Archive for the ‘9-12 Project’ Category

Split, split, where is the Split?

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Just the continuation of the realization that I’m not your average Tea Bag.  You’ve seen me post nice things about Ba Rock, almost to the point where some would think I voted for the man.  Well, if he had a little bit more experience and a lot less Race Baiting Sycophants, I would have.  And you’d also notice that I don’t follow every jot and tittle Glenn Beck says, even though his 9-12 Project inspired Blood and Metal.  I’m just an outside the box thinker, which I hope can bring people who are on the fence about the whole Tea Party thing to my corner, probably looking for someone to hash thoughts on and possibly buy the books.  (I’ll be a good listener, just don’t come on as a low cow or tell me that you’re too scared to remove the Epic Fail Guy mask.)

A prime example of this would be where I differ on this video:

I won’t debate you on the Nation Divided, it’s where the divide started that I’m debating.

The Woodstock era might be the onset of the Baby Boomer’s sharp turn to the Progressive area, but it wasn’t the time where we had that rift.  What happened in the 60s were more out of the tendency of a young generation to rebel against what they think is wrong with the previous generation and branch out and find their own identity.  You find this in any decade:  You have the rockers in the 50s, the Disco generation in the 70s, Heavy Metal in the 80s, and so on.  It was less a culture gap as it was a generational gap, as most people would think of when they research what the 60s rebellion is all about:

Hippies were part of a youth movement, composed mostly of white teenagers and young adults between the ages of 15 and 25 years-old.  Inheriting a tradition of cultural dissent from the bohemians and the beatniks, hippies rebelled against established institutions, criticized middle class values, opposed the Vietnam War, embraced aspects of non-Judeo-Christian religions, promoted sexual liberation, and created intentional communities, leading some to describe hippies as a new religious movement. Hippies were against "political and social orthodoxy", choosing a "gentle and nondoctrinaire" politics that favored "peace, love, and personal freedom." – Source:  http://www.arikiart.com/Fashion/hippies-1960s.htm

The Summer of Love was more a rebellion against the strict conformity of the previous generation, a war that forced them to choose between being a criminal and a baby killer, and wanted to become part of a greater, more global community.  Most people, even those wearing suit and ties, can relate to that.  And in this time, it is still possible to bridge these two worlds together.  The Hippies of this day went on to become productive members of society, staring up companies, inventing major advancements, write epic books, raising children in a productive environment which was more open-minded than their parents, and so on.  But most of all, the two factions can even sit down and share a combined moment together.  No Hippie with a soul would look at the Moon Landing and not think, “Groovy.”  There was a gap between the Moonwalk group and the Woodstock group, but it wasn’t the split of this country Glenn talked about.  The Hippies were Questioning with Boldness the values of the previous generation, and some of those values actually passed the test.  That happens when a generation is trying to find their own identity.  Challenging something doesn’t mean that they’re completely repulsed by it.

And lets’ be honest.  The Hippies would get with their Square brothers and rebuild a Louisiana Sea Coast after Katrina or rebuild a groovy tower after it was struck down, just for the sake of coolness.  Hey, we might have our differences, but we’re all Americans, right?  We’re all living under this blue sky and sun and moon and stars, so let’s keep together, man.

So if 1969 wasn’t the point where America got divided?  What would be the year?  There’s a good chance that the memory is still well known for you.

Or to some people, it’s still a festering scab:

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Say what you want about the outcome of the 2000 presidential election.  I will go to my grave saying that it was a Draw.

And no matter who you voted for, having it be decided in the courts would leave a sour taste in your mouth.  So regardless who won, there’s going to be a lot of people losing their shit when the winner was decided by a handful of lawyers and judges instead of the American People.

Granted, the divide didn’t start then.  There were a lot of people griefing Bush the Elder, and there were times when Clinton couldn’t even get the time of day from some people.  But then the courts broke this tie, you could actually hear the ripping of the earth between the Reds and the Blues.  And the bitter taste led to a bitter image of the other side.  This is when the country got so polarized as it is now, and the viciousness and vitriol just fed on itself until we can’t just see the other side and see them as actual Americans.  Think about it.  How many times did you see someone in Bush’s time and wonder what happened to ‘their country,’ and how they want it back?  How many do you hear it now, with Ba Rock in charge?

