before bedtime

If I go down to the other end of the house just one more time, and wonder when I get there why I went, I think I'll scream.

I'm simply not ready to get old. Not in that or any other way. But my body has notions of its own. Not only is my brain full, my joints are creaky. I would so rather have grey hair than grey joints.

It's a given that life ends, but nobody is anxious for it to happen to them. It's to be hoped I'm not all that close to the end, and I certainly intend to enjoy many more years, but death is a fact. Lest I seem too despondent, I have pretty good genes in that regard. If I haven't totally wrecked myself, I should be good for another 25 years or more.

But, you never know. And some days it seems like I'm on the slippery slope.

I need a good laugh. Where's BBT when you need it?


Points of View

The piece I'm working on right now is giving me some trouble in terms of opposing points of view. I don't want the characters to be entirely black and white, because that would bore the reader. So, I've been casting around among my friends on facebook to look at how their friends approach different issues.

What I discovered truly shocked me. I suppose by now I should be use to the idea that some people are blind to the problems of others, and so self-centred that they feel no duty to assist their neighbours, but I hadn't realized how far into the mind-set of centuries gone by some people had gone.

When pejorative epithets like "undeserving poor", "free-riders", "greedy unionists", "whiny women", "eco-terrorists", "lying scientists" and others spout unchecked in the posts of some who espouse unbridled capitalistic growth, and when these speakers are thick on the ground, there is true cause for worry. Even moreso when they love their wallets more than their fellow humans.

So many of these cardboard characters seem to be Evangelical so-called Christians, many of whom seem to have forgotten the original purpose of their religion. Not much about charity, sharing, and duty to others there. It's all about greed and preventing anyone outside their narrow circle from sticking their hands in the pockets of the chosen few. For such people, while they await the "Rapture" it doesn't matter a damn what we do to the planet and each other in the meantime. Magical thinking isn't thinking at all. But it certainly does appeal to some.

Evolved principles like justice and equity have no place in the closed minds of so many today. Whether they're radical religionists, political fascists, corporate graspers, or just plain greedy and selfish, they seem to be lacking in compassion, vision, empathy and love -- but the main characteristic they lack is a sense of humour! And surely the first and best trait of people is our willingness to see the ridiculous and to laugh at ourselves?  How has humanity managed to breed a whole generation of humourless sociopaths?

All this is very discouraging, and isn't getting me any closer to my original problem of character development. I suppose only reality can tolerate such flat characters as we see around us. For fiction, I'm going to have to blunt their edges with a few more palatable traits, and allow them a few glimpses of someone else's point of view.

It's certainly not going to happen in the real world.



Labels and the words they come from are on my mind a lot lately. Politically speaking (and how you wish I wouldn't) Liberal is the opposite of Conservative...and never the twain shall meet. It's usually framed as people vs money; environment vs money; social values vs money...you get the idea. In many parts of the world, the money "side" is accompanied by inflexible and malicious ideologies, proponents of which hate everyone and everything outside their narrow scope. People even label things as simplistically as "LEFT" and "RIGHT", where for many, "left" = "wrong".

On the other hand, most people are neither wholly liberal nor wholly conservative, in their common senses. For instance, I consider myself to be liberal (opposite = stingy) with friendship, compassion, hospitality, money for both personal pleasure and helping others, and distaste for those who put money over people/environment/social values. But I'm also conservative (opposite = profligate) when it comes to friendship, personal & environmental resources, things I consider to be human rights including freedom of speech, access to clean water/air/food, justice, housing and medical care, and money when it's being stolen to enrich the already over-rich or fund totalitarian regimes. Only we can't call it conservative any more because that's been usurped by the labellers. It's now called "conservationist", which is definitely "wrong" in their eyes.

It's only a matter of time before people start ostracizing the left-handed among us, as they did in the bad old days.