On Tidying Up. Another Blog For Another Purpose.

Actions and Consequences

I recently joined a Writing Challenge which has been a rewarding experience on many levels. One of the topics which cropped up in responses / replies was avoiding falling into the trap of being ‘Preachy’ and spoiling a narrative; the possibility of your political or social views getting in the way of the plot and character development.

With this in mind it occurred to me it may be constructive to keep, this my original blog for the subjects associated with Writing and Whimsies, with the occasional side-swipe at WP and WORD. In consequence since I cannot keep my political mouth still to set up a quite separate blog for those subjects.

So in spite of WP, not because of it I do believe a suitable one has been constructed. Its spareness intentional.

My hope is not for this new blog to be an arena for my preferential views alone. Over recent years I have taken an interest in International Relations theories in particular the ‘Realist’ school, therefore there should be something of a detached analysis of how things are the way they are and also how they might go. The underlining theme will be the using of Historical Lessons and Examples.

Of course the site will be experimental and which direction it will go is something not to be predicted. Hopefully many subjects in a very broad arena will be covered. There will not be an aim to be inflammatory or suggest ‘this’ is the correct way. However it would be disingenuous to say these posts might not disturb, maybe challenge some conventional perceptions, on occasions sound bleak and others peculiarly optimistic, in a sardonic way.

The initial post will cover the first use of Nuclear Weaponry upon Japan. A subject redolent with opinions and beliefs. One which in its demonstration of Humanity’s ability to kill many, swiftly, caused a social shock wave which still resonates down the decades making it almost an article of faith that you cannot not have an opinion. I will not intend to justify, I will not intend to dismiss those who are still angered by its use. The intention will be to use this event as an illustration of one of Humanity’s Marches to a fearful outcome, mostly because of the near inevitability caused by a herding surround of circumstances.

The reader will be left to reach their own judgement.

A link:

A Question of Inevitability?

Motivations, Inspirations, Imaginations…And Characters. A Journey Care Less and Content

Strolling

Foreword

You know how it goes. You have this idea for a topic, and you start off. Then some allied aspect else occurs to you, which begs to be added on, which in turn leads you off down an interesting lane and somehow the original topic is behind you, round a bend somewhere and you are there, scratching you’re head wondering ‘So?… How did I get here?’

The intention was to write about World Building and how the one which formed out of my work was a place I liked to revisit, just to be there. Then the theme became something else. Here was another writer wandering through This, That and The Other. For no other reason than ‘Just Because’….

The books which are part of the post are not mentioned because there is no intention to publicise them. You’ll find enough information in earlier posts. The subjects of this post are creativity, inspiration and motivations. Anyway back to that start…

The Beginning

Sometime ago I promised myself ‘Tone down on the politics. Concentrate on the writing. Be at one with your creativity,’………………..

The next day……

Back on the soapbox or picking fights on Facebook. Will I ever learn?

Learn what? To desensitise myself against thing which get under my skin? Remove some part of me?

Well, maybe not picking on an easy FB target and ridiculing them. Maybe ‘They had it coming. Taste of their own medicine. See how they like it,’ Are not worthy and mature reasons, perhaps those sentiments border on excuses. Weighing down someone’s ‘one liner’ with three paragraphs of International Relations Theory and History? Maybe that’s showing off a bit. Overkill much?

I tell myself my political and social comments should be addressed to Word Press where generally the standard of debate is higher.

The fact, though, the political part of me, is one reason why I write fiction as I do; the challenge being to try and tone down the preachiness. A character sounding off on some political issue in the middle of an action episode sounds ‘odd’. A lesser character taking up half a chapter on observations on an injustice just spoils the narrative and detracts from the plot.

Yet there is nothing wrong with placing your opinions or views in a narrative, the characters will let you know if they think you’ve been too wordy. Those lesser characters’ two or three lines of conversation will suit just as well.

On reflection my views were one of the driving forces and at the same time a bit of a challenge to fit in neatly. I loathe the latent misogyny trying to slither back into our cultures. Thus was more than happy with Three Strong Women characters appearing. Prejudices on the grounds of race, religion, adult consensual choices tend to be a red flag, so those who embrace any or all of these prejudices would truly hate my trilogy. Sometimes a mischievous part of me nurtured on Facebook would snigger while whispering ‘If anyone hates this part. Good…they got it coming,’.

Another motivation and this is not criticism just personal taste, I did not wish to read anymore grimdark or ‘gritty’. The real world had enough of that for me. Happy endings and good folk running rings around bad folk was my intention.

In addition is a little fantasy of the whole trilogy being on a public forum where I would wait for the inevitable feeble whinge that is it is all ‘woke’, whose users are such easy targets…. (Ah but there I go again. Looking for confrontation)

Yet as I go treading into more dangerous and delicate yet related ground; it has been an observation that there is more than one way to receive criticism or even ire for portrayals of characters outside of your own social, ethnic, political, belief system grouping. This observation, and the word is stressed comes from reading commentary from those whose group is portrayed, in a sympathetic or positive light and yet is perceived by the commentator as not being the correct portrayal. My own conclusion is in this fraught world where colonialism, in the European sense has died out and the old Cold War alignments disintegrated and social norms are altering it is for many people or peoples essential their group are portrayed accurately and in a balanced, mature context. Of course my get out clause being; ‘These books take place in a Fantasy World. Not this one,’, though human natures being what they are it is unlikely this response would be seen as satisfactory. Never mind… ‘You can’t win them all,’ . And anyway folks this is a world of my characters and they led me through allowing me to explore (or was that witness?) all manner of the possibilities.

