Mississippi

Rusty Mississippi

Rusting hulks of vehicles

Line the highways leading to

Derelict downtowns.

Fields of green vines

Overtaking the first rank of

Trees in the stand that protect

The fields from the grasping kudzu.

Pine, oak, and sweetgum

Give way to fields of weeds

Punctuated by clay hills

The color of the fire ants within.

Southern hospitality may

Just be a myth. But the people

Still gather at the Wal-Mart,

And our hillbillies

Still have all their teeth.

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Concerning University of Missouri

Mizzou-backlash

Every bathroom stall in every men’s public bathroom has at least one swastika drawn on it, sometimes in pencil, sometimes in pen, sometimes in excrement. While there is a percentage of these that are written by racists trying to demoralize minorities, many of them, if not most of them, are written by young idiots that are just trying to offend without racism as their motivation. But the presence of the swastikas on the stall walls is demoralizing, and drawing them is racism.

I think the reason that people identify racism in America but not racists is because the racism is being propagated mostly by people that do not have racism as their motivation. Of course, the swastika drawers know what they are doing is going to be construed as racism. But most racism comes from people that do not intend to be racist and do not even know that they are being racist.

The person that changes his voice when he encounters an ethnic person is being racist when he thinks he is being friendly. The woman that clutches her purse tighter when she walks past an ethnic person has committed a racist act even though she did this unconsciously and unintentionally. And the person that tries to be politically correct by using words like “ethnic” when referring to minorities has committed a racist act by trying too hard to avoid being offensive. This is why people see racism but no racists: they are too afraid to find out that they are the racist that they are looking for regardless of what ethnic group they belong to.

We Don’t Know The Whole Story….

Even when a child “deserves” to be body slammed no child ever deserves to be body slammed. Who cares what the rest of the story is; police brutality needs to be stopped.

The Boeskool

By now, many of you have probably already seen the disturbing video of a high school girl in South Carolina being flipped over and dragged out of her desk by a police officer for refusing to comply with his orders. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the following video captures the scene from two different angles:

After seeing a video like this one, people’s reactions are usually split into two groups:

  1. This is completely and utterly unacceptable.
  2. We don’t know the whole story.

Full disclosure: I happen to belong to group #1.

Turns out he was fired today... But you know what? If this hadn't been recorded on video, he would probably still be working around kids. Turns out he was fired today… But you know what? If this hadn’t been recorded on video, he would probably still be working around kids.

Now, within the racially-charged time that we find ourselves in, it is hard to ignore the fact that the young girl in the video is black and the officer is white. And when…

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From “CHOAM” to “Chewbacca”: 10 Ways to Create New Words for New Worlds

I am definitely going to start using these ideas in my writing. Creating convincing language is part of creating convincing worlds.

Word Jazz

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/insidethemagic/5737573149/ Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/insidethemagic/5737573149/

Imagine you are some deity about to create a new universe from scratch, including all of its stars and planets, mountains and oceans, plants and animals. You’ll probably start with a handful of subatomic particles, a sprinkling of energy, and give it all a good mix together. If, as is more likely, you are a writer trying to build a new universe on your typewriter your building blocks are going to be different. To create a new Star Wars galaxy, or the desert planet of Arrakis, or the island of Westeros, you’re going to need new words – and more than just a few of them…

2015 is quite a year for science fiction fans. This December will see the release of the seventh chapter in the Star Wars series, The Force Awakens, one of the most eagerly anticipated films of all time – and

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To Err is Human; to Forgive, Devine

to err

This quote from Alexander Pope’s poem, An Essay on Criticism has become something of a proverb, the author largely erased from ownership and the line becoming something of a moral truism. Collectively, we take this line of poetry as scripture telling us to forgive mistakes of ourselves and others because forgiveness brings us closer to god. But while we espouse this very quasi-religious sentiment, we act in the totally opposite manner.

As a culture, we understand that it is very human to make mistakes: we all do it. But forgiveness is the provenance of the gods. We act as if forgiveness can and should only be metered out by the heavenly host in the afterlife and that by forgiving someone ourselves we are condemning ourselves to an eternity of hellfire. Somehow, we have deemed it blasphemous to forgive others because we believe only god should have the power to forgive and by forgiving we are trying to usurp god’s power. So stay out of our way. We are quick to love our enemies as ourselves but even quicker to kill them.

Am I totally off base here, or do you agree with my assessment of society?

Can you come up with any other proverbs that illustrate the divide between beliefs and actions within our society?

Wanna BE

homeless

I don’t wanna be no billionaire.

I’d rather sit and chew my pubic hair.

I like to live in the city where:

A cardboard box in the public square,

An old discarded bucket-chair,

Is all I leave to my heir.

I don’t wanna be no billionaire.

I haven’t motivation to get me there.

I don’t wanna be.

No, I will never be

Because I can’t ever be

No billionaire.

This poem was inspired by the guitarist in this video. Please ignore the detox commercial.