And this led to the slippery slope where we sometimes see in the uglier sections of the news.  When you no longer think of another person as an American because they voted for a different person than you, it’s not a far stretch to think that person isn’t even regarded as a person.  And you think accordingly.  And you talk to them accordingly.  And I’ve already listed here what happens after that.

And that is why we can’t rebuild the Gulf Coast after Katrina, or that the World Trade Center will probably still be an open hole by 2011, or possibly 2101 for that matter, and that the oil slick could just reclaim the entire costal line of the Gulf of Mexico for all America cared, and some Islamic fuckwad would just toss a lit match into the whole mess with “Allah Ackbar” on his lips and a boner so hard he could bludgeon someone to death with it.  We are too busy going at each other’s throats.  And this has been happening since Florida became the poster child for Chads.

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Glenn would say that America needs to get back to it’s founding principles and reunite together as a country.  But I would say that something much more personal needs to take place.  I would say that America would need to put down all this hatred and bitterness and remove the red-or-blue tinted glasses.  And see each other as their fellow countrymen first before anybody else.  We can debate policies or principles later, when heads are cooled down and where we can actually hash out a way where everyone can be happy with.  But we need to remember something that even a hippie could understand.

Or the person who run Woodstock for that matter:

It’s a free concert from now on. That doesn’t mean that anything goes….The one major thing you have to remember…is that the man next to you is your brother, and you’d damn well better treat each other that way because if you don’t, then we blow the whole thing, but we’ve got it right there. – "Chip" Monck, Woodstock announcer – Source:  http://www.calebrossiter.com/chapter2b.html . Emphasis mine.  Way Mine.

The person sitting next to you might not agree with who you vote for, but vice versa, but they’re both persons, under the same sky and sun and moon and stars.  And they’re both Americans with the same right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  And regardless of whatever a Creator endowed these on them both or not, they have them upon their conception.  This country, no, this planet, isn’t as big as some would think.  So please, put down the hatred and get along.  The Shrub has retreated into his Ranch, and if he’s smart we’ll never see him again.  And the occasional Radical who ends up in the directory app in Ba Rock’s Blackberry can’t push their policy through congress that well, even with a house who votes on bills that they refuse to read.

And we shouldn’t be overcome with the desire to kill ourselves—or our country—over it all.

And on the happier note:

One Note now a free Web App!

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Speaking of boners, you now how much I had one for Microsoft’s famous note-taking program?  Now you don’t have to spend any money to use it.  A Cloud-based version of Microsoft Office is now live on SkyDrive!  And One Note is in the Suite!

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Granted, it’s not as full featured as the version you’ll find in Office 2007, or 2010 for that matter, and you’ll have the best features when you finally get the upgrade which can connect to the generous 25Gigs of storage space granted by a Microsoft Live Account, but for those who would like to play with the app and find out why I’m saying that Bill Gates has redeemed himself in recent years, give it a try.

Besides, didn’t Google had a Web Based Notebook and in their wisdom took it down, much to my chagrin?  Google’s loss, pal.

Net Assholes and the Nuclear Option

Saturday, October 31st, 2009

This is a supplementary response to the article 5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet by David Wong from Cracked.com.

The source alone would be the equivalent of Mark Hamill’s Joker finding that the Batman is just a little boy in a playsuit, crying for mommy and Daddy. “I’d laugh if it weren’t so pathetic!”

It should be more telling than it feels when a humor site is more insightful than most more respectful internet sites out there.  Which just comes to show how widespread trolling has spread.  You don’t have to look long to find examples of this.  You type ‘encyclopedia’ on Google, and the first suggestion (and until recently, the first site on many searches of names including my won) would be the infamous troll site Encyclopedia Dramatica.  The Random board on picture site 4chan can totally screw someone over if they can get enough yucks out of it.  Just ask the parents of Michael Henderson, Lori Drew, or any Scientologist.  The creme da la creme on troll behavior has to deal with Jeneane Garofalo when she called everyone who attended any Tax Protest party people who get their jollies out of putting someone’s scrotum in their mouths.  I guess we should thank her for not calling us “Faggots” as well, like she likes calling people when she cruises the net under anonymity.

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And the way the left use the label “Racist” all the time, they would probably switch to “fucktard” and probably be just as effective these days.