Characters eh?

One advantage, or salutary warning is once you let your characters in on the act and they start to influence you, the pace of writing picks up until the creative or speculative processes reach a velocity which leaves all caution behind. In a very paradoxical, maybe cussed mood, the lack of sales encouraged me and them onwards. We reached the ‘What The Heck’ Stage, followed by ‘C’mon Rog’. We just have to go this way, you know parts of the back story have been building to this. Remember the sub-text kiddo,’. This of course led to other directions for taking the main narratives too.

Maybe the final result would seem to some a vainglorious mash-up of genres, sub-genres and styles. And there would be no argument from me. In my defence this is what happens when the driving forces within you set the imagination in movement and in turn you feel confident enough to let the narrative take control.

Should the whole work come to public attention and there is consequential criticism of the plot line, characters and result, let it be so.

For I had far too much fun putting the whole together to regret. (apart from those stupid persistent typos and a few instances of getting the names wrong- sometimes you can be too indie).

And now I am learning restraint and economy on a monthly Blog Battle*, which is as much fun being very instructive, while keeping my interaction of Face Book to a minimum.

*

BlogBattle

https://bbprompt.com/

A Mature and Reasoned Commentary

For two days I was working on a carefully crafted post…. Then Word Press deleted the whole thing, without any recourse to getting it back.

Portrait Angry older man screaming on white background

I said. 

Then feeling a more eloquent and balanced statement was needed added:

sturm_drang3

This morning I am a measure calmer and able to sum up my outlook in a mature and philosophical frame of mind.

big-raspberry

Moral: When drafting a long post always use Word (or similar) then Copy & Paste onto WP

As Legions Before Us. We Will Be Tested

Child victim of War

Foreword: Two previous attempts at this post binned; five days of rehearsing paragraphs in my head before they made it to the page, and I still don’t know if  it is even close to the original intention. The drive would not let me rest though. Bear with me. Encapsulating these aspects of The Human Condition were never destined to be easy.

Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, then Libya, South Sudan, the Central African Republic, Northern Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Niger (to name but seven of the approximately twenty plus conflicts in Africa), Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, (blink and you might miss those two) and now a war in Ukraine which is coming into its eighth year when shorn of the curtain of a fight for independence by minorities was elevated to one which cannot be avoided. These are the sometime headline ones; not the ones packaged into small items on the brutally repressive regimes and the bloody conflicts between communities or criminal gangs.

Ukraine. If we are starkly honest with ourselves, and this is a time to be so, this one takes hold of us by the heart and mind, because those folk and their towns look so very similar to our own. And in the next sentences I walk a literary minefield. Do we notice more because of the colour of their skins. Yes? For the simple reason that familiarity brings a greater degree of emotion. Deep inside lurks the feeling with a myriad of deeper causes ‘That could be me. Us,’  You can’t stop it. No more than someone native to any of the nations above would bitterly think ‘Welcome to our world. You, of The First World,’ Human nature: You might be blessed enough to have the gift of Thinking Before Speaking; dare anyone here claim they have the gift of Perception Before Feeling? You will have to accept, I don’t believe you. No person has that sort of Objectivity. The Invasion of Ukraine, an industrial powered, visceral, savage, unavoidable, twenty-four seven media reminder what has been going on non-stop somewhere, sometime, somehow. For some folk who follow the world news, maybe the last straw. If anyone out there and has been weeping, threshing, howling, shutting down their TV or laptop save for rom-coms, sports feeds, domestic themed shows, or wildlife documentaries….I for one don’t blame you. Just come back to us some time.

And of course there are those issues on your doorstep. Pandemic, voter suppression, job security, rising prices, civil rights, domestic and civic violence, environmental concerns; those for examples. We agonise and rage over what is happening in Ukraine, but we worry about doorstep issues. We even might taste fear over one or more of them, dread them starting to link up, like a series of small forest fires merging into one vast wall of speeding immolation.

A short while back, I wrote about the importance of Hope. A plea to not to give way to despair. In all honesty an easier work to write. This is about the application of Hope. … Firstly we can all Hope, and we can all believe we will sustain the intention in a good way. Until our own Reality comes in; the inescapable truth of a War in The First World. Not just in the fierce imposition of the media, or the stream of consciousness interchanges between others. It comes creeping up on us. Sometimes swirling about us when we planned on going to sleep, or maybe dragging us out of a restless half-place, or maybe hovering there while we go about our daily chores, worse intruding upon our leisure time asking ‘Should you be….’  

