Monthly Archives: May 2016

SJWs were New to Me. I Wish I’d Stayed in the Dark.

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Frothing, frenzied, enraged, loud, brazen, brash, prone to using force, and, sometimes, even oftentimes, violent — that’s the meaning I’ve come to recognize as SJWs (Social Justice Warriors to those, like the past me, who are ignorant of that acronym).

To hear them, to study them, to realize the methods they’re willing to employ to achieve their goals, is to realize that the SJWs are, quite literally, tyrants, totalitarians, and fascists, combined. Should they succeed in their agendas, they would force everyone within their reach to conform, else they would punish, even eradicate, all non-conformers. (And, yes, they want complete and comprehensive control.)

To say that these frenzied mobs are, in fact, willing to force, coerce, and subjugate everyone to their will is counter to freedom and human rights. I don’t care which ‘social justice’ they align with, the tactics and mindset seem the same: force change to their version of how things should be according to them or else. Whether it’s veganism or animal rights, whether its racism, sexism, ageism, genderism, worker rights, freedom of belief/disbelief, or anything else…whether I agree in principle or not, the tactics being employed are those of dictatorship, not of freedom, and I cannot abide tyrants and fascists.

To me, they are no different than any other tyrannical overlord. To me, they are no different than Islamic extremists, Christian extremists, totalitarian rulers, military dictators, absolute-power monarchs. They are no better than Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, or any other megalomaniac the world has seen and known. They can claim ‘greater good’, but their actions and words demonstrate the awful truth. They are, in fact, nothing but more would-be overlords, their mantra: We shall subjugate. It’s our turn to wield the whip.

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With Laughter…at Myself!

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We’re doing my husband’s arrangement of a tune called Black Hole Sun by Soundgarden. Our instruments are flute and guitar, electrified flute and guitar, that is. And effected. It’s a seemingly easy piece to play. Not much technical difficulty there, no. Not at all. Unless you want it to sound like ‘something’. And, both of us, professional musicians and extremely picky about ‘getting it perfect’, insist that it sound like ‘something’. Which it certainly does when I’m playing analog, or even just mic’d up. Add in ‘all the other stuff’, and things fall apart for me.

For me, a piece as unchallenging as Black Hole Sun is a snap to play first time, everytime…until you add in, not just the headset, but a 14 switch, ten knob, 15 button, 10 toggle stomp box with a chain of yet other myriad effects via other, smaller stomp boxes, added into the stomp loop. Suddenly, what was simple becomes overwhelming. I’m an analog player. My entire life, I just picked up my flute, warmed-up, put my music up on the stand, and off I went.

Classical musicians have it easy. Yes, we do. Just master the instrument, intonation, the music, pay attention to the conductor, and there you are, and, yes, I’m a classical musician. I get totally lost amidst the toggles, switches, knobs, and buttons of the electronics we use in our performances. And, when attempting to get the right toggle toggled, the correct switch switched, the appropriate knob turned x amount of degrees, and the necessary button depressed, well, things go south for me in a hurry.  Then, there’s the issue of mic feedback! If I move my flute just the wrong way, suddenly that gain setting that we worked so diligently to set doesn’t work anymore. Expensive flute acts like some sort of signal amplifier or antenna or something. Then it’s dive for the soundboard or, if I remember, the stomp box patch #1, any bank, before I don’t have any hearing left.  Whew!

It is no fun being the neophyte in a world where electronic effects and amplification ‘make’ the sound, the instrument mastery an expected given. If I ever hear another classical musician moan about how hard their job is, a job that only entails mastering their instrument and their repertoire, then attending the conductor, I think I’ll invite them to sit in on one of our sessions and watch them go into meltdown.

