Weekly Reader

Due to the high volume of imaginary requests I have decided to start a weekly event. Evidently doing this will increase the volume of clicks on my blog, which of course we all know is the real reason for blogging. This I have discovered after several years of randomly putting symbols to my thoughts. The true goal of the 21st century, tech savvy blogger is to have their existence justified through the measure of how many people listen to them. I may be jaded but sometimes it seems to me that this is more important than whether or not one writes something meaningful. Naturally, jaded as I am, my definition of meaningful is most likely more narrow than average.

I’m certain this flaw in my modern day bonafides is due to my advancing years and ossifying brain. Anyhow, I am taking the advice of the good people at WordPress, who are professionals and should know best, and creating a weekly event here at TAICBR. After several minutes of deliberation I found what I feel is the obvious choice for a successful foray into the world of consistent blogging (My God, what have I done).

The name of my new venture is to be called “Weekly Reader” and will appear weekly on Saturday. This event will occur once a week on Saturdays, which will be weekly. I feel the best day to write it would be on Saturday because today is Saturday and that way I could consult my blog were I forget to remember which day of the week my Saturday weekly column would be written. I chose to write weekly because if I hadn’t chosen to write weekly I would have had to change the name of the weekly event to something other than “Weekly Reader” which would have been quite a lot more work than I had imagined when I first hatched the idea of a weekly event I could blog every Saturday. So weekly and Saturday it is.

“Weekly Reader” will be centered around the concept that every Saturday, I will write a weekly blog post examining any number of a variety of topics I could potentially write about for my weekly Saturday event. No stone will be left unturned as I scour the universe for titillating and excruciatingly quasi-viral subjects to consider. Every week I will examine a new and more interesting than last week’s list of scintillating issues that I may or may not spend an inordinate amount of time on, determining whether or not I should continue to peruse them for consideration. My eventual goal is to eventually have a list of wonderful things I might eventually try out so that I might eventually hold more and more wonderful events, undoubtedly weekly and on Saturday.

I’m certain I will be able to generate a tremendous amount of traffic for the blog, as I know how much people like to be kept in constant suspense but also be able to be instantly gratified in the same moment. I feel I am up to this arduous task, as I have been known to be fully capable of speaking out of both sides of my mouth, successfully, for many years. Over the last several decades we have become more and more used to people saying more and more while saying less and less. This is not easy. One has to be able to discern what exactly is more and more and then determine just exactly how to turn that over into less and less, seamlessly, like those knit monkeys people make out of work socks.

Well folks, my main goal for 2016 is to make my blog more succinct and shorter to boot, and, not to mention, precise as well, although I did mention it. So I’ll sign off by begging you all to check out my blog right here on this page, except you should come next Saturday because it’s only here weekly on Saturdays, for another edition of “Weekly Reader” which will now appear right here weekly on Saturdays. I would have been sued by the original “Weekly Reader” but I’m not sure they are in business anymore and if they are don’t go telling, okay?

Love you guys!!!

 

Frightened by the Freedom of Friday Fictioneers

There once was a lad who played on the floor with a deck of cards and a bag of marbles. Oh the games he would play. He liked playing with things outside their purpose. In High School he wrote a 152 word prepositional phrase. It was longer than this post. Imagination exists at all ages. In the sixties he imagined being able to record music, all by himself, with a computer. Imagine that! The boy’s parents let him play with the cards and marbles. They said let him be himself. Later, he let his daughter be herself. My how she thrived.

Prompted to Promptly Respond to the Daily Prompt

Now we are getting into areas I have yet to explore with this blog. Today’s Blogging101 assignment is for us to respond to a blogging prompt. I was unaware that WordPress posts daily prompts. Evidently prompts are a type of jump starter for bloggers suffering from a bit of bloggers block, or perhaps they are simply an information nugget to chew on over a busy day’s stuff.

I like the idea of responding to a prompt, and understand why WordPress provides this type of service for would be Pulitzer winners to prime the pump. What is mystifying to this semi-luddite is the concept of a “ping back”. Evidently a ping back is a kind of feedback loop where you like somebody’s post so much that you write a post that links to that post, which word then gets back to the originator of the post that you liked their post so much that you wrote a post that links to their post. Ostensibly this is done to get them to like one of your posts and write a post linking to your post, which word then gets back to you that somebody liked your post so much that they wrote a post that linked to your post.

At least I think so.

