Be The Light…

I’m sure I’m confusing people on twitter with my moderate’s disdain for the political extremes running amok there.  I’m grateful that some people seem to get it though.

My “No Politics” post didn’t make things as clear as I’d have liked.  I have TWO big problems with politics and the way people talk to others:

 

1) Issues are NEVER as simple as the extremists and demagogues on either side make them out to be.  For example, gangs are just one good reason for a border wall, BUT we have to overhaul our immigration system as well and allow good people a chance at the American Dream, take an honest look at what we may be doing to contribute to problems in Latin America, and see if we can do things to help them help themselves.

2) These extremists not only shut down thinking and discussion, they spread hate and poison.  There’s a principle of metaphysics that says hate only attracts more hate and conflict.  It doesn’t matter how righteous you THINK your cause is, if your answer is trashing and threatening violence against those you disagree with, you are part of the PROBLEM, not the solution.  You are also actively working to make the world a DARKER place.

I keep saying be more like Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, etc…  I have a perfect story that illustrates the point also.  The Christmas Eve service is the one time this heathen is guaranteed to turn up at church.  The closing part of the services; the same every year, are exactly why:

The Pastor talks about the need to carry the Christmas Spirit into and through the new year, and how the world is a dark place if everybody withholds their love, compassion and caring from the world.  To illustrate the point, the lights are turned off in the chapel.

Now, everybody is given a candle entering the service.  They’re all being lit as the Pastor speaks.  He tells everyone to keep the candles low at first also; withhold their light from the world metaphorically.  Then he starts talking about how people can be the light, and make the world a better place.  Then all 3000 people (It’s a big church) hold up their candles.  It’s beautiful and amazing the difference it makes

Bayside Church Candle Lighting & Silent Night

Afterwards everyone sings Silent Night and the service are over.

Watch the YouTube video through to the end and see if it doesn’t have the same impact on you as it did me.  It’s alot of light, and it’s people wanting said light to better the world, NOT burn it down.  THINK about that. Remember the people you disagree with are human beings with legitimate reasons for feeling and thinking the way they do.  If you actually talk to them like human beings, you will PROBABLY find out that you have more in common than you realize once you get past artificial labels.

Think win-win and you can probably also find a solution that’s not perfect, but works for both of you.

BE THE LIGHT

A Little Background…

So I’ve decided to let loose a little information about me as a writer, and why I’m fairly private as a person.

Privacy, I’ll keep simple.  I’m an introvert till I get to know people.  I’ve also had more than my share of bad experiences online and offline, so I do have some trust issues.  Overall I consider myself to be fairly well balanced though.  I also have an Associate’s Degree in Network Security, which for the record is largely useless beyond scaring the crap out of you over how many ways there are to get and exploit your personal information.

Writing is something I’ve always had an interest in.  I’ve always been good in English related subjects.  I first got serious with it when TSR released the Marvel Superheroes pen and paper RPG (role playing game).  I had always liked comic books and this gave me a format for creating my own heroes and telling my own stories.  I ended up with about 20 of my own heroes, and about as many villains, and created the stories that my friends and I ran through.  We never got into acting out the roles of the characters, but the creative process was fun.  Then came video games…

Yes, that’s right.  As crazy as it sounds, a video game helped make me a writer.

It started with the City of Heroes MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) game.  It had  one of the richest character creation systems ever seen in video games.  This led to many people who used to roleplay on old pre-internet BBS sites to jump into the game.  These were serious roleplayers that made up their own adventures and acted out the roles of their characters.

Why bother when the game had content, you ask?  The content ran out fast, then you were either left re-running old stuff again with a new character OR putting your imagination to work.

Yes, I know it sounds weird.  It did to me also, BUT I gave it a try despite being somewhat shy.  It took a short time to break through my reservations.  Being about superheroes probably helped.  Once I did, it was an AMAZING experience though.  Think of it in terms of a never-ending, constantly ongoing class in creative writing and improvisation.  We did live stuff on the server, kept notes and did cooperative written storytelling on our forums site.

Suddenly a locked up imagination that had been discouraged by parents and others burst into full bloom.  I was creating detailed characters, directing plots and having the time of my life writing out all of it.

Well, online roleplaying communities have kind of fallen apart.  The good players have moved on and largely been replaced by people who can only play ultimately powerful characters or see it only as an opportunity for cybersex.  I’ve developed characters and stories for City of Heroes, Champions Online, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Conan: Exiles and a few other games.

My work was generally well received too, but I never considered myself “good enough to turn pro”.  As my health became problematic and I grew sick of the increasing drama with multiplayer games, I started to look at it more seriously though.  Now here I am, hoping to make a go of it.

As for liking superheroes in the first place…  I didn’t have anyone to truly look up to while growing up.  They became my examples of people who did the right thing, stood on principles, and had the ability to make a difference and help others.