Copyright 2016 DLKeur

Copyright 2016 DLKeur

Inspired Because of a Conversation

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I had an interesting experience today. A lonely friend arrived to perch in my dining room for several hours. Luckily, I had pretty much finished what I had on my ‘must-do’ list for the day, and two computers were engaged in rendering their assigned duties, so, while I wasn’t thrilled to be held captive by his needs, it didn’t hurt the day’s productivity. And, in fact, I guess it spurred me to break out Apophysis and set up some parameters, then render them out on my new machine. The results were satisfying, and I may use it as a cover for one of my books.

What I found interesting was realizing just how prone to cognitive dissonance are we as a species, how pervasive that condition, and how much we deny it in ourselves while criticizing others for exhibiting its symptoms. And, all the while, reality, at its absolute expression, simply is.

So, here, as the result of, both, that conversation, and the lack of time to apply myself to the one ‘wanted-to-do’ project planned for the day, is this image, which I call Reality 5/23/2016. 

The book for which I may utilize this has to do with my lifeway, zentao. There are seven non-fiction ones in the works. There may well be a couple of related novels, though writing zentao into a novel is…er…proving to be a novel experience in its difficulty. zentao likes truth, honestly, unvarnished perspectives. Anyway, so, here’s the result of all that.

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Self-Promotion Does NOT Work. Really.

How many of you self-publishing authors see repeated promotions of one author and the latest book by that author coming out of publishing’s Big 5 in your social media streams? I’m guessing ‘not’. You might see a few pre-release promo-s and one or two during the book’s release week, but that would be it.

On the other hand, how many of you self-publishing authors see repeated promotions by some one or another self-publishing author about their books in your social media streams? I’m guessing ‘a lot’ …unless that self-publishing author happens to be highly successful. Then, you rarely see promotions from them. What you WILL see are others sharing the news that that successful author has just released another book. And therein lies the key.

The most effective promotions are those proliferated by fans of the author, not by the author themselves. And they don’t flood your streams.

Take a clue and stop flooding your streams with self-promotional posts. It doesn’t work, and, in fact, it’s counter-productive. It just turns potential readers OFF.

 

The Problem with Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers and Liberals/Progressives

I’m an outlier. I believe in compassionate treatment for those who demonstrate a sense of responsibility for self and to others, but tend toward skepticism in aiding and abetting those who repeatedly demonstrate a complete lack thereof. And that’s why I just can’t and won’t embrace either of the attitudes exhibited by the Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers or the Liberals/Progressives.

As I see it, Conservatives/Libertarians/TPers measure worth of an individual by outward appearances, blithely ignoring factors that may contribute to an individual’s failure to achieve despite their hard work and best efforts, namely luck and opportunity (which is tied to luck).

Likewise, the Liberals/Progressives are equally remiss because they turn a blind eye to the fact that there are people who do NOT want to put forth any effort whatsoever to become responsible members of society. Liberals/Progressives seem to think that everyone, if given a chance, will, sooner or later, come around and give up their choice of addictive behavior, whether that’s violence against others, indolence, or feeding some personal craving.

Both camps ignore reality, the Right condemning anyone as indolent who can’t make it, despite best efforts, the Left embracing everyone (except those who don’t embrace their ideological platform) as inherently and potentially model citizens if just given enough incentive and opportunity.

Can we have some balanced approach that acknowledges reality?

 

 

Resolve to be Kind

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I have an aversion to cruelty. I especially have an aversion to cruelty perpetuated by humans. I think it, not just unnecessary, but the true evil, the only real evil–sentient-made and sentient-perpetuated.

We humans don’t need to perpetuate cruelty/evil. We don’t need to embrace and accept it, much less applaud it.  Yet, we do. And, while I very much understand the underlying factors which contribute to the behavior, I refuse to give credence to any permissive-minded excusing of it.

No.

As sentient beings, we humans have choice–a choice to refuse to act out our fear-based hatreds and craving-based greeds. We have a choice to be kind or cruel in any circumstance. And we have an obligation to be kind, not cruel. To ourselves and to all other entities, sentient and insentient. To do otherwise, to choose cruelty over kindness, condemns us in our own self, by our own memories–etched in our brains, our cells, even our DNA, to self-condemnation.

