Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I look at the stats for my blogs and I wonder just who the heck is reading me. I'm thankful for nearly any sort of exposure, now that I've become active again and actually started directing traffic to my Lit blog. Still, I can't help but feel a little concerned about what the heck it is I've been posting over the years.

It's an old concern, mind you. These days, the stuff you post can pretty much be the cyberspace equivalent Mark of Cain.  

Sunday, August 12, 2012

It is difficult to imagine that the soul does not exist when one faces the imminent intellectual and physical dissolution of someone you know and love. Something of him must persist past death, we insist, against the mess of misfiring neurons, familiar tics and random gross movements of the head, shoulders, eyes and major limbs.

They are moving my uncle back to his ward, to die.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

I don't know. I've been walking around without one since 2005. If you are determined, God, to keep me from my soul, then at least let me have the world. Surely there is room for that in your convoluted plan for me.   

(written in 2008)

Monday, August 06, 2012

Pet Peeve

You can't be human and not run into these, and you can't be a writer and not have to deal with several. Among my biggest peeves is the need to be current.

Writers will, sooner or later, have to interrupt their work for a myriad of reasons. If the delay is long, expect the topic to be stale by the time the writer returns to it. I've found that to be true even when writing about topics that aren't strictly current events.

The reason is that there is a currency to themes and topics, even if they are considered timeless and abstract. Good and evil, love, poverty, joy, loneliness, social unrest-- these timeless topics are often contingent on a season, a cycle, a fad, even the prevailing zeitgeist. People will write about love around February, about death around Halloween, about loneliness and shopper's fatigue around December. True, nothing stops the intrepid writer from writing out of season, but I have found that the writing is like rolling a heavy stone uphill the farther away the appropriate season is from the time you pick up the pen after your necessary delay.

It is cold comfort to blocked writers that many of them find themselves in such straits-- at least, I would imagine so. I would also imagine little comfort in the advice I would impart: keep striking the damn iron while it's hot. It's piss-poor advice that's easier said than done.


This image appears on the Facebook wall of one Tamie Mcculley. You can find the original here.

I'm ambivalent about this. I think the reason that illegals are seemingly coddled is because it's a concession to practicality. They're already there in ridiculously large numbers and god knows the authorities can't catch and deport them all. Besides, a good number of them want to be upstanding, tax-paying citizens, and actually turn out that way.  My cousin is a prime example.  

But it feels unfair when they make good and while everyone else is seemingly in the hole. Like they've been rewarded with your money for committing a crime. Worse, they're hired at rock-bottom rates because they cost less for employers to, well, employ (Never mind that the jobs they take are generally jobs naturals dislike: mostly manual labor). I get it. 

One can't escape the fact, though, that the 'States were founded by immigrants. More than the rabid brand of White Evangelical Christianity that beats its chest proclaiming dominion over everyone and everything, the country's defining trait is that it at least pays lip service to the idea that "If you have a dream, if you want it and work hard and honestly enough for it, you'll see it come true." I see this trait in immigrants (legal or not) who want to better their lives with their own hands and be part of what's still good about America. 

A concession I will make to the people who feel threatened by the perennial influx of warm non-white bodies  into their respective States is this: something still has to be done about keeping the borders secure. America isn't primarily a charity, and any country that remains porous can find itself overwhelmed by the large numbers of people that it must sort through, to keep out those who cannot contribute to the growth and economy of its citizens. Controls must be in place to make sure that the immigrants you get are all legal.

I can't pretend to have a solution that would readily satisfy Ms Mcculley and people like her-- likely regular people in an economic pinch, who are worried about jobs for their children and the dilution of their culture.
Nevertheless, I wish her country well.