And you don’t have to use Fifth Grade style vocabulary to show this dynamic.  There’s plenty of web comic forums where the users just rag on the artist, rag on the artist, rag on the artist, and eventually by the constant ragging even the thickest of skins just get grounded raw.  It’s because of this a plenty of would be web comics lose heart in their projects and even their skills and talents.  I think that’s what happened to me with the Decade of Failure I had.

This is one of my choice topics that I watch over, the trend on real life troll activity and how to combat them.  Granted, you had dicks before, but their online actions were far worse these days than they were before the WTC attacks.  My theory is that the mainstream media and the elitists in Big Government and Business trolled down the reconnectiveness most of us went through after the attacks (the dynamic that the 9-12 project wants to recover) and the tendency to see another person—either across the country or across town or in come cases across the fucking room) and not see him or her as a fellow countryman or even a person for that matter.  And they turn on that person with vitriol that could rival anyone with Bush Derangement Syndrome, or can I say that the Shrub would have been gotten off easy in comparison?  (Chris-chan.  Enough Said.)

“I can’t tell you who I am, but I have to tell you—” [CLICK] [BLOCK]

An actual online conversation I had.  (I do not converse with anyone without a working identity, even if it is an alias.)

By far the best thing to do with trolls is not to address them directly; that never ends well for you, but to have your own little corner of the world and keep the trolls away from it.  That means using your own web site instead of social networking sites, stomping flames flat the instant they come on your web browser, and never going anywhere where people are acting like total dicks.  Go ahead and lurk at forums and comment lines, and all that, but if the comments start reminding you of /b/, bail out like Ba Rock at an Auto Show.  (I’m not the only one who says this, Bill O’Riley has a more general—and real life—version of this in “Who’s Looking Out For You?”

(Note:  Yeah, yeah, I know you’re not supposed to talk about /b/, but I can’t find of a better yardstick to measure dick activities by.)

Back to the Cracked.com article.  David Wong lists a whole lot of actions people can take to deal with Net Assholes.  Some would be more effective than others.  A true troll will listen to his remarks recited by Microsoft Anna and masturbate to her voice.  Filters and real-time bleepers can only go so far.  Not everyone has a cadre of moderators at the ready to deal with flames 24-7, but they’re quite effective, and having the forum users police themselves with the Karma system makes a fine alternative.  (People do care about those stuff.)

Why do I feel like stripping off a troll’s vowels to make him look totally retarded on the screen is going to end in tears?

By far the best way of keeping the trolls away would be to create an online environment where they’re just not welcome.  Most of the time, it’s requiring them to put a screen name with an e-mail address that they’re actually going to use.  Like what I said above.  If you’re going to talk to me, use an identity I can reference, even if it’s a fake one.  If a user comes on with an e-mail that just bounces back to me when I verify it, it’s going straight into my banfile, do not pass Go.  This might make me feel like there’s tumbleweeds in my forums, but at least not every response I get to everything I do online would be abrasive.  And SomethingAwful really did themselves a service by requiring people to pay to register, although financially putting them out of the reach of trolls who won’t pay for their fapping material would be a bit much.

A lot much, on the other hand, is what was in the bottom of the list, at the Number One way to deal with trolls:  Make Anonymous Internet Use illegal by law.

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Folks, this is the online world’s version of the Nuclear Option, a real life Superpowers Registration Act.

Oh, sure, they’ll try it.  Nothing like Big Government and Big Businesses to get together and show the little guys how to effectively screw somebody.  Not only is it going to be trampling on someone’s right to free speech, but this said act will be open for abuse.  And the RIAA and MPAA would just love to be able to track down anyone they think is downloading anything.  To me it’s just about as difficult, if not more so, for this to go through than bi-partisan Health Care Reform.  You’ll see a mass of people in Gothic Lolita outfits and Code Name V masks on the National Mall, it’ll be sizzled over the media and the internet, and you can bet that the real trolls will make it their lives work to make the lives of any proponent of such legislation a living hell.  They’ve done it before.

But the thing that got me worried is that, something like that might actually be attempted in today’s congress.  Especially if they do pass Health Reform.  And there’s no guarantee that having the Republicans take over congress in 2010 is going to keep it at bay.  They come for the cigarettes, the cars, the food, and now your right to exist.  (You’re on your hands and needs begging for your worthiness and only hearing masturbation noises regardless of it’s an Insurance Company or a Death Panel.)  Your right of Anonymous Internet use, something which can be considered a First Amendment issue, might be next.