I understand the whole networking, blogging community, promotional aspect of blogging, yet this is where I falter as a blogger. I shouldn’t admit this but I could care less about anyone else’s blog. This does not come from a place of ego (yes it does) or lack of empathy (this part is true). It comes from the place of I barely have time to brush my teeth daily, given all the busy work I have given myself to do each day. I tend to load myself up just to prevent me from acting out. Frankly it’s dangerous for me to have idle time on my hands, which having the time to blog sort of implies.

Aye, there’s the rub.

So as is often the case, the value of taking this course is turning out to be that, by participating, I am answering my own questions. My primary question entering this exercise was why can’t I publish posts with more regularity. Now I know why. If I have enough time to write a blog post I have enough time to get myself into trouble. Ergo, if I don’t write in my blog I am using my time judiciously. However, if I do, I am inviting danger.

Oh, BTW, here is the link I am supposed to include in my post to do a ping back to the original prompt of the day, which of course has nothing to do with what I am writing about. Or does it?

Reason to Believe

What is my reason to believe? I don’t have a reason to believe. I don’t need one and neither do you. Belief in something, God, the constitution, yourself, whatever, is a cornerstone of existence and TBH if you need a reason to believe in something then perhaps you think you need to believe in it rather than know you need to. You’ll know when you need to believe in something. and it will just happen smoothly in the course of you being you. Thinking you need a reason to believe in something seems to me to be a function of someone telling you you should believe in that something. Then you need a reason to believe, because the believing is not natural to you. You need to be convinced.

Mind you this is Will talking and not anyone in authority. It’s just me trying to do the assignment. I don’t need a reason to do the assignment either. I just want to.

Frankly, Springsteen’s lyric is like so many other song lyrics, something that sounds like it means something important, but when you take a closer look at it isn’t nearly as profound as it might seem.

Obviously, when you come home from a hard day’s work you need a reason to believe, a reason to keep going day to day, perhaps in joy perhaps in drudgery. But that reason need not and should not be conscious. It should be clear and apparent, so apparent that it is not subject to conscious thought. If “The Boss” hadn’t made you aware of that need for a reason through his song, you’d probably never think of it by yourself, unless you were a philosopher, which few of us are. But, in the knowing, it certainly is meaningful to us, and that’s the beauty of artistry.

One of the great skills of writers is that they are able to bring to the surface realities that lie in our subconscious, just underneath the surface of consciousness. They seem so familiar. They endear us to the artist because “it’s like she knows what I am thinking”, “she understands me”. That is because they connect us with feelings we truly have but aren’t consciously aware of. So naturally they seem familiar and they seem to originate there, in the artists words. But they do not. They originate in you, in your feelings, in your heart, mind, and soul. You just don’t associate them with yourself.

Pretty good trick eh? Actually, when an artist surrenders to truth telling, and stirs up those thoughts and feelings of beauty lying just underneath the surface of our consciousness, it is a good thing, a very good thing. It awakens us to a reality we live with every day but think we have never met. This is the value of artistry to society. It helps us to see inside ourselves to find truths about ourselves and life, and love, and the world around us, which we have always known, but have misplaced or forgotten.

So when we say that this song or that painting or this magazine article caused us to look at this or that thing in a new way, what we are really saying is that they reminded us of something we had forgotten, something deep inside that reminds us of our unique and powerful humanity.

Artists reconnect us with ourselves. That is why it is so satisfying when we find one we connect with, one that speaks to us. It’s just one way the universe deceives us into thinking that fulfillment lives outside of us. It doesn’t. Fulfillment always comes from within. Sometimes, though, it’s best if we maintain the illusion. Being responsible for our own joy can be too much for some of us to deal with.

Next time you find an artist who speaks to you, look for how you are really speaking to yourself. What you find may “ping back” to your own happiness.

Assignment 1/14/16

How’s that for a clever title. But this is not a clever or self important post. I was honored to have read a poem by Eimzpink     http://eimzpink.wordpress.com    In it she reveals a love that reflects the true nature of a romantic love that, as we know happens daily, and disintegrates into something other than pleasant.

But there are pleasant memories that remain, stirred not shaken, mixed like a strong cocktail with the current pain. A cryptic yet poignantly personal, meaningful revelation of the salient points of that particular love both jumps from and hides on the page. The characters of the play need not be clear to be recognized. The healing, the cleansing that comes with accepting both the good and bad of what time has wrought reminds us of our own heartache, and pain, and why we fall in love anyway.