You will be tested. I cannot predict how, where or when. I can tell you those myriad of emotions you are feeling are part of rehearsal. Steady yourself for a journey into a Batman’s Gotham City grotesque warping of Doctor Suess’ ‘Oh The Places You’ll Go’. You could already be finding you are wishing one man dead, perhaps joyfully celebrating resistance and shrugging at the sight of dead Russian soldiers, bitterly seeing those in your country who are ‘soft’ on Russia as not just wrong or nuisances but traitors and possibly paid by Moscow. Be prepared to be feeling emotions beyond anger, to find callousness has become part of your prism. You will be drawn in. Conflict and War are most adept at justifying; the shock being you will believe, In This Case, it was right to embrace them. If you ever thought you were angry over something outside of your own personal life, now you are stepping up (or down-depends on your viewpoint) a piece. Beware how you tread; an emotional solution the Ukraine could became your template for problems at home. You might well feel fatigue at some stage, taking comfort when the news slips down the ratings…’Can’t be so bad anymore?’ Really?

Those words disturb you? Do you feel I have stepped too far into incitement, a tabloid rabble-rouser, safe in his age and home? Are you, instead nodding your head and invoking battle criesIf You Want Peace Prepare For War’, ‘Democracies Don’t Start Wars. We Finish Them,’ ‘Justifiable War. It’s In The Bible’ (it’s not actually -Augustine of Hippo might have been the first to write on the subject). Or are you shaking your head and thinking What is he on about? I don’t understand where he is going with this?’. Perhaps you are there gnawing on your lips and saying ‘Well. Yes. But there has to be a better way. There must be. Surely we can’t keep on killing. Can we?’. There we are then. You, me, others; drawn into in a confused internal conflict where principals, ethics we are told about and the ever raw emotions collide, maybe merging in pairs or a trio only to fly apart like some of the more exquisite subatomic particles, or remain in constant antagonism. Whichever; they will plague us with a constant restlessness, even if that be only a far off rumbling of someone else’s storm.

You might cryTested? I did not sign up for this!’ Well sorry soldier, The Human World’s dynamics has the monopoly on this particular conscription, switch on some communication,  step, outside the door. Yep. You’re drafted. Even trying to be detached is some kind of statement. Your only other option is Hermitage while trying to avoid the Media finding out about you and placing you in today’s circus side-show.   

Regrettably there are no test-papers, no Yes/No/Maybe forms to fill in or on-line courses for you to tackle to see if you have passed as an In-Tune Human. (We don’t count social media for this circumstance, there are too many opportunities for pollution by those who wouldn’t even qualify for consideration to try the test; they come from Right, Left and up underneath). Thus you justifiably ask ‘You are telling me an awful lot of grim stuff. Is that all you are dealing in this time. Some Old Testament prophet re-enactments?’ 

Well, maybe. Or look at it this way. This is a journey. The weather is unsettled, make sure you carry an umbrella, a hat, and a shower proof jacket in a back-pack. Ones woven with judgement, perception and reflection. Unsettled weather. Best carry a bottle of cool reason ease the parched feeling brought on by the sudden heatwave of anger. Take opportunities to find yourself some shelter to get out of the extremes; wait for the breaks, indulge yourself in the respite. If you can grasp a short span of calm and understanding, a wish to be charitable or helpful in some positive and constructive way, thus you are coping, you are not destroying. ‘So far so good’; ‘I could have done worse’ ;’I’ll know better next time’  Maybe not the most positive of statements or evaluations, but, in testing times perpetual excellence leads to burn out, or worse Arrogance – the doorway to…..too many bad choices.

To conclude The Testing will not end in the foreseeable future. Your continued, dogged, sanguine efforts to help the victims and stand against oppression mixed with the realisation we are all fated to stumble at times, not living up to expectations; these will be part of the way upwards and outwards. Surviving and then washing away this latest deluge of the dross of Ignorance and Aggression.

Take care of yourselves folks. You are a precious resource.

I Wish I Had Not Been Inspired To Write This

Since the mean-spirited, the fantasists, the intolerant and the selfish are not letting up this season it seemed like a reasonable idea to take a swipe at them…

These are a collection of thoughts which are available to be used as quotes, no copyright laws were invoked. As an alternative you may wish to shake your head sadly and say ‘Poor guy. How did he get that way?’; to this there is an easy answer….. I’ve been around for 70 years. …..

Anyway…..

Apparently only other people are gullible.

Conspiracy Theories are for folk who can’t cope with the concepts that Human Folly and Natural Planetary Activity are two of the biggest influences on Societies.  

It’s not Politics, it’s not Religion, it’s not Economics which are the problem. It’s People.

Two ways of avoiding responsibility, not caring about others and being selfish, would be either to going out to a pub and getting hammered, or embracing Libertarianism.

Simplifying a Tax System is process by which The Rich Keep it and the Poor pay for that.

The Market Economy is a great idea on paper. A Planned Centralised Economy is a great idea on paper. The trouble is The Paper doesn’t have a say in the running of either operation.

The Irregular Verb of Politics. I have firm, resolute beliefs. You have been misled. They have dangerous ideas.