You’ll know where I’ll be.

“Treat each other with kindness, fairness, and friendliness; because the world outside and life in general has a tendency of not being kind, fair, or friendly.  Any person’s lives is hard enough without you adding to it.”  Eric Krockett, a future BAM story.

If the people online would consider each other as actual human beings and don’t think of them as less of a person just because you don’t know them, we would never have to think of what I’ve just talked about.  The best way to keep both the trolls and the government out of our lives is to be connected to each other.  Or at the least, not treat each other like shit.  Cracked.com has many an article on this, and if I have my way, so will the 9-12 project.

9-11, the world after, and my place as a 9-12er

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

I had to post my 9-11 thoughts today, because Thursday I had to get an appointment scheduled for a little economic assistance, and I had to jump through one too many hoops in order to get it. Oi! I needed a day off.

Not too many people remember what they were doing that fateful morning of September 11, 2001. I remember sleeping in, like I usually do if I’m not needed anywhere in the morning, and listening to the radio I keep on throughout the night, which helps me sleep if it’s on one of the softer stations, when I heard this:

“This just in: A United Airlines jet crashed into the second tower of the World Trade Center.”

My first thought was something one would think after too much Jackass: “God, what would give someone the idea that parking a perfectly good plane halfway up a skyscraper would be a good idea?”

About a minute later, my second thought as my brain mulled over what I’ve just heard:

The second tower.

Meaning: There was a first such incident. No doubt not too long ago. Like less than twenty minutes.

Let’s just say I didn’t need any caffeine that morning.

By the time the two twin towers fell into dust, and a third plane dug its way through three rings of the Pentagon, a fourth plane was driven into the dirt. My mind was driven by a sick combination of emotions:

Shock over what has happened.

Rage over the senseless killing of innocent people.

Hostility over the billions of people who cheered—who fucking cheered—over the whole deal.

Helplessness over the thought that this is the public school system all over again, on a national scale, where people can commit murder on Americans with impunity, and woe be on America if they as much as raise an arm in defense.

And the desire to take the first person who either approved of what happened, blamed the innocent, or—God help me—even acts like a Muslim with a boner, and play Dexter Morgan with him or her. This, on top of turning Afganistan into an ocean, Bagdad into a salt lake, and if I were pissed off enough, Mecca into an irradiated slag that glows the color of Jeff Gordon’s tires.

Before you blame me for that last one, you need to know me a little bit more. I am the forerunner of all those School Shooters you heard about. I was the quintessential geek that nobody liked. Even the faculty. When I called my first book, Lost Boy Found, part autobiographical, I wasn’t kidding. Especially the parts of Adam’s past (pre-Neverland) which I revealed. Whenever I hear of Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold, and most recently Seung-Hui Cho, it scares me half to death. If something like that happened in the school I’m in, chances are, it would have been me doing it. There’s a dark being inside me that could make a tape like Cho made and send it off to NBC on the way to making the news, and in September of 2001, there wouldn’t take me much to get me to start making that tape. (Yes, Ward Churchill, I’m looking right at you. Injun Slurs are too good for your ass.)

Up until recently, that was pretty much what I thought about 9-11: Thousands died, Billions cheered, and half of congress wanted to string Bush up on a tree over it. And God help any soldiers going off to war because of the attacks; you can measure the thanks they’d be getting by the buckets of spittle.

Enter Glenn Beck. On April 2nd, he put out his “We Surround Them” show on Fox News and reminded everyone of something else that happened after that terrible day. Something which, I have to admit, I’ve completely forgotten over the crap, something he recounted in his recent book, Common Sense:

September 11, 2001, changed us as a country. Do you remember the lines filled with Americans who wanted to donate blood–even though none was needed? Do you remember the following Sunday’s football games were postponed, that the late-night comedians deferred their jokes, and that even trial lawyers respected a self-imposed moratorium on terrorist-related lawsuits?

After 9/11 we began to remember our heritage and the power of sacrifice. We returned to our churches, synagogues, and mosques. We reconnected with our neighbors, our friends, our families. Four months after those attacks, 61 percent of us believed our country had changed for the better.

