Tuesday, July 30, 2019

No Return To Politics Yet!

     I’m having too much “fun” to natter about that crap.

     First, thank you to all the Gentle Readers who wrote to compliment me on “Shower Buddies.” It emerged from a burst of inspiration of a sort I seldom get these days. Being “of a certain age,” and prone, as so many of us elderly types can be, to neglecting my deteriorating carcass, I hoped to illustrate in a story what we ought to be doing whether or not we’re aware of it: conserving what assets we have and striving to add to them in an age-appropriate way.

     American women are particularly afflicted in this manner. That stems from a combination of factors, including political, social, and cultural currents with which my Gentle Readers are surely familiar. It doesn’t help that, as Vaia said to Estelle, we go looking in all the wrong places for a sense of value. Value of the non-commercial variety is either innate or non-existent. As we no longer allow human lives to be sold at auction, that’s the only sort of value that matters.

     Do you ever feel worthless, of no importance to anyone...perhaps not even to yourself? It’s likely that you’ve dwelt upon your “value” to others, rather than your inherent value as a child of a loving God. I’ve suffered that exact malady of the spirit from time to time. It’s not easy to dispel.

     Vaia did it for Estelle with soap, water, a few “polishing” implements, and a fresh outfit. But we non-fictional characters are unlikely to have a “Shower Buddies” franchise in the neighborhood. So how do you handle it when the need arises?

     If you own a Fortress, you must expect to be besieged...and we are, quite regularly. The assailants are many and varied. We’ve endured tax assessors, real-estate agents – we’ve been told it’s “unnatural” to live in the same house for thirty-nine years – insurance salesmen, Moonies, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, teens hawking magazine subscriptions, pollsters, political candidates, and burglars...and those are just the human components of the siege. We’ve faced armies of animals, insects, and plants as well. Beating them back requires energy, alertness, and no small amount of money, which is why we’ve been thinking about moving into a high-rise condo. Yes, they’re costly, but they guarantee that the deer won’t eat your shrubs.

     Then there are the Four Elements. Recently I had a vision of the Four mystical Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water casting lots to decide which of them would storm the Fortress to the depletion of your humble Curmudgeon’s bank account. This year, Water has been in the lead. Since the beginning of 2019 we’ve had:

  • Plumbing disasters;
  • Cesspool disasters;
  • Hot tub disasters;
  • Gutter and leader disasters;
  • Water softener disasters;
  • And persistent puddles in the back yard that my dogs seem determined to bring inside.

     We’ve defeated them all, one by one. As of last week I thought we had finally forced Water to surrender, but it appears I was wrong. I discovered very early this morning, in the most direct way, that the outfall line from the washing machine to the cesspool had become plugged.

     It leaves me wondering what life would be like had Earth won the draw...to say nothing of Fire. Ah, home ownership, the American dream!

     “Learn something new every day,” proclaim the self-help gurus. It’s good advice. At any rate, it seems to have worked for Solon of Athens. But if your daily routine is invariant, encountering something new enough to provide a memorable lesson might be a rare occurrence.

     I learned something new yesterday. I doubt I’ll ever forget it. When you’ve heard about it, I think you’ll concur about its importance.

     It was 1:00 PM, and I was twenty minutes from getting into Joy to visit my dental hygienist. (Not my favorite sort of diversion, but one does what one must.) Being a considerate sort, I went to the master bathroom to brush my teeth. A hygienist is paid to scrape the tartar off, not the evidence of lunch.

     I had just begun the procedure – yes, I have a procedure; don’t you? – when my nose suddenly started to itch intolerably. So I made to scratch it.

     Yesterday’s lesson: When your nose starts to itch, do not try to scratch it with the hand holding the Braun Oral-B Electric Toothbrush. Especially if it’s running.

     Every so often I revisit Sarah Hoyt’s two columns on the “Human Wave” she hopes to see in contemporary fantasy and science fiction:

     These are important pieces, manifestos for a wave of liberation from the dismal, soul-deadening garbage the SJWs, the diversocrats, and the apostles of political correctness have inflicted on speculative fiction. While Sarah’s recommendations are multifaceted, for me one element towers about the rest:

     Your writing shouldn’t leave anyone feeling like they should scrub with pumice or commit suicide by swallowing stoats for the crime of being human, or like humans are a blight upon the Earth, or that the future is dark, dreary, evil and fraught with nastiness, because that’s all humans can do, and woe is us.

     Bravissima! The crap the Leftist colonizers of fantasy and SF have deluged us with seems to have “make ‘em feel guilty about existing” as its core mission. Needless to say, they don’t feel guilty about existing; that’s for us in the hoi polloi. The attitude is so hateful that it’s difficult not to hate them for their posturings and pronouncements. I do my best, but now and then even I slip and conflate the sinner with the sin.

     Have a snippet from The Wise and the Mad:

     “No matter where we stand in our lives, whatever our circumstances,” Father Ray had said to her, “only three paths are open to us. We can break, we can stand idle, or we can build. The Christian course is to strive to build, to improve, to contribute whatever mortal power can add to God’s edifice. If that necessitates some demolition, the tearing down of an impassable obstacle, the Christian is commanded to do so in a spirit of understanding and forgiveness. He must not condemn. He must not hate.”
     “I’ve known a lot of people who called themselves Christians,” she replied, “and damned few of them seemed to adhere to those precepts. Not as far as I could tell, anyway.”
     The young priest smirked ruefully. “I know, dear. It’s very hard. I can’t do it any better than most. It could send a lot of us right down the chute of despair, if it weren’t for one thing.”
     “Which is?”
     “That God is love. Love is patient, love is kind, love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It rejoices not in wrongdoing but in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. And he who loves is endlessly willing to forgive.”

     We have to fight them. We have to defeat them, force them to surrender unconditionally. Though the thought be unpleasant, we may have to destroy them. But we mustn’t hate them. If we were afflicted with their premises and burdened by their shortcomings, we would do exactly the same things.

     But we don’t have to write the kind of crap they produce and celebrate. We don’t have to hate ourselves for having human desires and limitations. God doesn’t.

     To my fellow writers:

     Write stories with heroes.
     Write stories that honor Mankind.
     Write stories in which good triumphs over evil.
     Write stories that honor Christians and Christianity.
     Write stories that celebrate the differences between the sexes.
     Write stories that acknowledge the universal human desire to be free.
     And be proud of what you write, neither evasive nor defensive about it.

     Be a Human Wavicle!

1 comment:



Apropos nothing here, but a post or three ago... you wrote a very interesting thing to me that stories are about PEOPLE and about CHANGE. Thank you.

I have written a few short stories that have gone nowhere, publishing-wise. But perhaps it's time to revisit them to focus on those two things.