Of course there will be a very special place in Hell for the very wicked. It’s next door to the larger room for the Apathetic.

Misogyny is the first resort of the male inadequate.

On encountering opinions described as ‘Breath of Fresh Air’ check which orifice they originated from.

The Enlightenment was fine but Intolerance, Greed and Cruelty are still around.

Who the heck would want to travel all that distance, using all those resources to reach this world? And why would they set up home in a chunk of American desert. OR if they are so clever in getting here how come they allowed themselves to be hijacked to a chunk of American Desert?

I might be impressed by Hunters if they went out barefooted, dressed in nothing but hide skins, armed only with pointed sticks or bows fashioned yesterday from branches and twine and were hungry. 

In this 14 (more of less) billion year old and maybe 60 billion light years in diameter Universe, can anyone take me to the vacant place and say ‘Look this is where Your God should be,’??…. Thought not.

Democracy is a process whereby you vote and hope you got it right. Then sometimes get to be disappointed. Then you vote again and hope a lot of people agree with you…

Elections are usually lost and the other folk benefit.

Not voting helps those you least want to be governing you.

There’s nothing wrong with being joyful and having a good time, just don’t try and shove it down my throat.

Denying Climate Change is assuming there are set of controls somewhere on the planet just like your central heating, air conditioning, lighting or plumbing.

Did Trump becoming a political item make you wonder if it was God’s way of saying ‘Yep. The Russian Orthodox Church were the ones who got the message right,’ ?

History is a wonderful teacher. It is also a remorseless shredder of romantically held views.

Intolerance, Bigotry and Ignorance are held in equal measure on The Right and The Left. The difference being, those on The Right tend to bawl out their views, whereas those on The Left tend to add a layer of self-righteousness.   

Whether Racism is a result of or will cause chronic inbreeding has yet to be clarified.

Claiming to know what your Rights are does not necessarily tie in with knowing what your Responsibilities are.

In the Western World one of the more unnecessary professions is that of the film critic whose affected opinions have done as much damage to the film industry as any censorship board.

Restless

Sailing Ship

I must go back to a narrative again, to follow the Muse’s eternal cry

And all I ask is my laptop and an idea to guide me by

(Thank you John Masefield for Sea Fever)

You finish one project, it’s taken you quite a while, you’ve experienced all the varying emotions, you’ve fought through the ‘Why Am I Bothering’  fug, you’ve edited or negotiated editing, all typos etc have been sought out, a book cover was navigated you have striven with marketing  and finally the work is ‘Out There’ . Then you might think to yourself ‘ I deserve a rest,’

Of course you do

And yet to visit another nautical bit of plagiarism from a jolly yarn.

‘Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November* in my soul [a few more ‘whenevers’ have been omitted Melville being Melville ] …….. then, I account it high time to get to my paper and laptop as soon as I can’  

In short. Do writers ever rest? Did not one plot have away in its unused corners threads and motes which begged examination? Was there not a minor character whose shadow would dog your heels and whisper possibilities? On some journey, be it physical, of the imagination, or amongst the other tangles of human consciousness was there not a murmuring of creativity beginning to coalesce?  Or did something just come into a writer’s head, a modest literary version of The Big Bang?

Ever wonderous, and tortuous is Creativity, calling you on. Embrace the Restlessness, it requires you to fulfil.

Would we have these feelings any other way?   

*Actually those are qualities which make November my favourite month. It marks the finality of the Summer’s assault on my senses – I know, singular. Anyway it has set loose my own restlessness- two projects are beckoning. One SF which requires a dip in Quantum Physics and Mechanics and might take some time (Quantum and Time, now there’s a paradox in the making). The other, that’s a follow on from my previous work, a generation later, and I have not the faintest idea what the plot might be, but one of the Muses is insisting I get writing. Ah good ol’ stream of consciousness, what little nuggets might there be amongst all the silt which will come forth from the dredging. 

  

 

9/11. Its Other Toxic Fall-out

World Trade Center Attacked

394261 14: A fiery blasts rocks the World Trade Center after being hit by two planes September 11, 2001 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forward and Warning: This is a very long post. Nothing about the events of 20 years ago can be encapsulated in mere statements. These are strong views, strongly put. In particularly the last paragraphs. The views are strong because of what has happened to the nation I was once so fond of, and at times might even have emigrated to. I am angry with all those who have pulled her down. In this post I chose one culpable group.

Revisit and Response

We reach the 20th anniversary of the most effective terrorist attack on American Soil. Those of us of adult age or late childhood/teens can remember where we were and the subsequent hours as we drew in the shock and awe of the event. I remember the news seeping into the UK from 2.30 pm onwards; coming out of work at 5pm and noticing the streets of my small town almost empty as if everything had stopped and everyone was watching news feeds, making sure what they heard had actually taken place. A death toll in hundreds upon hundreds? Surely not. But there they were, images of planes crashing into two towers and one managing to strike the pentagon too. A classic surprise attack. Maybe not so much of a shock in the UK, we’d been suffering the smaller scale Irish Republican attacks for years and were aware how much death and damage home trained and resourced folk determined and directed could cause.