That very time makes us whole again. It washes away the present and places the memories into the past, like the pain of losing anything, anguish that moves on.

We say we have moved on,and Eimz creeps along in spurts. She opens her heart like a book we can all peruse and remember the gift of time, sailing like a rowboat in the stream of consciousness.

And we remember love.

Playing From Behind Again

Yesterday’s assignment was to write a blog post saying exactly what we want, to the person or persons we really want to talk to. We were also to include a new element in our post, one that we have never worked with before. I have never embedded a photo into my blog posts so I will attempt to do that a bit later in the post. Here is what I really want, without filter, to say.

There are lots of people I really want to speak to directly, under the illusory protective umbrella of this blog. To choose one group out of many is a somewhat daunting task, but today I’m feeling like speaking to those who proclaim themselves Christians, and miraculously, devout Christians.

Not all, but many of them, by my humble moral standards and mandatory incomplete understanding of scripture and the Christ, love to slavishly quote the Bible without having the foggiest notion of what it really tells us.

Thank God for Martin Luther. These people will still have a chance to gain heaven through their faith alone. For their works are not only not good works but are often cruel and damaging works, and can also include disdain for and the absence of good works. Yes, they are charitable, but just as they cherry pick Bible verses to support their profound misunderstanding of their role as Christians, they cherry pick whom to be generous with. Like the Pharisee in the parable of the Good Samaritan they judge who is and who is not deserving of their charity.

Somehow they believe that because they are more pious and devout and “Better Christians” than others they somehow deserve most favored VIP status here on earth and extra compensations from the divine coffers. They demand that absolutely everyone accept certain of their doctrine, while personally ignoring other of their religion’s precepts. They malign those religions whom they accuse of violently forcing everyone to convert, while expecting everyone to accept that theirs is the only true religion and thus the only moral arbiter.

They advocate for an American theocracy, claiming Biblical law supersedes Constitutional law, while condemning other theocracies across the world as authoritarian fanatics.

I could go on.

Before I go let me illuminate just one hypocrisy I see in the western, predominately racially white, Christian Church. Jesus was undoubtedly a Palestinian. Had he been tall, white and blue eyed he would have been suspect and likely would have had a difficult time convincing his Jewish followers that he was the messiah.

So, did Jesus look like Barry Gibb?

picture-jesus-greg-olson

Or like a common era Jew?

gallery-1450102902-screen-shot-2015-12-14-at-91810-am

I’m not sure this second guy would be real popular with the TSA. Not to mention he would be persona non grata to certain other currently newsworthy persons.

I thought we were created in God’s image, not the other way around.

 

I Ain’t Gonna Change

BTW. For my six regular readers, I am taking a blogging class, generously offered gratis by WordPress, basically to learn how to write a sentence less than 50 words long. Wish me luck. You will be seeing me write my assignments over the next weeks. If they grade on a curve I’m screwed. Wish me more luck.

Regarding yesterday’s assignment (Yes, I’m already falling behind on only the third day) I have already changed my blog’s title and tagline several times and have settled on these after considerable soul searching. It is important to get both a title and tagline that reflects who you are and clearly reveals the blog’s essence. I feel my title and tagline combined do that rather well in that sardonic, dyslexic cynic’s style, of which I am so enamored.

Doing What I’ve been Told

I have been writing this blog for several years. It’s mostly ramblings about things I find important. Those topics include, but are not limited to, politics, social justice, philosophy, music, general creative endeavor, politics, things that make me angry, things that don’t make me quite so angry, politics and politics.

I’m a member of that dreaded demographic: an old, college educated, middle class, white, cisgender, heterosexual male. Is there an identity factor I missed?  Terribly sorry if I did. I am aware of my white privilege, male privilege, class privilege etc. I still have a lot of work to do in those areas but TBH I don’t think I’m as old and in the way as many of my peers. That said I’m much too verbal and quite full of myself.

I’m a horrible typist, which means I have to do at least four sometimes five or six edits to get my posts even close to being ready to publish. This takes a lot of time, of which I don’t have as much as I had hoped in this phase of my life.

My goal as a blogger is to be clever and get people to like me and become an internet sensation. Fat chance. My goals for improvement include learning how to be more succinct and precise, how to better promote my blog to the masses (Believe it or not I actually think I have something worthwhile to say) and how to avoid sounding arrogant while still getting my point across. I also need to learn techniques to become a more consistent publisher from day to day.

So hello!

And yes, this is how I always write.