You can scoff. You can cry out that your personal savior, be that Jesus or some other, will wash away your every sin and you are forgiven. But the fact of your deeds is indelibly scribed, and while your personal savior might forgive you, you remember and, by your every cruelty, will self-condemn.

Now, psychologists will argue that self-condemnation requires conscience, and conscience is determined by cultural conditioning and neurology. They will point out that cultural norms define what is and what is not identified as cruel, as bad or good. They will point out that the sociopath has no conscience.

Right and wrong, according to psychology, is relative, yet science identifies a moral generator that develops in primates and in human children, the latter beginning at the age of four, despite culture and upbringing–a sense of fairness, scientists call it. It’s genetically ingrained, probably rooted in evolution of the species. Regardless, it exists and can be measured. It’s very much past time that we employ it for our own peace of mind and for the betterment of ours and every other living thing’s existence. To do less, even if conscience must be learned, as in the case of the sociopath, is to condemn yourself and the human species as truly, remorselessly evil.

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New System Engaged, But There’s a Miffed Wet Hornet

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So, after a lot of hard work and even more patience, the new phone system is working, now, throughout the house as well as in the office, with wireless, LAN, and DSL all working seamlessly together along with FAX and landline phone WITH the plus that, if and when the DSL goes down (something that happens about once a week here in North Idaho), I can still get on the Net via another wireless option.

This has taken almost an act of Congress to get functioning, but, finally, as of yesterday, all systems are stable and working within optimum parameters.  The entire project took remodeling the whole system from a patched together one. It also required a great deal of coordination between disparate companies, plus some remodeling in the office and other parts of the house structurally connected to that office.

Whew.

Of course, just when you think that you’ve got everything back under control, all hell breaks loose somewhere else, in this case, at the two shops where my husband’s trucks are sitting. The first truck is his relatively new KW heavy haul…which needs a new wiring harness…which isn’t in stock (of course) and the second one is a loaner that, upon start-up, is throwing engine errors and is rife with air leaks.  Lucky for me, I’m sitting safely home, nowhere near a husband who is about as happy as a wet hornet.

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Brain Silence Over

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As I mentioned in my February 29th post, my brain has been silent. Very silent. So, I went silent. It’s been months. Literally. It’s now May, so the silence lasted all March and April of 2016, a very long time in my brain’s measure of productive exploits. Never one for idleness, I set about some much neglected projects–all physical–and practiced my martial arts and my flute repertoire. …And I pretty much stayed off the Net. No point to participating when there’s nothing to contribute. And the brain remained…silent.

Not surprisingly, my book sales took a dive. But, then, all on their own, sales started to take off, again. I watched. Occasionally. Maybe once or twice a month. Did nothing.

Two months after the silence began, my brain finally came out of its self-imposed retreat. I’m not sure why. I just know when it happened. I was able to write, again. I was able to create art. I called Anita Lewis, a friend of mine, and warned her. Because I’m writing on the zentao books–DLKeur writing as DLKeur. And it ain’t fiction. And she’s my beta reader.

Here’s the kicker, though. My brain, which I cherish, has never gone silent for this long. Never. Now that it’s…now that I am done processing whatever it was that was being processed (and I still don’t know what that was or is), there’s a certain resolve there that I’ve not felt quite so completely and uniquely ever before.

It’s interesting, this feeling of resolve, this feeling of utter confidence in me, in my focus, in my ‘way’ of being-doing. It’s interesting because I live my life on the seamless seam, on The Edge, and that Edge now has a firmament that I’ve never experienced quite like this.

There’s this uncanny fearlessness–a surety–that boggles me. While nothing in the future is set, I know I’m set. For life. For all that Life may present.

It’s wonderful.

It’s eerie.

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