Then came the aftershock 400+ emergency services personnel were killed, and another aircraft had been brought down by the passengers’ sacrifices. Both losses enshrined as an heroic acts and maybe the deaths of the emergency personnel resonated deeper, they were rushing in as other rushed away.

There would be other ramifications, trauma through loss, injury or survivor guilt, health issues through the toxic fallout, innocent Muslims or anyone not of white skin attacked. And two large scale military operations taking more lives and with no victory parades at the end.

There is another though, not the first instance but arguably at one the most insidious, most ridiculous and still all pervasive, like a cancer corrupting the body social and politic, spreading its poisons and thus causing similar sicknesses. This being that the events of 9/11 were a conspiracy promulgated by a mix of government, commercial enterprises, Israel (of course- Jews y’see) and the CIA, FBI etc etc.

Now I am not going to wade through the morass of little details, twisted, fabricated, pounced with a morbid glee to suit this inane premise. This is not the place to explain to the most dogged of these folk yet again why they are incorrect. It is a task as pointless as explaining to an adolescent why they should keep their bedroom tidy without being told. There will be drama, excuses, accusations, and storming outs. And why should you have to suffer yet again that annoyance? In the USA you have suffered 4 years of Trump as alleged president you do not need more immaturity.

This is actually a series of direct challenges to these folk to their flawed thinking and in consequence their true motivation, which many of them may not be aware of.

First Assumption.

The US government was involved.

Hostility to the Bush administration was wide and understandable. After the 2000 presidential election’s sojourn through the legal tangles of electoral laws, a lot of folk who did not vote for the winner would feel aggrieved. Now the usual response would be to blame the administration for flaws in security which allowed this to happen. However thanks to the JFK Conspiracy Cottage Industry, Watergate(The one dirty trick which was caught out) and Oliver Stone’s ‘Big Sleep’ take on JFK’s death the ground work was already set for Conspiracy Addicts and Zealots Against Bush to burst into action. Of course there was something ‘fishy’. How could a bunch of men living in caves possibly carry out this act. Never mind that one attack had been semi-successful in 1993. They could not have done it. NO it had to be a government conspiracy, carried out by….

A bunch of White, Educated Americans. Only White Educated Americans could have possibly planned and been ruthless enough to have done this. This line of thinking runs racism in two directions. The first one being that only White folk do evil things as second nature, everyone else had extenuating circumstances; well apart from those in the Far East, because we all know about Fu Man Chu; right?. The second flow of racism is that it is quite impossible for not-white men living in caves to think up such complicated and sophisticated plots. Never mind the times they succeeded since the 1970s, never mind that in one region they beat back the USSR. According the Conspiracy Schools even if they were the trigger men, they were, all right up to the top manipulated by White Americans, because only Whites are this clever. Ironically the only other extremist conspiracy addicts who didn’t buy into this were Nazis, KKK and other like-minded folk, folk who had never even heard of Islam were suddenly experts. So there we are. Buy into Conspiracy by White Governments and you might as well sign up to the odious Jones of Info-Whores. (Of course I did leave out the last resort of all ignorant folk be they right, left, liberal etc, etc, Israel was involved (that’s the polite term for ‘Jews’ these days), which is kind of odd since there are any number of polluted, warped, bastardised versions of Fatwahs around saying its the duty of Muslims to kill Jews)

Second Assumption 

Because I read it in A Book or On Line.

There have always been armchair generals and followers of the Simplistic School of Politics who bandy about words and phrases they have picked up from somewhere which pushed their buttons, without having the faintest genuine idea as to what they are truly talking about. Every subject is replete with the hack authors and their willing followers. The ones I noticed are popular amongst the addict fellowship are for instance  ‘Psi-Op’; ‘False Flag’ ; if you happen to question their own practical experience in such matters they either get very tangential or tell you its obvious and you are either Sheep, Sheeple or a Shill; some of the more inventive will tell you they were told by someone they cannot name, which be fair is a bit of a cop-out, as unverifiable sources are easy to manufacture. For quite some time folk of this ilk have been desperately trying to show how clever, astute, and thus superior they are to the rest of us by ‘knowing something’. Sadly there is so much fiction peddled along these lines, it is understandable it sinks into the conscious, like in the old Westerns where the hero was only shot in the left shoulder and we all believed that was not a serious wound because he kept on shooting (even if he was left-handed). Amongst all this armchair-babble by folk ‘knowledgeable’ in this area there is only one ‘False Flag Psi-Op’ which is possible- That the security services of the USA  set up the Conspiracy Theory networks themselves to detract from any ideas incompetence or complacency played a role in the events of 9/11. This makes as much, in fact even more sense that the stuff swilling around.               

Third Assumption

The Shadowy Cabal 

This is from another set of the myths which are as old as communities, and is a left-over from the time certain folk of a community would hike off somewhere secret to do secret things. These evolved into secret societies, exclusive clubs, higher echelons of belief systems and so on. Naturally those not selected either because of class, lack of resources or not being of the right status would tend to get jealous and feel left out during hard-times; these being more common than good-times, from jealously you get hostility and folklore to support that. Some wishing to elevate themselves of their own status would endeavour to prove they knew about ‘what went on’ , so if you couldn’t be a member of the secret lot, you could least to a member of those who watched the secret lot.