Glenn saw a world that was coming together in these dark times, in a way that nobody could seem imaginable. People were coming together in their communities, reaching out to anything beyond their little four walls. Celebrity and Consumerism was being discarded for thoughts on more meaningful and personal things, like faith and family. Police, Firefighters, and even the Military were regarded as the heroes they’re supposed to be and probably were never thought of as such since the 1960s. America was getting closer to the ideals of what the country should be, and dare I say that for a moment, it was closer to those ideas than even when the founding documents were created.

It was all but forgotten before some former alcoholic pasty faced washed up Radio DJ riddled with ADD and can cry like Tammy Fae Baker reminded us, was it?

That’s why I am so drawn to the 9-12 movement and consider myself as a 9-12er. It isn’t because I don’t agree with the current president, in fact I’d support him when he does right and he does. It isn’t because of the Tea Partiers although it’s a great place to pick up chicks, or so I heard. It’s because of the realization of the ideals that made America, well, America, and how everyone’s a part of the country. This includes ne’er do well web cartoonists who are more well-known on sites like the Encyclopedia Dramatica than on their own web pages. (And who doesn’t go on the web camera and jerk off; I have to put up that qualifier.) For the first time in a long time, I found myself connecting positively toward another person, especially when I talked about a project I’ve been working on earlier this year, where I take America’s founding documents to another planet and have the country start over from scratch there.

That’s where the current version of [the new] Blood and Metal came from. Not only do I put the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill or Rights in there, but Eric also has a set of beliefs and ideals that are quintessentially American, and they mirror—and in some places complement—the beliefs Glenn shared with us in the “9-12 Project.”

It is my hope that, by the time I get a couple books through (I’m still working on the finishing touches of Book 1; I hope to get it done by the holidays, God willing) that the city-state of Vintnaos would become a mirror to what America should be, compared to what America is when you look around. (And see images that make “Two Girls One Cup” look like high-class performance art, trolling and ridicule passing as actual news, and old people getting run over by cars and be completely forgotten by the public until an cop car just happened to be rolling on by stops and scrape off the carcass to throw in the trash). And maybe it could encourage you to strive for the same in your little corner of the world.

It’s certainly better than making a videotape where I mumble over how much my life sucked before I go on a killing spree, wouldn’t you think?  Writing fiction is slightly more legal to do.

The 9-12 Principles, Remix

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

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CAUTION:  Spoiler Alerts for Blood and Metal listed Below

 

Whenever I’m asked whether or not I agree with Glenn Beck’s by now famous Nine Principles he presented in his 9-12 project, I always answer that I believed "In a Remixed version."  Some people might be wondering why I say that.

It’s basically a point of view issue.  I don’t have the same point of view as Mr. Beck; I doubt anyone does regardless of how much they do agree with him.  Or anyone else for that matter.  What I have for my remixed version not only presents what I show as my point of view, but it would also be the basis behind Eric’s activities on Maatla in Blood and Metal.

But that doesn’t mean that I’m writing a counter of Glenn Beck’s principles, far from it.  I’m convinced that, while me and Glenn have different points of view, we’re actually seeing the same thing.  It’s safe to say that we’re basically saying the same thing in different ways.  While debate on the two points of view is encouraged, we need not go to blows over it.

Principle 1

Glenn:  America is a good place, not perfect, but good.

Remix:  Any sentient being on this planet, regardless of their status in the world, has a capacity of goodness, even nobility. 

The remix should be obvious:  If Glenn would say "America is Great," to say, Sarah Knothole, it would just go over her brunette head, go through the video wall behind her, and skewer Shawn Hannity before ending up in Bill O’Riley’s thick skull.  And while some people would want to see that happen, I doubt Glenn would want it on his conscious.

America can very much be a good place, but why?  What makes America good?  It would be something Cheyenne would ask, but it far from childish.  And people would bang their heads to the wall coming up with a proper answer.

