I have about a 100 blogs in my blog and webcomic folder. Far more than I can check in on, anywhere near as often as I would like to. But today is the day I check in on some of them.
You lucky devils!
One of them for this post is the site SHADOW AND ACT. the stories they cover can be hit and miss with me, however one that grabbed me as a hit was the story of the Freedom Fighters.
This real life tale, reads in part:
“There’s a new detective agency in Dallas, Texas, started by a group of exonerated Black men who have all spent decades in prison… for crimes they did not commit.”
Not only is that a documentary in the making, I can see that premise making for a Fantastic television show. Probably HBO. 🙂
Read the story here.
More blog updates to come!
One of my more popular posts is my article covering the racism of HP Lovecraft. And by popular demand of someone who describes themselves as a self-professed Romney and Gay marriage supporter out of Olympia, Washington (hey I’m just reading what’s on the card :)) … he urges me (maybe she) to repost the article.
This Ricky makes an interesting point about HP Lovecraft’s popularity perhaps being buoyed by the rising tide of an America under attack by selfish liberal interests, bolstered by an ignorant populace that keeps resisting paying welfare to big business.
He/she further goes on to say that “the middle and lower classes are just not understanding that big business is right to bankrupt the country, and enslave many to debt for the needs of the coming over-lords and all this was foretold in the fiction of the messiah… LOVECRAFT!!!! You Liberal scum!! Don’t you see?!! Lovecraft loves you!!!!! HE DIED FOR YOUR SINS!!!!”
Again, I’m just reading what’s on the card people. 🙂
He/She goes on to say “CTHULHU! CTHULHU! CTHULHU!” To which I say Gezuntheit!
Ahh you’ve got to love the intelligence and stability and eloquence of Lovecraft supporters. 🙂
And I think that deserves our renewed attention to the article that started it all! For those who missed it the first time, read it at the link below, with love from he/she/it in Olympia, Washington! 🙂
I recently purchased THE SAVAGE TALES OF SOLOMON KANE from Del Rey Books and with spot illustrations by Gary Gianni.
So I’m going through the book, and I’m moving pretty capably along.
There are the random slurs and stereotypes, but pretty much they are few and far between and they don’t get in the way of the story…
Until I hit THE MOON OF SKULLS.
Game over man. Game effing over.
To call it insulting is perhaps an understatement. I had to check to make sure I wasn’t reading something by Lovecraft. 🙂
Oh stop crying! You know I’m right!
Have you read Howard’s THE MOON OF SKULLS?! A xenophobic, denigrating, and intolerant bit of writing, that goes on forever. I think the actual term that popped into my head before pulling the plug on the story was “racist piece of crap”.
Now I do make allowances for the time these books were written, and the fact that the Texan Howard when compared to his contemporaries of the time such as H.P. Lovecraft (a staggering racist) was quite moderate by the definitions of the age.
Part of this is the difference in the type of men they were.
Howard was a rough and tumble, ‘man-of-action’ sort, who understood the world beyond his head, and by that definition understood people outside of his head.
Lovecraft was a secluded New England ‘Intellectual’ who sought a mythology, a hierarchy of master and slave, with the almost ingrained need of the region to preserve an upper class (that in all truth, Lovecraft was very far from, due to the family’s loss of fortune early in his life) by the belief and need for a lower class.
I think racism, gave a lacking man like Lovecraft something. Something to drag himself up on, to restore him to that glory he never had, but thought he deserved… by tearing others down.
Whereas Howard was a self sufficient man (which makes his end all the more bewildering), he went along with the expected prejudice and tropes of the day, but you get the sense in some of his writing, he was content to see men as men. That Howard was a man who stumbled into the tropes of racism, rather than active in the creation and embracing of racism… ala Lovecraft.
I can deal with Lovecraft’s writing in small doses, but I find this recent deification of Lovecraft, of a writer who was barely a footnote in his own time… as odd, though not inexplicable; especially in a country that so desperately, like Lovecraft, wants to turn back the clock to a glorious age of Master and Slave, that never was glorious, and never will be.
But I do think people are over-stating both Lovecraft’s influence and importance, as his work followed in the footsteps of writers like Lord Dunsany, and took inspiration from contemporaries such as Clark Ashton Smith. Much of what people are quick to define as Lovecraftian isn’t, it belongs to a writing movement of the time, dark fantastic offshoots of the age of spiritualism, Houdini, and Arthur Machen.
“In 1914, when the kindly hand of amateurdom was first extended to me, I was as close to the state of vegetation as any animal well can be…With the advent of the United I obtained a renewal to live; a renewed sense of existence as other than a superfluous weight; and found a sphere in which I could feel that my efforts were not wholly futile. For the first time I could imagine that my clumsy gropings after art were a little more than faint cries lost in the unlistening world.” —H.P. Lovecraft
So I do take the biases of Lovecraft into account when reading Robert E. Howard. And rank him as better than the contemporaries of his age.
And I realize I just have to avoid Howard stories that are written toward a certain audience, and toward a prevalent prejudice of the day. Generally this means avoiding most of his Conan stories, as I would end up ripping them in half.