Now it has to be said government tends to take on this veneer. There are decisions made in private, some with good cause (telling enemies of your defence and security plans is not a good idea) and others because it would have been bad politics to let the raw process made public (who knows what the Markets will think, for instance). And that is how it is. Where the system breaks down is when the word ‘Conspiracy’ gets into the accounts; things get overheated. Let’s examine this in the 9/11 spectrum.

So assume a secret cabal of government, financiers, favoured foreigners and throw in a few religious folk decided sending plans into targeted locations in the USA would suit their nefarious purposes. Now those folk will have to draw other folk in, because the thought of a clutch of late middle aged to elderly males doing all the arranging, meetings, placing explosives and falsifying signals etc themselves is pretty hard work and likely for several of them to have coronaries or strokes. Thus in the art of delegation they must bring in other folk who in turn would do the same thing. As this goes down the line the numbers grow exponentially and three figure numbers start to appear. As all these people are presumably not going to go back to hermit-like existences  after the event, they will have personal contacts and the numbers by degrees of separation expand to four figures. This is all very well if we are talking about  The Day The President experimented with transgenderism we can all keep that quiet, right? But any event that killed nearly 3,000 people? Do you honestly think that everyone involved in that is going to keep quiet? That the knowledge would not burrow into their minds and spirits and in the resulting corrosion of guilt or anger at not getting a good enough rewards, thus causing them to give the game away? Not just the one or two beloved by the Conspiracy folk, but whole swathes of them, enough to have every professional and genuine investigative journalist on the trail, every opposition politician asking questions? Do I have to mention Watergate?….Obviously I have to. Coupled to that, such small cabals given to such thoughts and evils are prey to paranoia and rivalries and are not known for United Fronts. No one is big enough not to be thrown under the bus if it suits the rest. The idea that this mythical cabal would cling loyally together does not work. French Revolution, USSR, Nazi Germany, Communist Russia to name but a few with bloody hands were never solid dependable fraternities, many were booted to the wall or knives of some sort were drawn. For this idea to hold water we are at best in Darren Brown, Hollywood or Comic Book territory, at worst the rancid racist works such as The Protocols of Zion.

Overview  Then.  

Whether folk like it or not the guerrilla or the terrorist moves in the shadows, seeking out the opportunities, the weaknesses, the possibilities. As an IRA member once said ‘One Lucky Day’. To survive they live in subterfuge, more aware than most their lives are conditional. Above all they are dedicated. Some may already consider themselves dead, waking to their successful end. You have seen enough examples since 2001, surely.

  It is of comfort for some to think all is controlled by ‘The Government’, the conspiracy addicts feel safer with believing there is ‘a plan’. They would prefer not to think their lives are conditional upon what as in the scheme of things are random events, be they natural or enacted by those who are not part of their society. It is far easier for an American 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist to believe the events of 9th September 2001 were enacted by a government than to hold to the concept that this day they could be shot down by a random gunman, struck by ice falling off of an aircraft wing, hit by lightening, killed in collision with a vehicle which had brake failure, in the wrong place when a tree blew over, or where there was a mud/rock slide, an elevator lift system failed and so on. They would rather have someone remote and unseen to blame. That takes the natural chaos out of Life.   

There Is More To It Than That 

If this was all there was to the 9/11  Conspiracy annoying as it would be I would not trouble to write a post of this length, in fact my comments would probably be limited to a reply to some other post. This is not the case. The principal reason to assail them with basic challenges and at such length is because of The Cause & Effect this particular grouping has had in society as such. John & Robert Kennedy’s assassination were world-wide events, but in the human perception; politicians and leaders get killed from time to time, you are shocked, you grieve and you move on; even if JFK’s death did spawn that cottage industry, nothing else changed. 9/11 by its scope and being seen live; did. To repeat we all know where we were and what we did. To claim that as being false at such length and depth  made The Conspiracy more viable than ever in the 20th/21st century. It settled into the American conscious not just on the Left or Liberal wings but on the Right too. The Right had dallied with this: McCarthy Era, Fluoride in Water, Lyrics in Rock Songs Played Backwards and always that National Government was essentially trying out to take your (ie White) freedoms away. But now it had a bedrock to work with. If 9/11 was a Conspiracy and gosh there was a lot of ‘evidence’, then who knows what else was going on??? The 9/11 Conspiracy had opened the door.  

Sandy Hook was bad enough, but for the parents to be accused of being actors and threatened.

QAnon which once could only have figured in the book by the masters of the satirical and fantastic such as Carl Hiaassen has now become a solid belief system for far, far too many.

The vile, poison of anti-Semitism and its literature of Hate is back and sits comfortably with other Conspiracy works.