I think that I’ve discovered my answer when Sarah reveals part of King Acorn’s message to Eric near the end of book 1:

"This country, this United States of America, it’s nothing I’ve ever seen.  As you know, child, I encourage everybody in my kingdom to achieve their dreams and potential, but I’ve never seen it put into practice as much as it is here.  I grant you, child, it’s not a perfect country, but then again, no country really is, but America’s unique Republic style of government tends to allow its citizens to flat out achieve greatness in levels I’d only expect from royalty.  And it’s technology is almost a century ahead of anything form Maatla.  I’d even dare say that not even Alberect could hold a candle to the kind of devices I can hold in my hand."   — King Acorn Knothole, Blood and Metal, Book 1

If there’s one thing American that people really admire, and what draws people to this country the most, is the concept that anyone on this country can actually achieve success in their lives.  They can create a world-changing invention, discover cures for diseases, make something that inspires others, build whole empires.  Become President.  Publish a book.  Regardless of who you were when you began.  Granted, it isn’t easy, in fact it sometimes seems impossible at times.  But it does happen.

If I was ever asked why makes America good, even great, I’d tell of the successes made by everyday American People.  They’re out there, and with a dream, a little hard work, and enough balls, you can even join them.

Principle 2

Glenn:  I believe in God and He is the center of my life. 

Remix:  A person’s personal spiritual path is important.

Just before I go on, I have to go on record and say that I have nothing against Christianity.  I was raised a Christian myself, and despite not being a church-goer anymore except when they sell fish—not because I’ve had a crisis of faith, but because I became a Night Owl.  I think I always was, I was born on 12:45AM—I still consider myself quote-unquote ‘saved.’  But I have to tell everyone there, whatever or not there’s just one God, there are a gazillion religions out there.  Even within Christianity.

And if you doubt what I said, go look under Churches in the phone book.  And for the sake of argument, Glenn Beck’s Mormonism counts.

(Snide Remark:  Sometimes I look at that section in the phone book and wonder what Jesus was thinking about when he said, "No man comes to God except through him?" (John.14:6)  Note that I’ve not only included Chapter and Verse, but also put Christ’s words in red?  I be giving Him props!)

That’s why I’d expanded Principle #2 to include other religions.  Someone could use a path of spiritual enlightenment that might not be on the beaten path, and it could be just as good.  Like what O’Riley said in Who’s Looking out For You, "If a human lives a good life, holds sincere beliefs, but just happens to be Hindu, an all-just and all-merciful God is going to set this guy on fire for eternity?" (p. 112)   Or Muslim, for that matter?

Yahweh might be jealous, but he’s not completely heartless.  You’ve got to royally piss God off to get the express elevator to Hell.  Crashing loaded planes upside the Word Trade Center, would work just fine.

Where does this come into play in Blood And Metal?  Maatla has one major world religion, the Modern Church of Gaia.  That church was founded over 2,000 by a prophet named Donnovan who’s story reads of a combination of Jesus, Mohammad, and Ghandi.  Donnovan claimed that the many relgions in the world have a single goddess, Gaia by name, at it’s core.  Eric might not be a practicing member of this church per se, but he will work with them as much as he can, and encourages the public’s worship practices as well.  Eric would relish comparisons between The Church and Terran relgiions, and see where not only they differ, but how they’re alike.  Also on topic is the obvious:

"I heard Gaia’s a nice girl as Goddeses go.  I’d like to meet her one day.  Even hook Her up with some dude Gods I know, like Jesus Christ.  Nothing too serious at first, dinner and a movie, comparing notes over drinks, walks on a park, good times."  —  Eric, line to be said later.

Principle 3

Glenn:  I must try to be a better, more honest person than I was yesterday.

Remix: Everyone, including myself, needs to constantly improve themselves, to be better than they were before.

Principle 4

Glenn: The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority.

Remix: Families are sacred.  The people you should be closest with is your family members.

These two Principles are almost a total port from Glenn.  I just have a different way to say the same thing.  Glenn personalizes it, I merely switch to a more global scope.  It’s just the way I roll.

Principle 5

Glenn:  If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

Remix:  Karma cannot be mocked.  Whatever you do, be it for good or for evil, can never be returned in void.

I’m a firm believer in the concept of Karma.  You might not be convicted of double murder, but over time all that smug clavier attitude by getting away with it is going to come to bite you.  And all along the way to your eventual conviction, which could be on an unrelated charge, you’ll be surrounded by people who know what you did and will never make you regret it.