I can stomach his writing in small doses, and that’s generally when he isn’t on bigoted diatribes disguised as a story. In short bursts, and when not using an entire Continent of Africa to advance 1920s fantasies of race and heroism, I can appreciate his writing. His SKULLS IN THE STARS is probably his best short story, it is a well done story and mainly because it is free of Howard’s capitulations to the prejudices and tropes of the day.
So the winner of my Writer’s Face-Off? Well let’s put it this way. I own a Robert E. Howard book, I don’t own any HP Lovecraft books.
I guess that says it all.
I have very little to say about the Fort Hood, Texas massacre.
Not because I have become numbed to massacres by dint of long sojourn in America, that bastion of massacres, though surely some of that is in my reaction and the reaction at large. I feel for the loss of life and loved ones in this atrocity, as I do every atrocity. Those we endure ourselves and those atrocities we impose on others.
I feel them all.
No I have very little to say, because it was largely said by better men than me, before me.
“I don’t know who I’m going to shoot, you put a rifle in my hand”
“This is chickens coming home to roost”
America for a while now, has worn herself thin declaring war on every darker, non-christian country from Haiti to Liberia. Waging what amounts to the bloodiest religious crusades in the history of the world, while being tactful enough to keep the idea of crusades and ethnic cleansings out of the television reasoning for such expenditure of lives and dollars.
At a time when America would be best served by shoring up her own crumbling economic, moral, educational and cultural landscape we instead invest our time in destroying these things for other countries. And the oddest thing is, we get other disenfranchised people to go out and disenfranchise other people.
It’s a cycle we’ve been engaged in since the Revolutionary war. Making of victims, our victimizers.
The Irish became the American police force, because Ireland had become a fucking killing ground. And disenfranchised soldiers flocked here to find something… better.
The Buffalo Soldiers, escapees of enslavement, won renown by being efficient cleaners of the plains, killers of Native Americans.
Latin Americans escaping in some cases decades of bloody totalitarian regimes, often supported by US Dollars, augment today’s dwindling American armed forces.
And the cycle continues.
Our victims today, America will turn around and make (when they have no other jobs to accept) her victimizers tomorrow. That type of duplicity and juggling act is no easy feat to keep going.
In fact it’s damn difficult and dangerous.
And the concept of diminishing returns being a reality, it is costing America.
America has by hook or by crook, pushed, grabbed, cajoled, threatened anyone it can…. to garner the manpower to continue its endless war. In many cases that has meant the armed forces being more than happy to augment its forces with the less than stable. From well documented cases of soldiers with Autism, to convicts, to out and out psychopaths.
America doesn’t care who they put on the front lines, as long as you will kill for them. It doesn’t care what you have to lose to go someplace and kill people you have no beef with, as long as you do it. As long as you will be their gun.
The problem with that is, every so often, people get shot with their own guns. Particularly irresponsible people. And America is an irresponsible nation.
It is an irrational nation, that breeds this in their subjects, demands it even. Demands that you accept the most irrational reasoning, the most irrational justifications… for that which can not be justified.
You ask of people to kill for your lies, to weigh the life of the other… cheap. For no other reason than you say so. To surrender personal moralities, religions, codes, ethics, humanities… to the ever shifting dictates of the state.
And at some point teaching people to weigh other lives cheap means the ability to weigh all lives cheap.
Do you understand?
You can not spit horror into the wind, and not ultimately end up swallowing it yourself.
I do not know this Officer Hasan, beyond the sound-bites that his life has been reduced to. But as a psychiatrist, he was obviously an intelligent man, more intelligent arguably than those who now debate him, and as a psychiatrist understanding of the strange landscape of the human condition.
So to try and right this off as a dirty muslim, killing good Americans would be inept.
No, do not put that lie upon your soul.
Officer Hasan perhaps was never more American, than in his massacre of other Americans.
It is after all, the American past time. Ask any number of Post offices, or Shopping Malls, or Schools, or McDonalds.
No my dear beloved child, you lay that butchery at Fort Hood, where it belongs… with you.
And with me.
Hasan was the bomb, but we as America… were the lit and burning fuse.
Officer Hasan was by occupation aware of Abraham Maslov’s Hierarchy of Needs, and Berger and Luckmann’s Social Construction of Reality so he understood better than most the foilbles and fallacies of the human condition, its pitfalls, and yet he himself fell into them.
Looked too long into the abyss, and found it sweet.
What hope have the rest of us?
If a man whose occupation it is, to deal with pressure, himself crumbled under the pressure of America, how much more these 18 and 19 and 20 year olds that we send into the killing fields?
How shall they come back to us? Us… we who gleefully do send them out to kill, in unjust wars to unjust ends, if not changed and ready to show us… what lessons they have learned at liberty’s great lap.
Oh yes, what they have sown abroad, we will surely in the fullness of time, reap the harvest of at home.
You and me and all of us.
Unless we stop this train wreck direction America is on, this rule by sociopaths… then our Fort Hoods are waiting for us.
All of us.
This is what is to be learned from all that pain and anguish and calamity of Fort Hood. That it is America… unplugged.
Chickens coming home to roost.