A teenager concerned with environmental issues was subject to hideous abuse and accusations of being a front for….. Well apart from World Wide Socialism I could never make out what? The Thunberg-phobes are not renowned for their eloquence or ability to write more than five or six words; ten at tops, then a link to some spurious site

If these were not bad enough a creature of media indulgence with no experience of anything other than questionable property dealings and cult-like following on TV became president not by a popular vote but through a freak of the voting system. Because ‘apparently the whole system was rotten and filled with conspiracies’. This individual then proceeded to court the far-right and break his Oath of Office from day one. When we thought this could not be topped as the 2020 election results came in, what did the spoilt brat of privilege do? Why? He cried Fraud and Conspiracy, and later gathered a rabble to try and storm the Whitehouse. In early years his antics at the election would have damned him to obscurity and ridicule, but in this Age of Conspiracy? No. He had credence amongst the majority of the 70,000,000+ who had voted for him. Thus the toxicity of The Conspiracy nurtured by the 9/11 adherents to this Unholy Cult had its greatest triumph, the acceptable assault on the Democratic process.

The next words are going to seem very harsh indeed. They may even hurt some who have hung on this far while doubting my argument. But I make no apologies. No more than those who support Gun Control will cut any slack for those of the NRA who cling to The Right to Bear Lots of Arms. Gun Control will tell Gun Rights they also have blood on their hands for the random killings

Because if that style of accusation works in one case it works in another.

If you cling to the 9/11 Conspiracy, you are culpable of the spread of the Conspiracy in any form as an argument. In that case you carry some of the weight of Sandy Hook’s aftermath. You must bear a part played in the farce of the 2016 presidential election and the subsequent years. Your brothers and sisters in fantasy and ignorance attacked The Whitehouse and threatened and took lives on the 6th January 2021.

And people are dying of Covid through denial, let us not forget.

Nearly 3,000 people died on the 9th & 10th September 2001, many more lives were wrecked in the aftermath, more would die in Iraq and Afghanistan in the years ahead. In the USA I could not begin to count the death, injuries and intimidations caused by Hate Crime of one sort or another. To repeat you very nearly lost your seat of government and many elected officials on the 6th January 2021.

By your denial of the rational and the factual, by your RPG indulgence as some fearless seeker of The Truth (whatever that might be in the broad sweep of Humanity’s dealings down the ages), you insult those who died, those who suffered and those who worked to seek out the true villains. You do as much as Al-Qaeda could ever have hoped for.

On Getting Your Work Noticed (Just an Observation)

The end of an edit / re-write beckons; approximately 11.5% of some 248,000+ words left to ‘listen’ to and ponder over. Word is not happy with the weight I have placed upon it, pretending to lose the Dictionary additions, altering margins and spacing at random intervals, changing the Spellcheck to another language, failure to comprehend any literary constructs apart from business speak; the usual protests against an unprofessional artistic use of its programmes. BUT my trusty memory stick is ever at my side reminiscent of a faithful hound, lest Word pulls its most evil of tricks and crashes the whole work (which it dallied with back in July).

Thus this will conclude a work in three parts which will in total tally up 600,000 + words and has taken somewhere around six years to complete. A time in which edits, proof-reading and re-writes were all done within my own bubble. Thanks to Amazon Kindle and the free-book promotions I guess about 30 folk have Volumes I & II downloaded and a big thanks to those kind folk who also purchased copies (probably about 10 sales). If Volume III bumps the totals up by 33% that might be in line with my expectations (based on the previous performances). Sometimes those figures were disheartening but were unlikely to be the sole cause of the low mood, more symptomatic of a general lassitude, my late father used to refer to this as ‘being at the bottom of the wheel’. Outside of the central character of a mid-twentieth century swashbuckling or ‘happy’ musical film, who does not experience these times?

At this stage a writer facing such results will have reached a crossroads of some sort of another. Their outlook will be dependant on amount of the effort they have previously put into their marketing, networking, assistance, outside editing and beta-reading to name but a few of the preparation and research strategies available to them.

For some despite their very best and diligent efforts in these areas, their work still fails to gain recognition and a despondency sets in. This is very understandable. They may well decide writing is not for them and seek other paths. Whether this was the right choice or another promising writer was lost to the caprice of the market, we will never truly know; this sort of judgement belongs as it were ‘to the ages’.

For others there can be an analytical response, they shrug (after a period of flushing out the disappointment) and ‘go back to the drawing board’. Maybe, they think, the work needs some tweaking, nay complete overhauling. Records of advice: friendly, editorial and beta will be consulted, the work re-read (a painful process at times) and the writer returns to the battle carrying out that very delicate balancing act between others input and how they, the writer, wishes the narrative to go.

Some will decide, they do so love writing, but maybe they chose the wrong genre or wrong style of narrative. They start again, maybe using the very bare bones of the first work. This happened to me, twice. First attempt was grim, bloody (and also unreadable). The second attempt, set in the world of my current books at an earlier time was comedic satire, the volumes are now a source of folklore and history in the current works. This third is a mix, one might say real as can be found in Fantasy. 