"Mark my words, people.  Alberect will find justice for what he did to your King.  Justice by the courts, by a spear, by my left arm, by Princess Sarah’s Pimp Hand, makes no difference; it will come."  —  Eric, line to be said in Book 2

The major part where me and Glenn differs is major:  Granted, you must be punished for crimes, but what should happen when you do good?  Nothing can be more disheartening, discouraging, and downright scaring to anyone than the belief that ‘No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.’  Or even worse, that there is nothing you’d ever do in life that will ever be worth any reward.

I speak from personal experience as a recovering Hikikomori.  It’s a Japanese term for someone who stays in their bedroom or apartment all the time, never ducking out for air, much less for a job, friends, or even a love one.  You probably heard of them; they’re 35 and still live with their parents, who’s probably penciled in ‘Possible Sociopath’ on their permanent record.  The main reason that made me such a hermit is that I could catch hell for practically any reason—or even no reason at all—from anybody (Parents, Teachers, Principle, Peers, Cops, Complete Strangers, et al) and my main goal in life as a teenager was to keep myself from as much trouble as possible.  If you’re a teenager and that is your current life goal, you really need to sit down with a Moleskine and re-evaluate your life.  (Oh, just to be on the record, this occurred in the mid 1980s.  In the Heartland of America.  The Japanese might have put a name to this phenomenon, but it’s far from new.)

Eric would naturally want Justice done to Alberect and his ilk, but he would also want to encourage goodness in others.  Especially the youth in Vinantos.  He sees a kid that was just dismissed as a ‘Weed Eater’ by someone—and on Maatla, pot is more or less permitted—and he could see someone who could become a scientist, a doctor, an inventor, a farmer, a builder, the creator of Maatla’s version of the Internet, someone who could reverse Mechanization . . . if someone would just shut the bleep up and see that in the poor kid?

There will be a chapter where Eric is encouraged to give Vintanos’ education system a major overhaul, taking out the old hardliner faculty and replacing it with a community involved group of parents and mentors, charged with promoting successful young men and women instead of cookie cutter rote learning and discipline too strict to be productive.

Principle 6

Glenn:  I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and not a guarantee of equal results.

Remix:  Every being by their nature has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, although it does not mean that the results of their efforts to be identical among seperate individuals.

Once again it’s the personal vs global differences of scope.  Just as the next one.

Principle 7

Glenn:  I work hard for what I have. I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

Remix:  People are entitled to the fruits of their labor, whatever they may be, and they have the right to do with such fruits whenever they wish.  This should include charity, but this should be given by the individual, not by authority.

One of the biggest events in recent Vintanos history is called "The Shrug."  Eric would be immediately reminded of Ann Rand as he hears of the various businesses, inventors, and scientist left their home countries en masse to Vintanos to escape demands on their home countries that became so unbearable that it proved impossible for them to exist.  The then King of Vintanos, John Galt Knothole (the first king to be a Knothole) opened up his kingdom for these prospective ‘Strikers’ with the promise of a reduced public burden, thanks to assistance from the Church, who usually assists with the community responsibilities.  They will also be appreciated with their accomplishments, rather than vilified for being ‘better off than the others.’

The Biblical-like exodus of bright minds from the neighboring kingdoms into Vintanos collapsed those countries back to the Medieval times, their people little more than peasants under a group of feuding states, while Vintanos rose to a level similar to the 1930s of America, clearly one of the most advanced city-states, if not the most advanced city technologically, in all of Maatla.  Only the city where the head of the Church is located, Vidicia, can rival Vintanos.

I start my explanation with this take on Ann Rand’s famous book, incorporated in the world in Blood and Metal, to dictate my fears of a Real Life Atlas Shrugged on Earth, especially in America under the current Congressional climate.  (If I were running an oil or drug company here today, or even worse, a bank, I’d be telling congress at my first grand jury indictment that I will immediately stop all business and leave the country forever, because I cannot conduct business in such a hostile environment.  They’d cheer, of course.  For about five minutes.  Then they’ll realize what they’ve brought upon themselves.)  I also wanted to express the real sticking point I have against Objectivism, which I’m sure is caused by not fully understanding their concept of "Self-Interest" like with most of their critics.  Just as you can drive people away by oppressing them in ways depicted by Miss Rand, or myself in those past two paragraphs, you can also have people who are so focused on their own interests that they end up doing harm to others, including themselves.  The same philosophy that created Mr. A. also created Bioshock.