My Thoughts on BDSM

Since my half dozen (thus far) non fan fiction erotica pieces all have at least a slight element of domination and submission to them (Amy’s Seduction being the only real exception), AND I’m picking up followers on Twitter into that lifestyle, I felt I’d take a couple of minutes to spell out my thoughts on the subject.

Plain and simple, my view is that as long as it’s safe, sane and above all mutually consensual, it’s all good.  All of that requires a great deal of communication and self awareness by both parties.

I have one huge gripe with elements of the community.  That being the “if you’re not doing it MY way, it’s not really domination!” crowd.  To be blunt, that’s not only utter crap, it also tells me the Dom or Domme uttering it has no idea what they’re talking about, quite likely little or no respect for submissives, and / or massive insecurity issues.  A real dominant is going to want to talk, make sure the other person is more than just titillated, and has compatible ideas about what BDSM is.  If their ideas later drift apart on the subject, they will set the submissive free instead of trying to force them past hard limits also.

I’m fairly passionate on the issue because I used to have a virtual part-time job counseling women who were responding to ads looking for submissives on a certain free site that no longer runs personals.  Horrified by some of the “dom” ads I saw I posted my own telling submissives that their submission was a gift given, it had to be earned, that a dom should listen to your wants and needs when establishing relationship boundaries, and that it was just as much about their orgasm as his.

It was amazing and scary how many “thank you” replies I got from women with strong curiosity but who were confused and scared after ‘talking’ to abusers who told them that if they were submissive at all, they’d immediately do anything and everything the “dom” said, no questions asked, right from the moment they met.  A few of them even told me they were made to feel like they were crazy until they read my post.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m anything but a saint.  I’m proud to say I saved a few women from abusive relationships though.

It Happened Again!

For those who missed my last post, the day before yesterday, Twitter made a follow recommendation that was completely unrelated to anything I’d tweeted or searched (anywhere online), or even been near in almost a year.  It was a place I’d just been talking about however.  Since there was NO way to know otherwise, the only conclusion I can come to is that the recent conspiracy theory about various social media outlets tapping phones and computer microphones is true.

Of course there’s pure coincidence.  That’s unlikely, but people win the lottery all the time despite there being a ten times better chance of being hit by lightning, right?

Well, it happened again last night.  The TV was on and the local news was talking about a serial predator getting state paid legal representation.  I commented aloud that it sucks, but that I believe that guarantee is an important part of our legal rights.  A few minutes later I log back into Twitter and the top of my recommended follow list is the Federalist Society.

Again, they have NOTHING to base that recommendation on.  I don’t surf or search political sites, and I keep my writing completely free of politics also.  The rhetoric is just too heated and unthinking on all sides, and I do NOT want it poisoning my writing or alienating followers.  With that being the case, the only thing they have to base that recommendation on is verbal comments picked up by a PC or cellphone microphone, and almost right after said comments were made.

Facebook, Google, Twitter…  They’re all eavesdropping I guess.

OK, This is Just Creepy…

For those NOT in the know, there’s a conspiracy theory going around that social media, especially Facebook, actively taps your smart phone mic and camera to eavesdrop and target advertising to a scary level.  I saw an article the other day that explained how it was all actually done via phone GPS and merchants selling your transaction data… supposedly.  It seemed a reasonable explanation, albeit still a massive invasion of privacy.

The “SUPPOSEDLY” comes in because I just had an Orwellian moment about a half hour ago…  I logged into Twitter on my laptop, and at the very top of my suggested follows list is a place I hadn’t been within miles of in a year and had done NO online searches, etc… about.  I had just gotten done discussing the place face to face verbally with somebody else though.

And then it just magically pops up at the TOP of my list on Twitter?!?  Like hell somebody isn’t listening.  The odds otherwise of that place popping up are astronomical, especially when you factor in it’s one of the last places you’d expect to see an erotica author!

Most Curious…

I posted a bit of thinking out loud regarding the rules for writing yesterday.  Afterwards, I asked for opinions from other writers regarding how “carved in stone” these rules were, etc…  I got six likes in the post, which is awesome.  Absolutely NO replies however…

It got me wondering if anybody REALLY reads posts, or if they just take a quick glance, then either decide they like it OR just click “Like” in the hopes of getting reciprocal likes.

Just making that assumption would be pointlessly negative though.  I personally will click “Like” on content I enjoy, but won’t add a comment unless I can add something actually meaningful to the conversation.

Realistically, either option is, or at least COULD BE true of a segment of the likes.  So could other explanations. The whole thing just has me wondering now if anything I write here IS truly liked OR if we’re just spinning our wheels here pretending that what we say or do here matters any more than social media.

And if anybody didn’t guess, I’m pragmatic and consider social media largely about vanity and killing time.  Decent marketing tool though.