I stood at the crossroads and looked back over my shoulder. Had I utilised any of those aforementioned strategies and resources in my journey. Yes, but due to the vagaries of life met with three sources whose advice or commentaries were not to my liking, and hereabouts there are some strong opinions retained on their competencies and ability to use perception, but we shall move on. I was glad of the observations and reviews by Audrey Driscoll https://audreydriscoll.com/  Berthold Gambrel  https://ruinedchapel.com/  and Rachael Ritchey https://rachaelritchey.com/ Each gave support, advice incisive and constructive and was taken on board in future efforts. Those who indulge in throwaway criticism would do well to stay away from me, their comments get analysed, critically…yes one is not supposed to indulge so in kicking back at a bad review…. I have nothing to lose, there would be ramifications for the throwaway reviewer.  

And there came the decision. If my work was currently not surfacing into public attention amongst the many thousands of efforts by unknown writers and my approach to all the strategies and resources was idiosyncratic, nay even shambolic and I was using the massively populated medium of Amazon Kindle, then what was there to lose in going my very own way? The books could be recorded for the public to find, there would be some gratification there, and at the same time all creativity, imagination and experimentation could be utilised just for their own collective sakes. Thus I gave vent to all manner of writing about varied circumstances, maybe some had no business being in a book seriously put together with sales in mind as a benefit; some might send editors and beta-readers into much head-shaking or saying ‘WHAT???’ Let it be so. I have enjoyed this veering off at tangents, exploring issues narrative, and it is all mine.

At this juncture let me say this is not an attempt to mask vanity with an air of assumed artistic superiority or the self-indulgent woeful stance of someone ‘suffering’ for their art. No this is just me, writing as I write, for a particular  purpose, and because the whole project will not let me be until it is concluded this way. To put it another way for those starting out or those having doubts:

Writing about my approach as one you should follow is not the reason. It would, quite frankly be irresponsible for me to contend this is worthwhile way of ‘doing things’. Not so, the above words are tailored to illustrate my position and current view of my own work. For advice on the matter of publishing, please, please seek out others. Going Complete Rogue is generally a bad idea. 

As long as the writing does not mask an agenda promoting Hate, Intolerance or questionable politics I wish everyone well with their writing. Published conventional or self-published, the writer’s efforts are to be celebrated, another record in the great endeavour writing, another statement ‘I was here’.

That you strive at your work with the conviction you have as much right as any to do is enough for me.

Meanwhile, nearly a year after the original narrative of Daughters of Circumstance. Arbiters of Consequences was completed, still working on the final ‘publicationable’ document? But of course.  

And Thus Is Completed The Narrative

Another Launch (Persistence Doesn’t Always Pay, But It’s Satisfying)

Musings on Writing (Another series). Important Reactions to Use on Suitable Occasions

Memorial Day

Some mildly profane words; borrowed from those who were ‘there’.

They may have volunteered out of patriotism, or for the ‘adventure’. They may have been told by the Government they were ‘required’. They may started out as ‘ordinary’ folk; they may have been ‘screw-ups’; they may have been downright annoying; they may have been ‘nasty pieces of work’; they may have been tough; they may have spent their time being scared or ‘bitching’.

They may have been killed, died of injuries, disease, accident or ‘dumb luck’. They may have survived and lived or are living out the war in a loop.

 

Malmedy MassacreMalmedy December 1944

EyewitnessWWII-03._V389839563_Normandy 1944

‘Somewhere and Somewhen in Korea’Korean War 2

In Vietnam

C rations

 ‘Boy, you sure get offered some shitty choices,’ a Marine once said to me, and I couldn’t help but feel that what he really meant was that you didn’t get offered any at all. Specifically, he was just talking about a couple of C-ration cans, ‘dinner,’ but considering his young life……..Vietnam 1 …….you couldn’t blame him for thinking that if he knew one thing for sure, it was that there was no one anywhere who cared less about what he wanted.…Extract from Michael Herr’s ‘Dispatches’ 

And still it goes on 

21st US Amry 4 21st US Army 721st USA Army 221st USA Army

And for some it never stops

21st US Army 5

No one composes laments quite like the Scots; this songs was written for the 51st (Highland Division) as they left Sicily in 1943- there are several versions song in broad dialects and are difficult to follow without study- this version by the Clancy Brothers was angelized for general consumption. The message is universal for all soldiers leaving a warzone. One mild profanity from the original song and not here here but worth a mention:

‘Poor biddy (bloody) bastards are weary’

Some might feel uncomfortable about what may be seen as a celebration of war. This is no celebration; this is a remembrance for those who witnessed, heard, smelt and felt the weakness of flesh when fed on by metal, flame and explosion.

Normandy (2)

Maybe if all the national cemeteries were like this, there might be less …’next wars’ 

Folajimi Olubunmi- Adewole- Remembrance

Folajimi Olubunmi- Adewole

This young man dived in the Thames in an effort to rescue a distressed woman. She and another rescuer were thankfully saved. This young hero paid with his life.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-56886435

He is now amongst those who laid down their lives so that others may live. No greater love.

Take some time today and then from time to time in the rest of your life to remember these folk who by their acts enriched the world by reinforcing our belief and hope.

May we never forget.

Union Jack half mast 

Placeholder Image