I once chatted with a friend about my concerns about the philosophy, and I said that there should be a balance between individual rights and cultural responsibility.  It’s an elusive balance, and it’s not just Eric who’s trying to nail it down.  Most of these companies that were part of the shrug will seek to partner with Eric, with the hopes that an Terran invention that Eric brings with him could revolutionalize all of Maatla much like what they did on Earth.  And if they get a profit out of it, so much the better.

Principle 8

Glenn:  It is not un-American for me to disagree or share my personal opinion.

Remix:  The sharing of opinions and ideas should be encouraged, and disagreeing with anybody does not equate with animosity with whoever you disagree with.

There is one thing I want you to keep in mind about Blood and Metal:  This is not, I repeat NOT, a project made to bash the current President, Barack Obama.  Not only is it untimely, and so far outside the scope of the books that it might as well be on another planet,  (Okay, the story itself is on another planet, but that’s not the point.) but I have grown so sick and tired of all the Bush Bashing that I just tune it out.  (Personally, I think that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed will make a lot more damage than any president.)

"I’d even say that we’ve made it to the Promised land.  Now we’re in the business of building something on it." — Dr. Ombacain, Blood and Metal 1

I might not be on the same side as Barack on many things, but he’s the first president since Regan that I actually like.  Not only is he the first African-American President, shattering the image of America being a racist country,  but he also has a vital opportunity to be the Democrat version of President Ford, bridging some gaps between people that have grown to Grand Canyon widths and finding a way to bring decency and respect back to the office.  That’s why I mentioned Obama in a positive note in the opening parts of the book, and if someone ticks me off enough, I might write him into the book, personally wishing Eric good luck before the portal.  I really have nothing against our new president, despite being of different views.

And that’s the way it should be, for a lot of people, which isn’t quite found here in the online world.  I have a golden rule for those willing to edit and critique my work:  Be honest, be thorough, and be civil.  I don’t mind if you disagree with me or think that I’m not exactly the next big thing online, just don’t be an asshole.  There’s too much of that online.  Eric would want the same way; wishing to hear an honest debate on varying topics or problems and hoping that he can find a good way to address whatever problem in front of him.

Principle 9

Glenn: The government works for me. I do not answer to them. They answer to me.

Eric: Any government over you, regardless of it’s nature, is not your master.  They are your servants, and they are here for the people they govern.

That is something King Acorn made sure that Princess Sarah remembers.  Being a monarch has a responsibility for their people.  The King (or Queen) exists to represent the country of Vintanos and all who reside there.  Ruling with the people’s best interests in mind, instead of being a heavy handed master over everyone they see, is how one properly rules a kingdom.  After all, not even the tightest of grip would keep people from leaving the country of a tyrannical ruler, or worse, staging a violent and bloody revolt.

Nothing in Blood and Metal would depict this principle more than the factors surrounding Nicolas and Eric.  The Captain of the Royal Guard is next in line after a single Princess, and he feels that it would be best to take control over everything in Vintanos and put the city into a war footing, in the goal of taking on Alberect in a traditional ground war.  It is the people’s resistance to Alberect’s rule that caused Sarah to assume the throne as ‘Acting Monarch.’

As the story progresses, the populace would start to learn more about the Republic style of government that Eric’s America comes from and would want that kind of rule in Vintanos.  In fact, if Nicolas starts to talk with the people discussing Sarah’s ability to rule further down the story, he might be shocked to hear that, although some would agree with him about Sarah, that they might like to see Eric—alien though he is—marry her and take up the throne, saying that he’s got a firmer grasp on things.

This will bring things to a head when Blood and Metal reaches its climatic stage, where Nicolas appears to be the dinosaur unable to cope with the evolution of the world around them, an evolution Eric rides up to the climatic scene where the two finally clash.

 

My remixed principles are still in a state of flux; while I’m sure I got the spirit of what I have in mind down, there will be details that can be adjusted in time.  As I’m writing Blood and Metal, I’ll also be connecting with other people, creating a network as I promote my book and getting out of that hikikomori hole in the meantime.  I’m certain that these principles can be improved on, both in the book as well as in my personal life, and this site’s blog will show it.