proof necessary.

Just an email or a call. And concepts such as free speech, or more to the point, anti-big business speech, can be shut down… as if they never existed.

So it is not enough to just defeat this Bill.

It’s not about this one bill. It’s about giving them reason to fear… drafting the next, and the next, and the next.

This is just one bullet you’re dodging in this bill. It is not enough to dodge this bullet, you have to take out the gunmen.

Remove them from positions, to be able to fire that gun at you again. Stop them from firing more bullets. Because what they know, what any good gunman knows, is… you can’t duck them all. They shoot enough bullets, and at least one is going to hit you. To take you down.

And what they are trying to take down is nothing more or less than your ability to resist… being owned, being controlled, being terrorized, being enslaved… to big business. They want to be able to do, whatever they want… unchecked.

And with enough bullets dressed as bills, they’re on the road to… turning back the clock.

To the killing of liberty, and the hard-fought dream… of America.

So you don’t try and just duck the bullets, you stop the shooter. You stop him hard.

You stop him so hard, that God himself will blink.

There are 29 gunmen, who signed the bullet called SOPA.

There are 29 assassins.

Assassins of liberty, at the onus of big business and big business dogs such as the RIAA and MPAA to be sure… but Assassins none the less.

You may want to look over the below names. See which ones come from your state or a surrounding state. Which ones are representing themselves rather than you. And do your part… in un-employing them.

Rep Smith, Lamar [TX-21]
Rep Amodei, Mark E. [NV-2] – 11/3/2011
Rep Baca, Joe [CA-43] – 12/7/2011
Rep Barrow, John [GA-12] – 11/14/2011
Rep Bass, Karen [CA-33] – 11/3/2011
Rep Berman, Howard L. [CA-28] – 10/26/2011
Rep Blackburn, Marsha [TN-7] – 10/26/2011
Rep Bono Mack, Mary [CA-45] – 10/26/2011
Rep Carter, John R. [TX-31] – 11/3/2011
Rep Chabot, Steve [OH-1] – 10/26/2011
Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] – 11/30/2011
Rep Conyers, John, Jr. [MI-14] – 10/26/2011
Rep Cooper, Jim [TN-5] – 12/12/2011
Rep Deutch, Theodore E. [FL-19] – 10/26/2011
Rep Gallegly, Elton [CA-24] – 10/26/2011
Rep Goodlatte, Bob [VA-6] – 10/26/2011
Rep Griffin, Tim [AR-2] – 10/26/2011
Rep King, Peter T. [NY-3] – 11/3/2011
Rep Larson, John B. [CT-1] – 11/30/2011
Rep Lujan, Ben Ray [NM-3] – 11/14/2011
Rep Marino, Tom [PA-10] – 11/3/2011
Rep Nunnelee, Alan [MS-1] – 11/3/2011
Rep Owens, William L. [NY-23] – 11/14/2011
Rep Ross, Dennis [FL-12] – 10/26/2011
Rep Scalise, Steve [LA-1] – 11/14/2011
Rep Schiff, Adam B. [CA-29] – 10/26/2011
Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] – 12/7/2011
Rep Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [FL-20] – 11/3/2011
Rep Watt, Melvin L. [NC-12] – 11/3/2011
Rep Terry, Lee [NE-2] – 10/26/2011(withdrawn – 1/18/2012)
Rep Holden, Tim [PA-17] – 11/30/2011(withdrawn – 1/18/2012)
Rep Quayle, Benjamin [AZ-3] – 12/13/2011(withdrawn – 1/17/2012)

That is your mission, and your duty, and your calling if you choose to accept it. To say no, to all the people who would betray you.

To attack the Assassins of Liberty.

“Sometimes a man can meet his destiny, on the road he took to avoid it.”— The International

Best Comics Ever! John Byrne’s FANTASTIC FOUR!

I’m just going through some of my old comics, and am catching up on John Byrne’s run on FANTASTIC FOUR.

It has to be years since I’ve looked through some of these books, but some of the images and lines are ever quotable in my head.

But Byrne’s run, beyond the sound-bytes in my head, not only holds up, but reread it remains just fantastic comics (no pun intended).

John Byrne will be the first to praise Stan Lee and Jack Kirby’s seminal run on the Fantastic Four, and I am a huge fan of that run, but John Byrne’s FF is all that magic just polished a bit, and is my personal favorite. It’s a phenomenal body of work with Byrne both penciling and writing. It does peter out a bit in his last couple years on the book, but those first 3 years from issue 232 to roughly issue 270, are just essential comics.

And all the more impressive because this was one man, writing, penciling, and often inking these comics, a crushing workload to try and do monthly… any one of those things, how he managed to do all three for YEARS, (and do all three brilliantly, this wasn’t today’s hack artist or writer just throwing anything at the wall. Byrne was bringing his A game every issue) is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Whatever you think of Byrne the man, for his often abrasive opinions, Byrne the creator is the real friggin deal. He’s the Iron Man (As in Cal Ripken, not Tony Stark) of comics, and Fantastic Four is the best of a lauded and laudable body of work.

If you’ve never read the issues, I highly recommend picking up the recently released John Byrne FANTASTIC FOUR OMNIBUS here!

Fantastic Four by John Byrne Omnibus – Volume 1